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Shipping from Canada to China

A simple guide to help you ship your products to China quickly and easily

At FlagShip, we strive to make sure our policies, information and guidelines on our website are as accurate and up-to-date as possible. However, we are not customs brokers and this information is to be used as a guide. PLEASE consult your customs broker directly before shipping as customs laws and procedures often change without warning. 

For many Canadian businesses who ship products from Canada to China, securing an efficient and cost-effective courier service is critical to business success. At times, the process and paperwork may seem daunting but don’t worry; FlagShip has years of experience.

We’ve created easy-to-follow guidelines to help you navigate through shipping from Canada to China with our shipping service.

At FlagShip, our dedicated team can facilitate all your Canada to China shipping needs, here are just a few of the ways we can help:

All our information is compliant with the Canadian Government Trade Commission and other government resources to ensure we are up-to-date on all rules and regulations.

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Shipping from Canada to China

Start the process of shipping your goods from Canada to China by reviewing and comparing the best rates and service options from the most reliable carrier companies in the world.

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What are you shipping from Canada China?

FlagShip is ready to help you deliver your shipment to China – easier, faster and hassle-free. Here are some examples and guidelines for common products to simplify your shipment processing.

NOTE: There are special stipulations on commodities when shipping to China. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

To learn more click on any of the following:

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.

Personal effects refer to separately shipped items such as passenger luggage and 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).

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
  • Corporate Printed Matter
    Shipments of corporate printed matter with CIF value below RMB 5000 can be cleared via KJ3 declaration. (Weight limitation: Beijing, TianJin and Xian: not more than 30kg; Shanghai: not more than 50kg and below 99 books). However, shipments with CIF value more than RMB 5000 consignee must go through a state council authorized company (for example, China National Publications Import and Export (Group) Corporation, China International Book Trading Corporation and etc.) for entrustment and Customs clearance.
  • Personal Printed Matter & Audio / Visual Products
    • Personal shipments which meet below criteria may enter the country or territory duty and tax free.
      1. Less than TEN booklets, books, newspapers, periodicals per person
      2. Less than TWENTY audio / visual products per person
      3. Less than THREE sets of books or audio / visual products per person
    • Customs will impose duty and tax to the number of units that exceed the limits noted above, based on China Import and Export Tariff Regulations.
    • Personal shipments which meet below criteria may enter the country or territory duty and tax free.
      1. More than FIFTY books, newspapers, periodicals per person
      2. More than ONE HUNDRED audio / visual products per person
      3. More than 10 sets of books or audio / visual products per person

    Consignees could apply to return shipments should they encounter the above scenarios. Customs will process the applications based on the circumstances.

  • Religious printed matter and audio / visual products within reasonable amount are permitted to enter the country or territory. Consignee will need to apply license issued by the State Bureau of Religion Affairs, provincial religious affairs departments or the relevant administrative departments for shipments which quantities exceed the reasonable amount. Otherwise, customs will handle based on the China Customs Regulations Administrative Punishment. Sporadic religious printed matter and audio / visual products are prohibited.

Both shipper and consignee must register with China Inspection & Quarantine (CIQ). Required documents are listed below.

Shipper is to provide:

  • A Sanitation Certificate from the origin country or territory’s Quarantine Agency or official authorized quarantine body
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Examining Report

Consignee is to provide:

  • Food Label in Chinese
  • Veterinary & Plant Inspection and Quarantine Certificate

Shipments are subject to compulsory quarantine inspection.

Products from epidemic areas as identified by Chinese Quarantine Agency could be prohibited from importation. Importers are advised to inquire about such information from the local quarantine agency prior to importation.

Shipments of wood (for example, a log) which has not been chemically processed requires a Phytosanitary Certificate issued by the Plant Phytosanitary authorities of the exporting country or territory.

Wooden furniture and other processed wooden products do not require a Phytosanitary Certificate from origin, but the consignee must provide an official statement on the method of wood processing.

All items made of wood, cane, bamboo and rattan imported into China must undergo quarantine checks and compulsory clearance from China Inspection & Quarantine Bureau, which could add 1 to 2 days of delay.

