Overview

With a population of 1.3 billion people, China has the world’s largest eCommerce market. In fact, 50% of global eCommerce sales are made by Chinese consumers and the numbers are growing year after year. No other country presents a bigger opportunity than China for those looking to expand their business into the global market.

Shipping Rates to China

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find the cheapest way to ship to China from Canada
Secureship provides safe and affordable shipping from Canada to China. If you are an everyday shopper or a business, you can easily save up to 50% on your international shipping costs by way of accessing our group buying power.
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Tracking Information

All shipments through Secureship come
with full tracking information

Fedex
Tracking #:780123123123
Tel: 1-800-463-3339
Signed By: Pikwalia @ Residence
Jun 19, 2019
8:49 am
Shenzhen, CN
Delivered
Jun 18, 2019
7:18 am
Shanghai, CN
In transit
Jun 17, 2019
9:03 pm
Beijing, CN
International Clearance
Jun 17, 2019
8:14 am
Anchorage, AK, US
In transit
Jun 17, 2019
12:17 am
Memphis, TN, US
In transit
Jun 16, 2019
4:30 pm
Ottawa, ON, CA
Pickup Scan

Disclaimer!

While we have made every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, Customs laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult a licensed broker for this country before shipping any goods.

Types of Shipments

Not all types of shipments are created equal. Shipping a television will require different paperwork, duties, and taxes than shipping an accounting statement, for example.
documents only

Documents Only

Document shipments are considered non-dutiable and do not require export documentation (i.e. they don’t require a commercial invoice or any other export documents).

Items considered documents only for China:

  • Paper documentation
  • Contracts
  • Blueprints
  • Tickets
  • Account Statements
  • Invoices
  • Training Material
  • and more..

Not-Eligible:

  • Books
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • and more..
Shipping Gifts

Shipping Gifts

Gifts that are valued less than 1,000 CNY (approximately 200 Canadian Dollars) are exempt from duties and taxes, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The words “Gift Shipment” and “Personal Shipment” are included on the commercial invoice
  • A detailed description and name of each item is provided
  • A copy of the receiver’s passport is provided

NOTE: Shipments from businesses are not considered to be gifts.

Sources:
http://www.dhl.com/en/express/customs_support/customs_paperwork/customs_guidelines_china.html
https://www.fedex.com/en-ca/shipping-services/international/regulatory/china-customs-information.html

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Smith Family in Hong Kong
James Smith
1 Jin Cheng Fang Street
E Financial Street
Hong Kong, 518003, China

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 16 Jun 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 each Gift Shipment: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $79.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $79.99
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping personal effects/belongings

Shipping Personal Effects

Personal effects refer to separately shipped passenger's luggage, gifts exchanged between relatives and friends. They must be declared as personal effects, be of a reasonable quantity, and must be for personal use.

Shipments from Hong Kong, Macao, must show the declared value less than 800 CNY (about 160 CAD) and the assessed duty and tax value must be less than 400 CNY (about 80 CAD.

When shipping personal effects from Canada, the declared value must be less than 1,000 CNY (about 200 CAD) and the assessed duty and tax value must be less than 500 CNY (about 100 CAD).

Personal effects are declared through the simplified clearance process and a packaging list along with a commercial invoice is required. The commercial invoice must include each item listed along with their value and the words “Personal Effects” in the goods description section.


In order to qualify for duty free exemption, the following conditions must be met:

  • The words “Personal Effects” are stated on the commercial invoice under General Description and Detail Description of Goods
  • Be of reasonable quantity and for personal use
  • The declared value must be less than 1,000 CNY (if over, you'll pay duties on it)
  • Passport with valid visa and entry/exit stamp by immigration
  • A Packing List is also included

Source:
http://english.customs.gov.cn/Statics/4d9ec32c-efea-4a5f-9b33-e18f337c0cc5.html

Sample Commercial Invoice for Personal Effects

Ship To Invoice
Shanghai Community Centre
James Smith
1 Jin Cheng Fang Street
E Financial Street
Shanghai, 200081, China

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal effects being delivered to my new address

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 16 Jun 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
5 Pairs Personal Effects: 5 pairs of various types of shoes

IN $40.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Personal Effects
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $200.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping commercial samples

Samples / Commercial Samples

Samples are goods imported to facilitate the placing of an order. If the value of the shipment is equal to or less than 5,000 CNY and the total duty and tax amount does not exceed 50 CNY, the shipment will not require duties and taxes.

Non-dutiable sample shipments must be clearly described and noted as a “sample” on the commercial invoice. Customs will perform a physical inspection of any shipment containing samples that are sent with no declared commercial value.


