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A guide to importing from China

A guide to importing from China

A guide to importing from China

Mar 21, 2022 by Veronica Chan
Tips for Small Businesses - How to Reduce Shipping Costs
If you’re thinking about starting your own business, having a product that you want to sell is crucial. There are many ways of going about it - creating your own product by using a manufacturer, purchasing it and reselling it to your customers or dropshipping. For all these options, one popular solution is sourcing and importing from China.
If you’re thinking about starting your own business, having a product that you want to sell is crucial. There are many ways of going about it - creating your own product by using a manufacturer, purchasing it and reselling it to your customers or dropshipping. For all these options, one popular solution is sourcing and importing from China.
The example above demonstrates the attractiveness of sourcing from China - an easy 6.5x price difference. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? In this guide, we will list down some of the important points when you source and import from China - so that you can do it right.
The example above demonstrates the attractiveness of sourcing from China - an easy 6.5x price difference. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? In this guide, we will list down some of the important points when you source and import from China - so that you can do it right.
Table of contents
  1. 1.1 Knowing your import, duties and custom rights.

  2. This will differ from country to country and is very important as you have to calculate the total costs.

  3. Here are some examples for your references: 

  1. 1.1 Knowing your import, duties and custom rights. 


  2. This will differ from country to country and is very important as you have to calculate the total costs.


  3. Here are some examples for your references: 

Indonesia
You will need documents such as The Original Certificate of Preferential Origin (CO), the Bill of lading or Airway Bill, custom declaration and the HS code of the items that you are importing.
Philippines
After you have obtained the documents needed, you need to fill an entry for your imports. It must be filed in the Customhouse within 30 days from the date of discharge of the last package from the vessel. If you do not file the entry, your shipment may be forfeited. There are also two kinds of entry - formal and informal where goods are segregated based on their value. For those of value less than P2000 is informal and for those more than P2000 is formal. If you are interested to read more, you can do so here
India
The process is about the same whereby you have to hire a custom clearing agent if you do not know about the documentations needed for custom clearance like the Bill of Entry etc. You can also calculate your custom duties and taxes here.
Kenya
Hire a licensed customs clearing agent to help you process the importation documents in the customs system and assist you in clearing goods on your behalf. Other than that, there may also be duties and taxes payable by you depending on the item you are importing. Some of these taxes/duties include import duties, value added tax (VAT) and excise duties. If you’d like to read more about this, the Kenya Revenue Authority would be a good place to start with. 
  1. 1.1 Knowing your import, duties and custom rights.

  2. This will differ from country to country and is very important as you have to calculate the total costs.

  3. Here are some examples for your references: 

    1. These are just some examples and a very general description of procedures that you may need to go through and it is always best to consult with a professional or do your own future reading before proceeding. After these are settled, you can always look for a freight forwarder who will be helping you with shipping your parcels. 

      1. 1.2 Identifying products to sell

        Choosing your products to sell is a very important step that highly affects your sales potential. If you do not already have a product in mind, this may be a trial and error process for you. However, we suggest having flexibility in changing your catalogue as it would greatly benefit your business if the product you chose does not sell as well as you thought. Some ways to ensure success includes:

        1) Keeping up with trends
        2) Choose quality products - so as to maintain customer trust
        3) Choose items that you can ship in bulk - so that you can ship more in one go
        4) Products that look good while functional - for easier marketing later on
      1. 1.3 Ensure your products are not prohibited items

        While this differs for every country, it is important to check on what products are prohibited in the country you are importing into. For example, in India some items include drugs, pirated goods and counterfeits. Some other common items prohibited internationally are alcohol, dairy products, poultry, animal fur products and fruits. Failing to meet such requirements or restrictions may result in penalties or fines which can cost you a lot of money so it is essential that thorough research has been done beforehand.
      1. 1.4 Placing an order