In the event of non-compliance, the package will be treated, destroyed or re-exported. Charges will apply in these instances.

Camcorders
The consignee must provide China Compulsory Certification. Shipments are subject to compulsory quarantine inspection.

Cellular Telephones
The consignee must provide a China Compulsory Certification. Shipments are subject to compulsory quarantine inspection.

Shipments consigned to personal individuals are exempt (except for Shanghai, Shenzhen and Xiamen) and only ONE cellular telephone per personal shipment. For Shanghai (postal range 200000-247282, 310000-325811), Shenzhen and Xiamen, this requirement is further extended to personal items. The individual is required to obtain the CCC from the supplier or the manufacturer of the goods.

Computers
The consignee must provide a China Compulsory Certification. Shipments are subject to a compulsory quarantine inspection. Shipments consigned to personal individuals are exempt (except for Shanghai) and should be of reasonable quantity to qualify as personal usage. For Shanghai (postal range 200000-247282, 310000-325811) and Shenzhen, this requirement is further extended to personal items. The individual is required to obtain the CCC from the supplier or the manufacturer of the goods.

Electrical Items
For electrical and electronic items, China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) require the importer to provide a China Compulsory Certification (CCC) and shipments are subject to compulsory quarantine inspection. Shipper or consignee must ensure that CCC license is available prior to the shipments’ arrival in China. Otherwise the goods will have to either be returned to the origin or seized at destination.

Shipments consigned to individuals for personal use are exempted except for Shanghai. For Shanghai (postal range 200000-247282, 310000-325811), this requirement is further extended to personal items. The individual is required to obtain the CCC from the supplier or the manufacturer of the goods.

Laser Discs
The consignee must provide Audio/Video Production Importation Approval from the Ministry of Culture.

Radios and Radio Equipment
The consignee must provide Automatic Import License.

Satellite Equipment
The consignee must provide Automatic Import License.

Tapes (Audio, Video, Magnetic)
The importer must provide audio/video production importation approval from the Ministry of Culture.

Telecommunication Equipment
Shipments of mobile phones and other telephone equipment must be accompanied with a China Compulsory Certification and Automatic Import License. Shipments are subject to a compulsory quarantine inspection.

Televisions
The consignee must provide China Compulsory Certification and Automatic import license. Shipments are subject to a Compulsory Quarantine Inspection.

Used Electrical Equipment and Machinery
For used electronic items, consignee is required to furnish (1). Exemption of Pre-loading Inspection Certificate” or (2). Pre-Loading Inspection Certificate; and (3). are also required to obtain an Import Certificate for the goods, prior to shipment arrival in China. Shipments are subject to Compulsory Quarantine Inspection. Otherwise the goods will have to be either returned to origin, or seized at destination.

Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs)
Shipments containing audio/video equipment must clearly indicate the contents and purpose of import (for example, CD-ROM for training purposes). In the above example, invoices must also specify the type of training for which the CD-ROM is being used (for example, aircraft maintenance, system installation, or other). Shipments that do not meet the above requirements on the invoice will be subject to Customs holds or delays.

Note: A China Compulsory Certification and import license is required. All import license applications are issued through the representative/Branch office of the Ministry of Commerce in the respective cities/provinces.

Videos
The consignee must provide Audio/Video Production Importation Approval from the Ministry of Culture.

 

Cows, goats, sheep, and pigs are considered domesticated animals. All other animals are considered non-domesticated animals. Items or products made from non-domesticated animals are restricted in the UPS system and only allowed with a UPS ISC contract. CITES permit and additional restrictions may apply, please check with your local ISC Coordinator.

An Animal Quarantine Certification from the Quarantine Agency or official authorized quarantine body of origin country or territory is required. Shipments are subject to compulsory quarantine inspection.

Dental Instruments
Dental instruments and their parts with x-ray function require China Compulsory Certification. Electrical dental instruments require Automated Import License. All dental instruments will require Compulsory Quarantine Inspection.

Drugs (also see Medicine)
An import license is required for pharmaceutical products.