Dutiable regardless of their value:

  • Motor vehicles
  • Bicycles
  • Watches
  • Televisions
  • Recorders
  • Radios
  • Electric gramophones
  • Cameras
  • Refrigerators
  • Sewing machines
  • Photocopiers
  • Air conditioners
  • Electric fans
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Acoustic equipment
  • Video recording equipment
  • Video cameras
  • Amplifiers
  • Projectors
  • Calculators
  • Electronic microscopes
  • Electronic color analyzers and their major part

In order to qualify for duty free exemption, the following conditions must be met:

  • The word “Sample” is stated on the commercial invoice under General Description and Detail Description of Goods
  • Is not a dutiable item
  • The declared value must be less than 5,000 CNY

Source:
http://english.customs.gov.cn/Statics/d30338b4-2f6a-47ea-a008-cff20ec0a6d2.html

Sample Commercial Invoice for Commercial Sample

Ship To Invoice
Beijing Books
James Smith
1 Jin Cheng Fang Street
E Financial Street
Beijing, 100003, China

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Commercial Sample - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 16 Jun 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 each Commercial Sample - Advanced reading copy of Dan Brown's novel, Origin

HTS Code: 4901.99.00.01
CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Commercial Sample
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Promotional Material

Advertising Material / Marketing Material

Similar to samples, all advertising material or marketing material shipments become dutiable unless the duty value is less than 50 CNY (about $10 CAD), or listed as having no commercial value.

NOTE: All shipments that are declared as having no commercial value undergo a strict examination and inspection.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Promotional Material

Ship To Invoice
Shenzhen Trade Show
James Smith
1 Jin Cheng Fang Street
E Financial Street
Shenzhen, 518009, China

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Promotional Material - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 16 Jun 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Promotional Material: Not for Resale. Product pamphlets to hand out at trade show.

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Promotional Material
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Repairs

Repairs

When importing commodities for repair, the following is required to obtain duty free exemption:

  • Commercial Invoice (3 copies)
  • Repair Contract or the original export contract that contains a warranty clause
  • Items being repaired must be re-exported within the time limit prescribed by Chinese Customs

When these documents are provided and the importer provides the deposit to Customs, commodities returned to China for repair will be released duty free.

Source:
http://english.customs.gov.cn/Statics/53a77dc4-c835-460a-b773-f5f7cef63a33.html

Sample Commercial Invoice for Warranty Repair

Ship To Invoice
Guangzhou Repair Shop
James Smith
1 Jin Cheng Fang Street
E Financial Street
Shenzhen, 510045, China

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Repair and Return - Watch being sent for repair

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 16 Jun 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Fossil Watch being sent for repair - Model E5, serial # 789456FG7E2 - Repair Cost $76.00

CN $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Warranty Repair
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Temporary Imports / Exports

Temporary Imports

If goods are to be temporarily imported for use in China, there are ways to avoid having to pay import duties or taxes, provided certain conditions are met.

There are 2 ways to do a temporary import into China. Each method has pros and cons. Regardless, each of the following methods requires you to complete a commercial invoice.

1. Complete a Commercial Invoice only


This is the simplest and quickest option. See example.

You should be aware that shipping using this method doesn’t guarantee that your items will be imported duty/tax free. Not all brokers will clear goods as temporary imports (i.e. UPS, Fedex, DHL) nor is it a guarantee that customs won’t charge any duties and taxes.

2. Apply for an ATA Carnet


This option is great for items that frequently travel in and out of the country. It’s also great because once you have an ATA Carnet, it is accepted by 176 countries worldwide making the application process a one-time thing.

In addition to declaring your commercial invoice as a temporary import, you can get an ATA Carnet for the items that are of temporary nature.

ATA Carnets are beyond the scope of the article however, you can find more information here: http://www.chamber.ca/carnet/



The types of approved temporary imports include:

  • Goods displayed or used in exhibitions, fairs, meetings or similar activities
  • Articles for performance or contests used in cultural or sports exchanges
  • Devices, equipment or articles used in news reporting, or the shooting of films or television programmes
  • Devices, equipment or articles used in scientific, teaching, and medical activities
  • Transportation vehicles and special types of vehicles used in activities listed in the items above
  • Samples (refer to samples of goods used in exhibition, operation demo, reference of goods supplied and ordered, and samples of goods detected and tested, but excluding the identical goods that exceed the reasonable quantity imported or exported by the same consignee or consignor)
  • Apparatus, equipment and articles used in charity activities
  • Apparatus and tools used for the installing, debugging, testing and repairing the equipments
  • Containers for goods
  • Self-driving vehicles as well as the articles thereof used for traveling
  • Equipment, apparatus and articles used in the construction of projects
  • Other goods temporarily imported or exported as approved by Customs.


