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General trade refers to the import or export of goods by Chinese enterprises with import and export rights. Goods involved in general trade transactions are referred to as general trade goods.
Under the Customs Law of the People's Republic of China, imported goods are subject to customs supervision from entry to completion of customs procedures. Similarly, exported goods are under customs supervision from declaration to exit. Customs supervision also applies to goods in transit, transshipment, and through transport, covering the entire journey from entry to exit. The consignee of imported goods and the shipper of exported goods must truthfully declare to customs, provide import/export permits, and submit relevant documents. Goods that require import/export permits as per state regulations will not be released without proper documentation.
Import/export contracts, commercial invoices, packing lists;
Ocean/airway bills of lading, certificate of origin;
Original packaging images of imported products, translated versions of the original packaging, and Chinese labels (especially important for products with multiple specifications, as each specification must be provided);
Other declaration materials required by customs
Please note that customs requirements may vary slightly at different ports.
Documents required from foreign suppliers:
Documents required from domestic importers:
Other documents: automatic import license (for edible oil and dairy products)
Before importing, companies should inquire in advance about the entry requirements for the product, especially for regulated items such as aquatic products, meat products, dairy products, and plant-based foods produced overseas.
Companies can conduct a pre-labeling review and affix pre-approved Chinese labels to imported products overseas. This helps minimize the risks associated with Chinese labeling requirements and eliminates the need to label products domestically, potentially expediting customs clearance.
After completing customs clearance procedures and receiving imported food, companies must obtain the necessary inspection, quarantine, and health certificates before engaging in sales or any other activities involving the goods.
If eligible for preferential tariff rates, companies should prepare and mail the original documents in advance to ensure all customs clearance documents are ready before the goods arrive at the port.
Food: What if a product does not fall under the 18 food categories for export to China?
Overseas manufacturers of food products that do not belong to the 18 categories, can apply for registration with the General Administration of Customs (GACC) through the simplified "self-application by enterprise" mode on the China International Trade Single Window.
Food: How long does it take for overseas manufacturers of food products to receive a response after applying for self-registration?
Based on the current application submission status, the estimated response time is 5-10 working days. However, the actual time may vary depending on factors such as product quantity, raw material quantity, and information about the production-related companies, which can impact the approval time. The customs' approval for registration applications can be directly viewed through the system.
How to fill in the system for raw materials and compound ingredients? Can we only complete the mandatory fields marked with an asterisk during online submission? Can the applicant choose to selectively fill in other non-mandatory fields based on the situation?
To fill in the raw materials and ingredients in the system, go to the "Production-related information" section. The required information includes the name of the raw material/ingredient, country of origin, and proportion of the product. If the same ingredient comes from multiple suppliers and countries, all of them should be filled in. While the customs does not currently specify any exempted fields, it is recommended that companies provide complete and accurate information by filling in all the raw materials and (compound) ingredients provided by their upstream suppliers.
Food: Regardless of recommended registration by the competent authority in the country (region) or self-registration by the production company, will the General Administration of Customs conduct an assessment and review of the overseas production company? In what form and when will this be arranged?
Irrespective of recommended registration or self-registration, the General Administration of Customs will assess and review the overseas production company. The form of inspection, such as written examination, video examination, on-site examination, or a combination thereof, will depend on the food risk registration. The final review procedure will be determined based on the announcement by the General Administration of Customs.
Cosmetics: Is registration/filing qualification required for cosmetics imported in bulk and then repackaged in China?
Cosmetics imported in bulk and subsequently repackaged are considered as cosmetic ingredients during the import process. After repackaging, they should be registered or filed as domestically produced cosmetics. Registration or filing certificates are not required during the import process.
Cosmetics: Is an import permit required for importing cosmetics in China?
The preparatory work before import declaration includes obtaining the registration/filing qualification for importing cosmetics from the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China. Additionally, the registration of the domestic consignee must be completed. If the product's ingredients involve endangered species, an import permit for endangered species is also required.
+86 571 8659 2517
+86 180 5841 8258