Customs Regulations

Posted on 19-Feb-2022

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects
Documents Required

Original passport with residence permit (valid at least 12 months)
Original work permit (valid at least 12 months)
Packing inventory list in English or Chinese (diplomat list must be signed and itemized)
Ocean bill of lading (OBL) / telex release / air waybill (AWB)
Arrival notice (sea shipments)
List of electronic items
Baggage declaration form, if applicable (2 copies, matching identically)
Alcohol / wine list
Original passport with diplomatic visa (diplomats)
Consulate officer certificate (diplomats)
Import permit (consulate or embassy must apply for diplomats)
Diplomatic card (diplomats)
Pro-forma invoice (diplomats)
Specific Information

All non-diplomatic household goods shipments are subject to import duties.
There are no duties on diplomatic shipments.
The import of personal effects must be arranged at least 6 months before the expiration of the residence permit.
The import of any luxury or high-value items into Beijing must be declared to Customs and the owner of the goods must have documented proof of value (i.e. receipt):
For foreigners any item over the value of RMB 5,000 (approximately US $730).
For returning citizens any item lower than RMB 1,000 (approximately US $146).
The import permit takes approximately 2-3 working days to process and is valid for 30 days after issuance.
The baggage declaration form is required by some cities only. 
Contact agent for more information.
Customs clearance for returning citizens takes approximately 10-12 business days.
Chinese passport holders should contact the agent for restrictions on import shipments.
It is recommended that each antique included in the shipment is photographed.
Diplomatic shipments are exempt from inspection, duties, and taxes.
If the owner of the goods has both, sea and air shipments, an import permit application for both shipments must be completed at the same time.
If the owner of the goods imports an additional shipment (air or sea), all items in the shipment are subject to tax and duty.
All electrical items must be clearly indicated on the inventory including; model, serial number and size.
Only one sea and one air shipment are allowed per residence permit.
Sea shipments take approximately 10-15 working days to clear Customs.
Air shipments take approximately 3-5 working days to clear Customs.
If gross weight is over 300 kg, it may take approximately 10-15 working days to clear Customs in some cities, e.g. Shanghai.
Estimates are based on completed documentation available at the time of shipment arrival and for Customs clearance.
Duty rates for air shipments are usually 30% higher than sea shipments.
An official Customs duty receipt will be issued and provided to the owner of the goods upon delivery.
Import duties for alcoholic beverages are extremely high and beverages are not recommended for inclusion in the shipment.
It is recommended that food items, alcohol, cosmetics, health products, and toiletries are not included in air shipments to China.
Business / tourist visas are issued for a maximum duration of stay for 30, 60, or 90 days as determined by the Chinese consulate overseas.
Wood packaging material imported into China must be heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide and properly marked according to ISPM-15 standards.
If a shipper has previously imported a shipment into China, their new shipment will be subject to full customs duty.
As of August 1, 2018, China accepts electronic documents from customs clearance.

Motor Vehicles
Documents Required

Original purchase invoice / log book with chassis and engine number
Details of the vehicle including brand name and style (e.g., sedan, SUV, color, vehicle identification number (VIN) number, etc.
Import permit (diplomats)

Specific Information

Only left-hand drive vehicles with no conversion can be imported.
Only persons with diplomatic card / working for a joint venture / a wholly-owned foreign company can import motor vehicles.
Automobiles manufactured prior to January 1, 2005, must comply with Euro IV standards and undergo environmental and mechanical inspections.
The import of motor vehicles, including automobiles, is not recommended for non-diplomatic shipments.

Documents Required 

Vaccination record
Veterinary health certificate

Specific Information 

Animals are subject 30 days quarantine upon arrival.

Animals are subject to examination by an inspector at the owner of the goods’ residence in China wi