How to ship your package to China from Canada

Guide to Shipping Parcels to China

Looking to send a parcel from Canada to China? Although it’s not as easy as shipping a package domestically, it’s most likely not as difficult as you imagine if you’ve never done it before. There are a few things you must know, however, if you want to avoid delays or non-accepted shipments. In this article, we’ll cover the customs documents needed, Chinese Duties and Taxes, proper packaging, and prohibited and restricted goods.

Customs Documents and Chinese Duties and Taxes

Excluding documents and paperwork, all goods that pass through customs are subject to duties, taxes, and require customs documents. Customs fees are usually paid by the recipient of the shipment and they are normally contacted by the local customs office to arrange payment.

A commercial invoice will be required for your parcel to clear through customs. On the invoice, you will need to include a description of the package contents, country of manufacture, the value of each item and the reason for export.

The fees usually range from 20-30% of the value of the goods, however, they will be exempt if the goods are valued less than 500 Yuan (CNY). Shipments valuing over 1,000 Yuan will need to pass through customs clearance, which may result in delays.

All items will require a tariff code listed on the commercial invoice. You can find the proper tariff codes for your items here.

To make it easy, our online shipping tool automatically generates a commercial invoice when you ship through our website. Many of the details, such as the seller’s and buyer's addresses will automatically be put in. On top of that, we even send the information electronically so your shipment has a chance to pre-clear before arriving at the destination country.

Packaging your Parcel

A very important factor to consider when shipping to China is the packaging. Not only will the packaging protect the contents, it will also affect the weight of the shipment and affect storage capabilities and mechanical handling. You should communicate with the buyer to find if they have any specific requests in terms of the packaging materials used, size of the package, or amount of protection needed.

To learn more about proper packaging check out our article - Handle With Care – Ship Fragile Items.

Restricted and Prohibited Items

The Chinese list of prohibited and restricted items changes regularly so to be safe you should always check their customs page ( before preparing your shipment. If you send an item that is banned from entry into China, you will likely incur extra charges, delays, and possibly even your package being destroyed.

Restricted Items

Food Items

When it comes to food items, China is very strict on the items it allows in past its borders. The following basic rules should allow your parcel to pass through with minimal delays.

  • Food must be contained in its original packaging.
  • Food items must not have been tampered with in any way.
  • Food label must list all ingredients.
  • The food item needs to have a shelf life longer than 6 months.

Note: In addition to a regular customs check, food items are also subject to a Quarantine Inspection which will add to the delivery time.

Wood, Cane, Bamboo, and Rattan

Any shipments that are made up or consist of wood, cane, bamboo, and rattan, including items packaged in wooden pallets or crates, will be subject to customs inspection. Items made of wood need to be fumigated or require a Phytosanitary Certificate from the Plant Phytosanitary Authorities. If the wooden item is processed and in its original package it will not require this certificate, however, the recipient must provide a statement of how the wood was processed.


All electronic items such as laptops, mobile phones, GPS devices and others must be accompanied by a China Compulsory Certification (CCC) from the China Inspection and Quarantine Services. The recipient of the shipment must provide this to customs. Some electronic items are exempt from this if they are declared as personal effects.

Prohibited Items

In addition to the restricted items, there are some items that are prohibited from entering China. As an example, any media or documents that may undermine Chinese ideology or culture are considered illegal and will be destroyed. For a complete list of banned items, visit the Chinese Customs Website.

In addition to rules and regulations from the Chinese Authorities, courier companies will also have their own set of rules and prohibited items. Common items prohibited by couriers include:

  • Dairy products
  • Ivory
  • Furs
  • Aerosols
  • Fresh food items
  • Animals
  • Cash
  • Perfume
  • Nail varnish
  • Plants and seeds
  • Tobacco products

You can find more courier-specific rules and regulations from the links below:

How Much Will It Cost To Ship From Canada to China?

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About the author: Dan Allard

About the author

Dan Allard is a marketing specialist, guitar player, and father living in The Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In his free time he’s usually reading business and marketing blogs, watching Shark Tank, or pretending he’s Iron Man because he has an Amazon Echo. He also enjoys finding great deals online and finding ways to reduce shipping costs.

About Secureship

About Secureship

Secureship® offers an online service that helps businesses and organizations ship more efficiently and affordably.

Providing instant price shopping across multiple carriers, Secureship is the best choice for reduced rate shipping. In addition, Secureship offers benefits such as a consolidated shipping system regardless of the carrier you choose, built-in address book, convenient invoicing and shipment management.

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