        Once you have decided what products you wish to sell, you have to contact your supplier to discuss the terms, prices, quantity and shipping arrangement. For your own references, it would be wise to ask the supplier to provide you with an invoice as well as to keep track for future purchases and accounting reasons.
      1. 1.5 Shipping your product

        If you have a shipment below 200kg and have a good freight forwarder, it may be good to ship your goods as Ex works (EXW) because it will be cheaper. Otherwise you can opt for a 3PL who would help you with the whole process of picking up the product, passing it to a courier that they have relations with and then sending it to your customer’s door or to the location you have specified. We suggest doing a proper search on which courier, 3PL or freight forwarding company you would like to collaborate with depending on the kind of business model you are thinking of.

        Air shipping is generally more expensive than sea shipping especially for smaller volumes of items, it is also faster than sea shipping. And as a general rule of thumb, sea shipping is only used for large bulks of shipment or if you’re alright with the longer delivery time. It would also be wise to leave some leeway for delays in delivery especially with the ongoing pandemic in the world that disrupts delivery speed. This would also help manage your customer expectations when it comes to delivery timings and any faster would be a plus.
      1. 1.6 Track and obtain your shipment

        After going through all the labour, it is time to sow the reaps of your hard work, which is your products. Depending on the type of provider you have sourced for, you might either need to collect your products by yourself or have it delivered to your specified location.
      1. 1.7 Choose the right sourcing platform

        As for where to purchase your products, the common marketplaces include there are a large number of suppliers such as Alibaba, ChinaBrands and MadeinChina. While they do offer a huge product catalog for you to choose from, the product quality from each supplier may vary and the delivery time can be as long as 48 working days, which is not something a small business can afford. Since their products are usually non-refundable, you may also need to bear the potential risk in mind.
        This is why we built Sourcy for customers like you to import from China more easily and risk free. Sourcy not only offers 100% cash back guarantee for faulty products, but also charges a flat worldwide shipping fee (free express shipping above US$100). We also provide free sourcing services with a turnaround time of 2 days to save you time scrolling and clicking on websites. Simply click the button below and add a picture and description of what you’re looking for and we will get back to you soon. 
Indonesia

You will need documents such as The Original Certificate of Preferential Origin (CO), the Bill of lading or Airway Bill, custom declaration and the HS code of the items that you are importing. 

Philippines

After you have obtained the documents needed, you need to fill an entry for your imports. It must be filed in the Customhouse within 30 days from the date of discharge of the last package from the vessel. If you do not file the entry, your shipment may be forfeited. There are also two kinds of entry - formal and informal where goods are segregated based on their value. For those of value less than P2000 is informal and for those more than P2000 is formal. If you are interested to read more, you can do so here

India

The process is about the same whereby you have to hire a custom clearing agent if you do not know about the documentations needed for custom clearance like the Bill of Entry etc. You can also calculate your custom duties and taxes here.

Kenya

Hire a licensed customs clearing agent to help you process the importation documents in the customs system and assist you in clearing goods on your behalf. Other than that, there may also be duties and taxes payable by you depending on the item you are importing. Some of these taxes/duties include import duties, value added tax (VAT) and excise duties. If you’d like to read more about this, the Kenya Revenue Authority would be a good place to start with. 

Indonesia
You will need documents such as The Original Certificate of Preferential Origin (CO), the Bill of lading or Airway Bill, custom declaration and the HS code of the items that you are importing.
Philippines
After you have obtained the documents needed, you need to fill an entry for your imports. It must be filed in the Customhouse within 30 days from the date of discharge of the last package from the vessel. If you do not file the entry, your shipment may be forfeited. There are also two kinds of entry - formal and informal where goods are segregated based on their value. For those of value less than P2000 is informal and for those more than P2000 is formal. If you are interested to read more, you can do so here
India
The process is about the same whereby you have to hire a custom clearing agent if you do not know about the documentations needed for custom clearance like the Bill of Entry etc. You can also calculate your custom duties and taxes here.
Kenya
Hire a licensed customs clearing agent to help you process the importation documents in the customs system and assist you in clearing goods on your behalf. Other than that, there may also be duties and taxes payable by you depending on the item you are importing. Some of these taxes/duties include import duties, value added tax (VAT) and excise duties. If you’d like to read more about this, the Kenya Revenue Authority would be a good place to start with. 
  1. These are just some examples and a very general description of procedures that you may need to go through and it is always best to consult with a professional or do your own future reading before proceeding. After these are settled, you can always look for a freight forwarder who will be helping you with shipping your parcels. 