Medical Items
Most medical items are subject to compulsory quarantine inspection. This includes both the instruments and their components.

If the item runs on electricity, an Automated Import License is also required. In addition to that, particularly for Electrocardiograph, the importer must provide China Compulsory Certification and Automated Import License.

Medicine / Pharamceuticals (also see Drugs)
An Import License is needed for pharmaceutical products.

Fasteners (Made of Iron or Steel from the EU)
Due to the implementation of Temporary Anti-dumping Measures on Imported Iron or Steel Fasteners from the European Community by China’s Ministry of Commence, effective immediately, all imports of iron or steel fasteners (with Import Tariff Codes: 73181200, 73181400, 73181500, 73182100 & 7318220) should submit a certificate of origin (CO) to China Customs.

Original manufacturer invoice is also required should the country or territory of origin be stated as countries or territories of the European Community. Failure to comply may result in Customs imposing anti-dumping duty rates.

Photography Equipment and Supplies
The consignee must provide a China Compulsory Certificate. Shipments are subject to compulsory quarantine inspection. Shipments consigned to personal individuals are exempt (except for Shanghai) and should be of reasonable quantity to qualify as personal usage. For Shanghai (postal range 200000-247282, 310000-325811), this requirement is further extended to personal items. The individual is required to obtain the CCC from the supplier or the manufacturer of the goods.

Products Made in China
For duty/tax exemption, the original China export declaration is required.

Machinery
The importer must provide an Automatic Import License.

Parts
Import and export of motor vehicle, ship and aviation spare parts must be done through an authorized agent. China Compulsory Certification and Compulsory Quarantine are required. Shipments consigned to personal individuals are exempt (except for Shanghai) and should be of reasonable quantity to qualify as personal usage. For Shanghai (postal range 200000-247282, 310000-325811), this requirement is further extended to personal items. The individual is required to obtain the CCC from the supplier or the manufacturer of the goods.

Films
The consignee must provide Audio/Video Production Importation Approval from the Ministry of Culture.

Leather Goods
A CITES and import permit is required for leather made of endangered species. There is no restriction for common leather goods.

Milk Powder
Shipment which value is less than or equal to RMB1,000 and weight is less than or equal to 5 kg only is considered as personal shipment (see (Clearance Information) – Category 2: Personal Shipments). If either value or weight exceeds the allowance, most likely partial abandon will be required.

Paper
Uncoated paper and paperboard (raw before final processing) are subject to a Compulsory Quarantine Inspection.

Petfood
A Quarantine Certificate from the origin country or territory’s Quarantine Agency or official authorized quarantine body is required. Shipments are subject to compulsory quarantine inspection.

Timepieces (Watches, Clocks)
If comprised of endangered species leather, a CITES and Endangered Species Import Permit are required.

Tires
Consignee to provide China Compulsory Certificate. Shipments are subject to compulsory quarantine inspection.

Toys
Shipments are subject to a Compulsory Quarantine Inspection.

Books
All imports and exports of books must go through an authorized company for entrustment and Customs clearance processing. There is a fee for this service. There are two such companies, China National Publications Import and Export (Group) Corporation, and China International Book Trading Corporation.

Cosmetics
A Quarantine Certificate from the origin country or territory’s Quarantine Agency or official authorized quarantine body is required. Shipments are subject to a compulsory quarantine inspection. The Quarantine Certificate must certify the elements do not contain bovine and ovine.

Exhibition Goods
Goods which are destined for an exhibition may be subject to duty & tax. There are very detailed Customs regulations regarding goods for exhibitions that need to be followed by Destination Brokerage in regards to classification of the goods. Hence, shipments for exhibitions – which are normally time sensitive – should preferably have UPS Billing Option ‘Free Domicile’ in order to avoid possible delays in delivery due to payment issues in the destination country or territory. Shippers should ensure that the proforma invoice lists the name of a contact person and a valid phone/mobile phone number so that Brokerage in the destination country or territory can get in contact with the consignee of the goods in order to agree on the clearance procedure.

Samples of Detailed Merchandise Description

This is a chart sharing what should be indicated on the commercial invoice if sending the specific articles noted below.

