Things you need to know when shipping to China
As the shipment's owner, you need to be present in China when it arrives, and you MUST supply Seven Seas Worldwide with your confirmed arrival date before shipping. Please note that if your shipment lands in the country any later than six months after your arrival date, we'll not be able to obtain customs clearance and will be forced to send it back to its origin country, and you'll have to pay the additional costs.
You will need to complete our online documentation which includes forms for an inventory of your shipment, insurance on your shipment, power of attorney and, for personal effects and household items, completion of the relevant Customs form.
You will need to upload scans of your passport: the picture page and your visa page, Power of Attorney, and a photograph of yourself with your open passport showing the picture page. Also, Chinese nationals from the mainland must provide a copy of their Chinese ID card for customs clearance.
Upon your arrival in China, you will need to declare your unaccompanied baggage so take the RED Channel at the airport and present your completed “Customs Baggage Declaration Form for Incoming Passengers” to the Customs officer. The Declaration must be stamped by Customs at the airport.
Chinese Custom Authorities may need to examine your original documentation, such as your original passport, Chinese I.D and/or work/resident permit. In such an event, our local Seven Seas Worldwide Guangzhou Office will contact you to inform you of what documents are required.
If you fail to provide your Customs Declaration Form and/or any other documents required by Chinese Customs on time, your shipment will be delayed and will not qualify for the tax exemption allowance.
If you have already returned to China and hold a Chinese passport, if you want to ship but are unable to obtain the original “China Customs Baggage Declaration Form for Incoming Passengers”, you will need to:
- Pay all taxes and duties, your shipment does not qualify for the CNY 5000 allowance.
- Provide your entry stamp and a letter of reason, which must include the date of your arrival into China, the reason for not obtaining the declaration form and confirmation that you will pay all tax and duties on your items.
Guidance for Chinese and non-Chinese passport holders
Guidance for Chinese passport holders
Chinese passport holders will be liable to pay import tax and duties. if the value of the shipment exceeds CNY 5000.
Guidance for Chinese passport holders living overseas for less than 1 year
Chinese passport holders living overseas for less than 1 year will not be allowed to ship any furniture into China.
Guidance for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan passport holders who have a Chinese residence permit valid for 5 years or longer
Residents from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan with a residence permit valid for 5 years are entitled to duty-free entry, excluding new items, books and single items valued at more than CNY 5,000. Chinese customs authorities may need to examine your original documentation, including your residence and mainland travel permits. In such a case, Seven Seas Worldwide (Guangzhou Office) will inform you of the documents you must provide and when.
Guidance for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan passport holders with a mainland travel permit and no residence permit valid for 5 years or longer
Residents from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan with a mainland travel permit but no residence permit valid for more than 5 years must pay import tax and duties if the value of their shipment exceeds CNY 2,000. Also, these permit holders cannot ship furniture into China as they can only import a maximum of 2 cubic meters.
Guidance for non-Chinese passport holders in possession of a Chinese Visa which is valid for LESS than 1 year
Non-Chinese passport holders in possession of a Chinese Visa which is valid for LESS than 1 year will be liable to pay import tax and duties, if the value of the shipment exceeds CNY 2000. You will not be allowed to ship any furniture into China.
Guidance for non-Chinese passport holders in possession of a Chinese Visa which is valid for 1 year or MORE
Non-Chinese passport holders in possession of a Chinese Visa which is valid for 1 year or MORE will be entitled to duty free entry if in possession of a work or residence permit, excluding any new item and books. The total value of the shipment will include all accompanied and unaccompanied items. The Chinese Custom Authorities may need to examine your original documentation, such as your original passport, Chinese ID, work/resident permit. In such an event, you will be informed what documents are needed by our Seven Seas Worldwide (Guangzhou Office).
Guidance for non-Chinese passport holders
Non-Chinese passport holder importing items exceeding 2 cubic meters, Chinese Custom Authorities may need to examine your original documentation, such as your original passport, Chinese ID, and/or work/resident permit (1 year or more) and any other documents. In such an event, our local Seven Seas Worldwide Guangzhou Office will contact you to inform you of what documents are required.
Restrictions affect many items being imported into China, for example sending milk powder is prohibited and can lead to you being prosecuted and possibly imprisoned. At Seven Seas Worldwide our aim is to make the shipping process stress-free and simple, with that in mind we have created a comprehensive list of prohibited goods along with any service based restrictions.
Quantity limits and high duty items
Quantity limits for certain items
Books, CDs, DVDs and Vinyl records can only have a maximum of 50 pieces per type to be imported, e.g. 50 books, etc, more than 50 pieces will be classified as commercial goods and importation blocked.
High level of taxes and duties for certain items
The tax and duty on TVs and golf clubs are very high, so please consider if it is worth it before you pack them, once imported the taxes and duties must be paid.
False Declaration Liabilities and Penalties
False declarations made within the packing list may lead the Chinese Customs authorities to impose administrative charges or in extreme cases the imposition of criminal charges and judicial prosecution. There may also be ongoing liability for demurrage, detention and other associated costs. These costs may exceed the shipping and freight costs already paid and can escalate to thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of Yuan.
Please refrain from using mothballs in your boxes, bags and suitcases, as they produce a potent smell that affects surrounding containers and could lead to serious health issues. Mothballs are made of naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, which are toxic to humans and pets and can cause headaches, nausea, eye and nose irritation, and coughing simply by breathing in the fumes. In more severe cases, exposure could lead to hemolytic anaemia and liver and lung damage. Furthermore, children and pets could mistake these small, colourful balls for food and ingest them.
Item inventory form
Upon arrival in China, all shipments of personal belongings are x-rayed. The inventory listing the contents of the container is then compared to the x-ray image. If they don't match, the shipment is opened and physically inspected by Customs Officials, causing delays and additional charges. Customers can use this form to list their inventory.
Please note that the information contained in this document is for guidance purposes only. Seven Seas Worldwide is not liable for any inaccuracy, error or omission contained within this document. For official guidance, please refer to the China Customs official website.