In order to qualify for duty free exemption, the following conditions must be met:

  • The words “Temporary Imported” are stated on the commercial invoice under General Description and Detail Description of Goods
  • Item qualifies for temporary import (see list above)
  • Indicate the expected date of export on the Commercial Invoice
  • If the item is leaving the country, show the original tracking number on the Commercial Invoice
  • Can only remain in China for 6 months (unless extension has been granted)

Sources:
http://english.customs.gov.cn/Statics/7fb7fc01-c3ef-4d09-9ef2-8c69e3dba127.html
http://www.customscounsel.com/en/lawyer/4facbb7c7c034dd7945117d76d50147d/30554.html

Sample Commercial Invoice for Temporary Imports

Ship To Invoice
Tianjin Show
James Smith
1 Jin Cheng Fang Street
E Financial Street
Tianjin, 300103, China

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment returning Jan 2020

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 16 Jun 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 box Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment

CA $1032.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Temporary Imports
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1032.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
permanent goods / sold to

Permanent/Sold Goods

Importing and selling goods in China can be very lucrative for businesses, however, it’s important to understand the regulations before getting started to avoid any unnecessary headaches or potential legal troubles.

Before importing into China it’s important to check if you product will require a China Compulsory Certification (CCC) mark. Commodities listed in the official commodity catalog cannot leave the manufacturing facility, be imported into China, or be used in any business operational activities inside of China without obtaining the CCC mark.

The Chinese government agency, Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA), will administer the CCC mark certification process. The China Quality Certification Center (CQC) has been designated by the CNCA to process the CCC mark applications. Chinese Customs may hold products not meeting the CCC requirements and impose penalties on the importers or consignees.

The following is an abbreviated listing of the commodities requiring certification:

  • Appliances for home or similar usage
  • Audio/video devices
  • Circuit switches and electric devices used for protection
  • Electric tools
  • Electric welding machines
  • Electric wires and cables
  • Information technology devices
  • Lighting devices (for example, electrical lamps, electrical lights)
  • Low power electric motors
  • Low voltage electric apparatuses
  • Motor vehicle and safety accessories
  • Motor vehicle tires
  • Safety glass
  • Telecommunication terminal devices

Additionally, spare parts and replacement parts may, in some cases, require CCC certification or may qualify for an exemption (requires an application form).

The full list of affected commodities and the CCC online application guide are available from the CQC Web site at http://www.ccc-cn.org/ccccatalog.htm.

In addition to the CCC mark, goods must have the country of origin printed or embossed on each item- “Made in Canada” for example. The country of origin must also be included on the Commercial Invoice.

You should also check to see if your product will require a safety license or other special clearance documentation. For example, medicines, foodstuffs, animal and plant products, electronics, and mechanical products require a safety license.

Source:
http://www.ccc-certificate.org/en/

Required Documents

Shipping packages internationally requires a lot of documentation. This process alone can be confusing and time consuming. So we’ve narrowed down what documents you might need and ranked them based on likeliness of being needed.

Document Type When? Details
Shipping Label / Bill of Lading Always required This is a label provided by the carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.). Always required because the carrier needs to know the parcel’s destination.
Commercial Invoice Required for all non-document shipments
For all non-document shipments, you will require 3 copies of the commercial invoice (to be included with your shipping labels - These are for customs purposes and need to be included inside a document pouch outside of the box.

When creating a shipment through the Secureship website, the system will help you create this document automatically.

B13a Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good
A B13a is required if your shipment exceeds $2000 CAD or is a controlled good

Learn more about the B13a form here.
Certificate of Origin (COO) Infrequently required

Allows a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Canada has a preferential trade agreement with China. A COO proves that an item has been produced, manufactured or processed in Canada.

When an item with a COO is imported into China, it will incur a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Certificate of Insurance (COI) Infrequently required

Shows that the shipment has been insured.
Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.
ATA Carnet Infrequently required

Used to avoid duties and taxes on shipments of temporary nature.
If you ship goods of temporary nature to and from a country, you can obtain an ATA Carnet to expedite the customs clearance process and ensure that anything of temporary nature is not charged duties and taxes.

See temporary import section
Packaging List Infrequently required Packaging list is required by the shipper when:
  • CIF (Cost + Insurance + Freight) > 5000 RMB
  • import license, permit, or special clearance documents are required
  • For all personal effects shipments.