Main Category Declaration Elements Invoice Description Samples
Apparel Brand, weaving method, sort, style, composition, internal packaging Womens shirt, woven, 100% cotton, Brand  Zara / No brand, packed in bag
Shoes Style, material, brand, internal packaging Womens boots, cow leather, no brand, packed in box
Appliances Specific description, usage, part number, brand, internal packaging Household distillation coffee machine, part number 123, no brand, packed in box
Tools Specific description, usage, material, types, brand, internal packaging Stainless steel household screwdriver, no brand, packed in plastic box
Foodstuffs Specific description, usage, packaging specifications, brand, internal packaging Infants milk powder, 900g, Brand Abbott, canned packaging
Printer What kind of printer, brand name, model No, internal packaging Used laser printer, Brand – Epson, Model No. 12345, packed in box
Cellphone Brand, size of screen, internal packaging Used cellphone, Brand – Apple 7 plus, 5 inches screen, packed in box
Integrated circuit What it is used for, Packed or not, multi-element or not, batch number, mass production or not, brand, internal packaging Integrated circuit, memory purpose, sealed, multi-element, batch# 123, mass production, brand IBM, packed in box

Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Defense Articles/Commodities
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Electronic Cigarette / Vaping Product
  • Gambling Devices
  • Guns and Firearms
  • Jewelry
  • Knives
  • Lithium Batteries
  • Military Equipment
  • Plants
  • Soil
  • USB Sticks
  • Weapons

China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) prohibits the following commodities into China:

  • Pathogens of plants and animals (including fungi and germina, etc.), pests and other hazardous life-forms
  • Relevant animals, plants, animal or plant products and other quarantinable products from plant and animal disease epidemic areas.

Personal Effects

Personal Effects (for example, unaccompanied baggage) are classified as used items intended for the consignee’s personal use. Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis. “Personal Effects” must be clearly stated on the invoice and goods description. Note: personal effects include items that an individual has owned prior to a foreign travel/trip.

Customers must use an authorized UPS Store, UPS Customer Center or an ISC approved shipper to ship personal effects. The UPS Store, UPS Customer Center and ISC approved shipper will be required to identify personal effect shipments on the shipping label by placing “ISC-Personal Effects” in the Reference Field of a UPS “smart” label or in the Special Instructions Field of a UPS waybill. They must also clearly indicate ‘Personal Effects’ shipment on the Commercial Invoice.

The customer is required to submit their passport, visa, & proof of entry to China (with arrival stamp on passport), an invoice with detailed itemized descriptions, value, freight & insurance & Explanation Letter of Import Purpose. With the above information, UPS China Brokerage will complete & submit Personal Import & Export Declaration Form to China Customs. China Inspection & Quarantine Bureau may require an inspection on shipment. Duties & taxes may be assessed by China customs and the shipment may experience transit delays and China customs may request physical inspection of the shipment.

Prohibited articles listed in the UPS service guide cannot be accepted as personal effects.

Call 1-866-320-8383 or email at support@flagshipcompany.com

All our customer service representatives (CSRs) are live every day during 8:00am – 5:00pm EST to help with all your questions about shipping from Canada to China (and other destinations around the world)! They are trained, certified and experienced in international shipping business procedures.

Packing List

In addition to the commercial invoice, a packing list must be provided by the shipper, which is required as a formal entry shipment.

Formal entry shipments are shipments that require import license/permit/quota/special clearance documents; and/or CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) value is above RMB 5000.

All bonded transfer shipments (import and export) at Zhengzhou, Xian and Wuhan require packing list.

Power of Attorney
All non-document shipments entering into China require a Single Entry Power of Attorney. There’s no blanket POA allowed. Only documents are exempt.

Postal code finder for China

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/essential/area_zip/

The importer must have an importer number or have their own customs broker.

If you are shipping to an international country and have been denied entry it must be shipped back to its original country

Tracking your shipments

Tracking your shipments

If you encounter any difficulty tracking your shipment, please to contact us to resolve the problem.

We are there to guide and assist.

Call 1-866-320-8383 or email at support@flagshipcompany.com