Learn How China Custom Clearance Works

by Robert Warren

There is nothing easy or simple about China Customs Clearance as it can be a tiresome and time-consuming process. If all the procedures and standards are not followed, or even a single document missing, the goods can be sent back or even demolished. Either way, it is essential to understand how the customs clearance works in advance. 

What follows is exactly that, in an introduction to everything you need to know about the customs clearance process and everything you need to do so it goes as smooth as possible. 

To that end, here is a list of some of the most basic items that you need to export your goods from China. 


These are the two most common quality certificates. CCC stands for China Compulsory Certification, whereas CFDA is a certificate that is needed for health food products.

Harmonized Codes

Harmonized Codes or simply HC are used everywhere in the world for classifying products. The correct codes can help them customs officers determine the type of products they are looking at. Simultaneously, wrong codes can be the cause of great confusion and issues that might easily prolong the delivery of the goods.

GB Standards

Based on your HS codes, the customs officers can tell which Guobiao (GB) standards need to be fulfilled. There are different GB standards assigned to the different types of products. In case you don’t own the necessary test reports or certifications, you need to show the CIQ declaration.

Other Documents 

  • Import license
  • Customs declaration
  • Sales/trading contract
  • Authorization and Entrustment Agreement for Customs Clearance
  • Bill of lading
  • Handbook of processing trade
  • Cargo manifest
  • Sanitary and health manifest
  • Quality certificates

And many potential others as this is quite a fluid matter as new laws and regulations are introduced from time to time. That is why it is recommended to check with the Chinese customs authorities before you begging to gather all the necessary documents.

The alternative to the do-it-all-yourself approach, taking care of all the formalities, protocols, and documents, is to hire a company specialized in logistics and customs brokerage. 

Hiring a company to take care of all that can save you a ton of potential troubles along the way. The best ones know pretty much all that is to know about custom clearance in China, are always updated with the latest protocols, and are very thorough in their work.

The only real downside is that they have their fees, which you need to cover. But, their fees are nothing compared to the cost of your products being returned or stuck at the customs warehouses.

In Conclusion

Hiring a reputable company to help you with Chinese custom is the best way to have your products cleared as soon as possible. However, you need to find a company that can be considered reputable and has been in business for many years. It goes without saying that their track record needs to be impeccable.

Typically, a combination of a good track record, a long list of satisfied clients, and years of experience point to a great company.

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