Many niche UK companies are establishing bases in China. Over the past 30 years, China has been transformed into a powerful economy with a vast capacity for manufacturing and exporting. Many European manufacturers have felt unable to compete with its ability to churn out a never-ending stream of cheap goods.

In this guide we will address some of the more common problems people face when sending a parcel to China, regardless if you are a small business sending your new product east, or sending a gift to a loved one.


Customs Clearance, Duties and Paperwork

All goods that go through customs are subject to duty and tax, aside from paperwork or documents. Customs charges are usually the responsibility of the recipient to pay upon entry, and are normally contacted by the local customs officials to agree on payment. Personal possessions, gifts for relatives or friends in China, or articles carried on behalf of another, must be declared if duty is required to be paid, or if they fall under one of the categories below.

Customs require a customs invoice that provides a clear and complete description of the goods, the country of manufacture, the individual vlaue of the goods and the reason to export. Most importantly – all items require a commodity/tariff code before sending them to China. You can click here to access one .

Our website generates one based on the information you're entering at the time of booking, making the process seem like a cake walk. Also kindly note that the duty and taxes will be ascertained by customs from the value of the items as well as the reason for export mentioned on your shipment.


Restricted Items

In addition to the prohibited and restricted items mentioned on our website, China is very strict on allowing entry of certain items, some of which are elaborated below:


Food Items:

China is very strict on allowing foodstuff past its borders. So if you happen to ship any food items, please be ready to know that all such shipments are subject to a Quarantine Inspection. This is in addition to a regular customs check, which may add extra time to the shipping process.

How to send a parcel to China


Any electronic items like laptops, mobile phones, handheld GPS devices and others must be accompanied by a China Compulsory Certification (CCC) from the China Inspection and Quarantine Services to pass through customs. The receiver must provide this to customs.

However, some electronic items are exempt from this if they are declared as personal effects – make sure to contact the Chinese customs authority ahead of booking if you are unsure.


Personal Effects, Luggage and Gifts:

Personal effects and luggage shipments are restricted for import into China. That means that you can send personal effects and luggage to China but you will be required to submit additional information and documentation to Chinese customs.

If you are booking one of our courier services to China you will need to ensure that all the necessary paperwork has been filled out for ‘personal effects’. Personal effects include items for personal use.

  • You must list every item and their value on the customs invoice, and you must enter ‘Personal Effects’ in the ‘goods description’ section when you book it online.

  • Chinese Customs will require a Personal Import & Export Declaration Form to be completed upon entry, and they will contact you and ask you to submit your passport, visa and proof of entry to China (arrival stamp) .

  • In some cases you may also be required to submit an Explanation Letter of Import Purpose.

  • Personal effects and luggage shipments will be subject to customs clearance inspection, duties and taxes to be paid, which may cause delays with delivery.



There are some items that are completely banned from entering into China. For example, any documents or pieces of media that the Chinese government believes undermine Chinese ideology or culture are illegal, and will be destroyed on sight. If you are not sure your item falls outside of this category then contact the official Chinese customs authority before shipping.

Also have a look how to ship outside EU.


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