These are just some examples and a very general description of procedures that you may need to go through and it is always best to consult with a professional or do your own future reading before proceeding. After these are settled, you can always look for a freight forwarder who will be helping you with shipping your parcels. 

  1. 1.2 Identifying products to sell

    Choosing your products to sell is a very important step that highly affects your sales potential. If you do not already have a product in mind, this may be a trial and error process for you. However, we suggest having flexibility in changing your catalogue as it would greatly benefit your business if the product you chose does not sell as well as you thought. Some ways to ensure success includes:

    1) Keeping up with trends
    2) Choose quality products - so as to maintain customer trust
    3) Choose items that you can ship in bulk - so that you can ship more in one go
    4) Products that look good while functional - for easier marketing later on
  1. While this has been a general guide, we hope it has been helpful for you to understand the process of importing from China. If you are starting your own business and find it difficult to or do not want the hassle of going through all these steps, Sourcy could be the right partner for you. Simply click the button below to chat with us, your one stop wholesale shop for all your sourcing and importing needs that saves you both time and money. 

1.2 Identifying products to sell

Choosing your products to sell is a very important step that highly affects your sales potential. If you do not already have a product in mind, this may be a trial and error process for you. However, we suggest having flexibility in changing your catalogue as it would greatly benefit your business if the product you chose does not sell as well as you thought. Some ways to ensure success includes:


1) Keeping up with trends
2) Choose quality products - so as to maintain customer trust
3) Choose items that you can ship in bulk - so that you can ship more in one go
4) Products that look good while functional - for easier marketing later on
  1. 1.3 Ensure your products are not prohibited items
    While this differs for every country, it is important to check on what products are prohibited in the country you are importing into. For example, in India some items include drugs, pirated goods and counterfeits. Some other common items prohibited internationally are alcohol, dairy products, poultry, animal fur products and fruits. Failing to meet such requirements or restrictions may result in penalties or fines which can cost you a lot of money so it is essential that thorough research has been done beforehand. 
  1. 1.4 Placing an order

    Once you have decided what products you wish to sell, you have to contact your supplier to discuss the terms, prices, quantity and shipping arrangement. For your own references, it would be wise to ask the supplier to provide you with an invoice as well as to keep track for future purchases and accounting reasons. 
1.3 Ensure your products are not prohibited items


While this differs for every country, it is important to check on what products are prohibited in the country you are importing into. For example, in India some items include drugs, pirated goods and counterfeits. Some other common items prohibited internationally are alcohol, dairy products, poultry, animal fur products and fruits. Failing to meet such requirements or restrictions may result in penalties or fines which can cost you a lot of money so it is essential that thorough research has been done beforehand. 
  1. 1.5 Shipping your product

    If you have a shipment below 200kg and have a good freight forwarder, it may be good to ship your goods as Ex works (EXW) because it will be cheaper. Otherwise you can opt for a 3PL who would help you with the whole process of picking up the product, passing it to a courier that they have relations with and then sending it to your customer’s door or to the location you have specified. We suggest doing a proper search on which courier, 3PL or freight forwarding company you would like to collaborate with depending on the kind of business model you are thinking of.

