China Customs: calculation, regulations and restrictions

Chinese customs impose specific fees and regulations for sending goods to China. Find out how customs clearance works and what regulations are in place.

Sending a package to China.

How are customs fees calculated in China? 

Customs fees in China are calculated according to the customs value of the imported goods. This value is generally based on the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) of the goods, which includes the cost of the goods, the cost of insurance and the cost of transport.

The customs tariff is then applied to this customs value to determine the amount of customs duty payable. The customs tariff is a fixed percentage that varies according to the type of product imported.

In addition to customs duties, there may be value added taxes (VAT) and consumption taxes which are also calculated on the customs value of the imported goods.

It is important to note that the rules for calculating customs duties in China can be complex and can vary depending on the type of product and the origin of the goods.

Customs clearance of goods at Chinese customs 

To clear goods through customs in China, importers and exporters must provide the required documents, such as commercial invoices, transport documents, import and export permits, certificates of origin, certificates of conformity, etc. These documents must be submitted to Chinese customs before the goods arrive.

The duties and taxes payable for the clearance of goods depend on the nature of the goods, their value, weight and volume. Duties and taxes include value-added tax, import tax, customs duties, etc. Importers must pay these duties and taxes before they can collect their goods.

After the payment of duties and taxes, the goods must go through a customs inspection to ensure that they meet safety and quality standards. Goods that do not meet the requirements will be returned or destroyed.

Once the goods have passed customs inspection, they are released and can be collected by importers. The length of the clearance procedure depends on the type of goods and the complexity of the procedure. In some cases, it can take several days or even weeks.


China Customs: Fines and seizures in China

In China, customs offences can result in fines and seizure of goods. Penalties depend on the seriousness of the offence and can range from simple fines to total confiscation of the goods or even criminal prosecution.

Fines can be set according to the value of the goods, the number of products involved and the nature of the offence. Seizures of goods can also be made if the products are considered hazardous to health or if they violate intellectual property laws.

It is important to comply with customs rules and regulations in China to avoid fines and seizures of goods. Companies should ensure that all necessary documents are completed correctly and that products comply with applicable safety, quality and intellectual property standards and regulations.


Is origin marking mandatory in China?

Yes, origin marking is mandatory in China for certain imported goods. According to Chinese import regulations, imported goods must be clearly marked with their country of origin.

The origin marking must be placed on the packaging or on the product itself. The information to be indicated includes the name of the country of origin, the company address and the serial number of the product. The purpose of this requirement is to help Chinese customs quickly and easily identify imported products and ensure that customs duties and taxes are correctly applied.

It is important to note that failure to comply with the origin marking requirement may result in fines and delays in the customs clearance process in China. Therefore, importers are advised to ensure that their products are properly marked in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Food products at Chinese customs

Chinese customs have strict rules for importing food products. Companies wishing to import food products must meet China's food safety standards, which are among the strictest in the world. Food products must be labelled in Chinese and comply with the requirements of the Chinese Food Labelling Law. Companies must also provide food safety certification documents, which attest that the food products meet Chinese standards. Chinese customs inspectors carry out strict checks on imported food products to ensure that they meet China's food safety standards. If a product is found to be non-compliant, it may be refused entry or be subject to further inspection.

Products allowed through Chinese customs

Which products are allowed through Chinese customs depends on the laws and regulations in force in China. In general, products that are allowed are those that meet food safety, public health and environmental protection standards. However, it is important to check with the relevant Chinese authorities the specific requirements for each type of product before importing them into China.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of products allowed through Chinese customs:
  • Electronic products (phones, computers, etc.)
  • Textile products (clothing, fabrics, etc.)
  • Cosmetic and skin care products
  • Medical and pharmaceutical products
  • Food products (according to the rules and regulations in force)
  • Chemicals and hazardous chemicals (with specific authorisations)
  • Metal products (steel, aluminium, etc.)
  • Plastic products (household items, toys, etc.)
  • Leather products (bags, shoes, etc.)

It is important to note that this list may vary depending on the rules and regulations in force, and that some products may be subject to specific restrictions.


Products prohibited at Chinese customs

Examples of products that are prohibited at Chinese customs include

  • Narcotic substances
  • Weapons, ammunition, explosives and war materials
  • Counterfeit and pirated products
  • Publications, films and other media that undermine China's sovereignty and security
  • Protected or endangered animal and plant species
  • Food products and medicines containing dangerous or prohibited substances
  • Toxic, radioactive or environmentally hazardous waste.

It is important to note that this list may vary depending on the rules and regulations in force, and some products may be subject to specific restrictions.

China Customs has specific regulations for the import of tobacco. Find out more about the rules in force.


Food products at Chinese customs

If you are shipping food products to China, you must be able to provide a certification of origin. You must also be able to provide a health certificate. Food products must be labelled in Chinese and English and contain the following information

  • Name of the product
  • Ingredients
  • Expiry date
  • Storage conditions
  • Name and address of the company
  • Country of origin

If food products do not meet these requirements, they may be detained at customs and not allowed to be shipped to China. Food products imported into China may also be subject to additional inspections to ensure their safety.


Tobacco regulation at Chinese customs

There are restrictions on the import of tobacco into China. Travellers over the age of 18 may bring 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars into China. Travellers who bring more than 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars must pay customs duty and consumption tax. Cigarettes must be marked with a health warning in Chinese and cigarette packages may not contain advertisements or logos.


How do I know if my package is stuck in customs in China?

If you think your package is stuck in Chinese customs, you can contact the Chinese customs office for information. You can also track the status of your package using the tracking number provided by the carrier. It is important to note that the customs clearance process in China can take time, especially for high value shipments.


What should I do if my parcel is blocked at Chinese customs?

If your package is blocked at the Chinese customs, it is important not to panic. First, you should contact your sender to understand the reason for the blockage. The customs authorities may need additional documents or information to process your package.

If the blockage is due to an error on your part, such as sending a prohibited item, you will need to contact Chinese customs to find a solution. In some cases, the package may be returned to the sender or confiscated by the customs authorities.

If the blockage is due to an error on the part of the sender, it is their responsibility to resolve the situation. In any case, communication with the sender and China Customs is the key to solving the problem quickly.

In summary, when shipping goods to China, it is important to be aware of the customs rules and regulations in place. It is also essential to ensure that the necessary documents are provided and that the goods being shipped comply with Chinese customs requirements.

By using the tips and information provided in this article, you will be able to better understand the customs clearance process in China and avoid blockages or problems when shipping your goods