How To Package

When sending packages to China, a very important factor to consider is the packaging. Improper packaging can lead to damaged goods, delays in delivery time, and risk your shipment being rejected by Customs authorities.

Your packaging needs to meet ISTA 3A Standards (International Safe Transit Association 3A Standard) to be eligible for an insurance claim should the shipment become damaged.

If you’re looking for the best way to package your product, it might be worth trying the the UPS Packaging Advisor. There you will find recommendations based on the size, weight, and contents of your package.

Minimum packaging standard for shipments to China

You can reduce the risk of damage by:

  • Packing the container with at least 2” of padding between the product and the wall of the container
  • Using at least 2” of padding between each product
  • Using adequate cushioning material
  • Using a double corrugated cardboard box


For more information on proper packaging, check out our guide Shipping 102: Your Packaging Responsibilities.

Prohibited & Restricted Imports

The list of restricted and prohibited items changes often, so it's always best to check the official customs page prior to sending your packages.


Prohibited

  • Weapons
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Money
  • “Fake goods” or “knock-offs”
  • Used electrical equipment
  • Marijuana (including medicinal and synthetic)
  • Narcotics
  • E-Cigarettes
  • Printed or electronic media harmful to China's politics, economy, culture, and/or ethics
  • Banned chemicals
  • Poisons
  • Animals and animal products
  • Antiques
  • Real Furs
  • Gambling Devices

Restricted

  • One pet dog
  • One pet cat
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes & Cigars
  • Seeds
  • Transceiver communication devices (if you plant to leave it in China)
  • Plants and plant products
  • Prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • Medical or dental supplies & equipment
  • Foodstuff
  • Bible (up to 3 copies)

Sources:
http://english.customs.gov.cn/Statics/d0fbbedd-ff9f-41e2-a928-ddfac0ee00f6.html
http://english.customs.gov.cn/service/guide?c=e6fb7440-5df2-4e87-bf92-c4eb697324d8&k=45

Duty & Taxes

Import duty and taxes in China are calculated based on the sum of the Customs Value, Insurance Amount, and Freight costs (shipping costs). This is known as CIF.
CIF Value = Customs Value + Insurance Amount + Freight Costs

Using the CIF Value, you can predict how much Duty & Tax the recipient would have to pay the Chinese government to receive their goods.


Thresholds

Some countries provide a Duty & Tax Threshold (i.e. de minimus) which means that below a certain amount, no Duties or no Taxes are charged on the import of that shipment.

Currency Chinese Yuan (CNY)
TAX (VAT / GST) 16%
Duty Exemption
(De minimus Value)
0 USD
Tax Exemption
(De minimus Value)
0 USD
Threshold Method CIF
Tax & Duty Calc Method CIF
 
Duties on Imports
  • Mobiles 0%
  • Tablets 0%
  • Computers & Laptops 0%
  • Cameras 0-15%
  • Beauty Products & Cosmetics 6.5%
  • Shirts & Pants 14-16%
  • Coats 16-25%
  • Watches 11-23%
  • Jewelry 17-35%
  • Home Appliances 10-15%
  • Toys 0%
  • Sports Equipment10-24%
  • Documents 0%
  • Accessories for Electronics 0-2.7%


NOTE: The numbers above are based on the item’s Country of Origin (manufacture) being a part of the Most-Favored Nation (MFN). If the Country of Origin is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), then it is part of the MFN and hence gets the above Duty rates. Please keep in mind that we do make an effort to keep the numbers above updated, but if exact numbers are needed, please contact a customs broker at the destination company.

Sources:
http://tariffs.hktdc.com
https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/china-chine/market-facts-faits-sur-le-marche/125684.aspx?lang=eng

Shipping Insurance

You can purchase insurance through Secureship and it is provided by the carrier that will be transporting your shipment.

Each carrier will charge a different amount per $100 of declared insurance. If you indicate that you need insurance for your shipment our system will automatically include the insurance costs for your shipment.

Insurance is great to have in case your package is accidentally lost or damaged by the carrier. But be careful, not everything you ship is insurable. Worse - even if your package contains items that are insurable, if it doesn’t meet the ISTA 3A packaging standard, the insurance purchased through the carrier would not be available to you.

Here are some items that cannot be insured by the carrier:

  • Personal belongings
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Liquids (including alcohol)
  • Television
  • Jewellery in excess of $500
  • Perishable goods
  • Glass or Ceramic
  • And many more items

For more information, please see the carrier's terms and conditions.

Additional Resources