    Air shipping is generally more expensive than sea shipping especially for smaller volumes of items, it is also faster than sea shipping. And as a general rule of thumb, sea shipping is only used for large bulks of shipment or if you’re alright with the longer delivery time. It would also be wise to leave some leeway for delays in delivery especially with the ongoing pandemic in the world that disrupts delivery speed. This would also help manage your customer expectations when it comes to delivery timings and any faster would be a plus.
  1. 1.6 Track and obtain your shipment

    After going through all the labour, it is time to sow the reaps of your hard work, which is your products. Depending on the type of provider you have sourced for, you might either need to collect your products by yourself or have it delivered to your specified location.
1.4 Placing an order


Once you have decided what products you wish to sell, you have to contact your supplier to discuss the terms, prices, quantity and shipping arrangement. For your own references, it would be wise to ask the supplier to provide you with an invoice as well as to keep track for future purchases and accounting reasons.


1.5 Shipping your product


If you have a shipment below 200kg and have a good freight forwarder, it may be good to ship your goods as Ex works (EXW) because it will be cheaper. Otherwise you can opt for a 3PL who would help you with the whole process of picking up the product, passing it to a courier that they have relations with and then sending it to your customer’s door or to the location you have specified. We suggest doing a proper search on which courier, 3PL or freight forwarding company you would like to collaborate with depending on the kind of business model you are thinking of.


Air shipping is generally more expensive than sea shipping especially for smaller volumes of items, it is also faster than sea shipping. And as a general rule of thumb, sea shipping is only used for large bulks of shipment or if you’re alright with the longer delivery time. It would also be wise to leave some leeway for delays in delivery especially with the ongoing pandemic in the world that disrupts delivery speed. This would also help manage your customer expectations when it comes to delivery timings and any faster would be a plus.
  1. 1.7 Choose the right sourcing platform

    As for where to purchase your products, the common marketplaces include there are a large number of suppliers such as Alibaba, ChinaBrands and MadeinChina. While they do offer a huge product catalog for you to choose from, the product quality from each supplier may vary and the delivery time can be as long as 48 working days, which is not something a small business can afford. Since their products are usually non-refundable, you may also need to bear the potential risk in mind.
    This is why we built Sourcy for customers like you to import from China more easily and risk free. Sourcy not only offers 100% cash back guarantee for faulty products, but also charges a flat worldwide shipping fee (free express shipping above US$100). We also provide free sourcing services with a turnaround time of 2 days to save you time scrolling and clicking on websites. Simply click the button below and add a picture and description of what you’re looking for and we will get back to you soon.
1.6 Track and obtain your shipment


After going through all the labour, it is time to sow the reaps of your hard work, which is your products. Depending on the type of provider you have sourced for, you might either need to collect your products by yourself or have it delivered to your specified location. 
1.7 Choose the right sourcing platform


As for where to purchase your products, the common marketplaces include there are a large number of suppliers such as Alibaba, ChinaBrands and MadeinChina. While they do offer a huge product catalog for you to choose from, the product quality from each supplier may vary and the delivery time can be as long as 48 working days, which is not something a small business can afford. Since their products are usually non-refundable, you may also need to bear the potential risk in mind.


This is why we built Sourcy for customers like you to import from China more easily and risk free. Sourcy not only offers 100% cash back guarantee for faulty products, but also charges a flat worldwide shipping fee (free express shipping above US$100). We also provide free sourcing services with a turnaround time of 2 days to save you time scrolling and clicking on websites. Simply click the button below and add a picture and description of what you’re looking for and we will get back to you soon. 
While this has been a general guide, we hope it has been helpful for you to understand the process of importing from China. If you are starting your own business and find it difficult to or do not want the hassle of going through all these steps, Sourcy could be the right partner for you. Simply click the button below to chat with us, your one stop wholesale shop for all your sourcing and importing needs that saves you both time and money. 


While this has been a general guide, we hope it has been helpful for you to understand the process of importing from China. If you are starting your own business and find it difficult to or do not want the hassle of going through all these steps, Sourcy could be the right partner for you. Simply click the button below to chat with us, your one stop wholesale shop for all your sourcing and importing needs that saves you both time and money.