The below information is a brief summary of customs regulations when you plan your international shipping to China. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate to make sure you have all the information you need before you make your move. Contact the nearest China Embassy.

China officially announced emergency quarantine regulations effective January 1, 2000.  China will be requiring USDA certification of heat treatment for all conifer (i.e. pine, spruce, hemlock or fir) solid wood packing material (SWPM) OR exporter certification that none of the packing material in the shipment is conifer wood.  The regulations apply to both air and sea shipments.   SWPM includes but is not limited to, dunnage, crating, pallets, packing blocks, drums, cases, spools and skids. 

Improperly certified shipments are subject to one of three actions:

  1. The shipment can be returned to origin.
  2. The shipment can be separated from the packing material, at the importer’s expense.   The packing material would be destroyed.
  3. If the shipment cannot be separated from the packing material and is not returned to origin, then both the shipment and packing material would be destroyed.

For additional information concerning this topic visit Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service from the USDA at and look under “hot Topics” on the home page.

When you plan your international shipping to China, The following documents are required for customs clearance:

  • Visa/Work Visa
  • Foreign Expert Certificate
  • Identity Card
  • Residence Card/Permit
  • Original Passport and Authorization Letter
  • Residency Registration (to obtain Green Card)
  • Application for Customs Sealed Letter (three copies)
  • Letter of Employment Certification (preferably in Chinese) from employer’s registered China Office, or Chinese host organization, certifying that Customer will be either personnel of Foreign Resident Office, or Foreign Expert
  • Detailed inventory in English (describing general carton contents – PBO “packed by owner” and “misc.” not acceptable)
  • Arrival Customs Declaration (to be completed by Customer on arrival at port of entry)
  • Application for import of personal effects (Import Permit)
    • List of goods and quantity to be imported must be in Chinese
    • Must list all items planned for import within six months from the date of approval of the application, even if not contained in the first shipment
  • Certificate of Origin may be required
  • Customs Permit (must be approved prior to arrival of goods)
    • Customs Permit and inventory must MATCH EXACTLY!!
  • Health Certificate
    • Full physical examination with blood test to prove evidence of absence of communicable diseases, especially AIDS

When shipping goods overseas to China, The following items customs guidelines will need to be met:

  • Personal registration of owner of the goods and employer’s registration must be approved before arrival of the shipment
  • Used household goods and personal effects are dutiable for Chinese persons holding a foreign passport and foreigners entering China for an extended period of time (not holding a Residence Card)
  • Only one air and one sea shipment may be imported within six months of Customer
  • Shipments are subject to physical inspection by Customs

When shipping goods overseas to China, The following items are dutiable and/or restricted:

  • Alcohol and tobacco products
  • Foodstuff
  • Office supplies and furniture must be for personal use
  • Office equipment can not be imported as personal effects and are dutiable (i.e. copiers and fax machines)
  • Electrical/electronic items (new or used) are subject to import duties (including computers) make, model, and serial number must be on inventory
  • One of each electrical/electronic item per customer may be imported such as TV’s, stereos, refrigerators, VCR’s, washer/dryer
  • Audio cassette tapes, video cassette tapes, compact discs, etc. (limited importation applies) will be inspected by Customs Office
  • Cordless or portable phones (Import Permit required)
  • Radio transmitters and components
  • Bicycles
  • Oriental antiques and objects d’art must be declared in detail, otherwise re-export might be prohibited
  • Textiles and fabrics of wool, silk and artificial and synthetic fibers and bedding
  • Cosmetics
  • Cameras, watches, clocks and their parts and accessories
  • Small quantity of prescription medicines may be allowed (with a copy of the prescription)
  • Computers/printers – only one of each item allowed per customer
  • Dutiable/restricted items must be clearly indicated on the inventory and loaded last for easy access

When shipping goods overseas to China, The following items are prohibited from entry into the country:

  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Drugs or poisons
  • Fresh food, especially meat
  • Pornographic and subversive literature, films, tapes, etc.
  • Endangered and rare animals and their products

When shipping Motor Vehicles overseas to China, The following documents and regulations will apply:

  • Motorcycles are prohibited
  • Privately owned vehicles are considered a luxury item and are dutiable
  • Restrictions and taxes depend on the type and size of vehicle
  • Subject to import duties of up to 200%
  • Documents must be provided to support the age and value of the auto
  • Documents required:
    • Written application to Customs Office
    • Import Cargo Declaration
    • Invoice

Moving Pets to China: The following documents must be presented for the importation of pets:

  • Only one pet per Residence Permit, regulations for licensing of dogs are complicated and strict
  • Health Certificate and original Certificate of Rabies Vaccination is required
  • Subject to strict quarantine regulations
  • Veterinary inspection must be arranged by owner upon arrival

If you are moving your household, commercial goods or motor vehicles to Shanghai, Beijing or to another other city, please give us a call to go over any questions you may have on import

The regulations are subject to change without notice. Our company is not liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance.