Despite the diversity of the system, there are some points which might be interesting for shippers to know. Here is an overview.

Clearing customs in China involves two official authorities – one of them is what is often called 'the Chinese customs'.

Important for shippers to know:

For checking the customs tariff, the commercial invoice and the packing list are reviewed for completeness and coherence. The commercial invoice needs to state the HS Code (Harmonized System), the monetary value and a detailed description for each article of the shipment.

For the packing list, make sure to list the net and the gross weight as well as the type of packaging of each article. Both documents need to be made out in English language at least – better in Chinese. As the data in both documents needs to be coherent, we recommend also having a very close eye on uniform spelling in both documents.



Specific commodities require a certificate.

Are the goods appropriate for use in China – the CIQ check

The CIQ – Chinese Inspection and Quarantine – is a second authority involved in the import clearance process. The CIQ examines if the goods to be imported are appropriate for the use in the People’s Republic of China. They are concerned e.g. with products which require a CCC-Certificate (China Compulsory System) to be eligible for import. This applies to machines, for example, for which CIQ requires proof that their electricity system complies with the Chinese one and that they meet local security standards and regulations. But it is not only electrical products which need special certification. Another common example is fire extinguishers which are included in or integrated to machinery or other equipment.

If both authorities give the go-ahead, goods may be picked up and transported to their final destination.

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