How to Import from China Step by Step

Here is a flow chart which can show how to import from China step by step . Steps in simple:

Quote, sign contract, payment method, production, packing, Customs stuff, load good in container, bill of loading, balance paid, Customs clearance, pick up goods, inland transportation, resell

  1. Quote:

Get a quotation is the very first step before after you have choose the product which will sell good in your market. The quotation should show you: Quality level, model No.,Packing method, minimum order quantity, delivery time, shipping method, product material.

Common quotation will be Fob~free on board, CNF~goods value plus shipping cost, CIF~Value plus shipping cost plus Insurance

  1. Sign Contract:

After both you and your supplier agreed with the price, you will need to sign an contract or ask your supplier make a PI for you. The contract normally contains: product name, model No., price, packing, origin, delivery time, payment method, claim etc.

  1. Payment method:

Totally three normal payment methods: L/C~ letter of credit, T/T~ telegraphic transfer, cash.

Generally L/C used in big amount business, I mean the value of the order is very big, buyer and supplier do not trust each other, so they will need a third party to ensure their safety. But the costs~service cost for this is very high.

T/T is the most used payment method. Generally supplier required 30% down payment via T/T. Balance before goods on board. In that case both supplier and buyer feels better.

Cash happens very few, unless you have family or friend near your supplier, you can ask them to pay by cash.

  1. Production:

This is a very important part~lol. You need to confirm with your supplier about your requirement especially the details you believe is important to you. Sometimes it may happens that you got different products with your contract.

  1. Packing:

That depend, generally for small gifts, toys, promotion goods, ask your supplier to pack them in small gift box and then pack small box in bigger carton is a good choice.

For some fragile cargo, you’d better do some research or ask your supplier for advice to make sure the goods won’t be broken during the transportation.

While for some machines(electric machine) you’d better packed in wooden carton.

Also, you need to consider the cost of different method.

  1. Customs apply:

Generally your supplier will do this from their government(Customs), all you need to do is if your goods contains log(wood), you may need you supplier do the fumigate at their port. Depend on my experience, if your goods contains wood but without fumigate, your Customs will ask you do the fumigate before enter your country, and if you do it at your port that will be much more expensive than do it at your suppliers’ port.

  1. Loading in container:

This part is much simple, if the quantity of goods you ordered can reach full container loading, the shipping agent can arrange the container go to your suppliers’ factory and load the goods. If you ordered less, you may need to share space with other people who also import from China and destination is also your country.

  1. Insurance:

Generally if you do in CIF terms, the quotation your supplier gives you contains the insurance(the insurance named all risks).

  1. B/L~bill of loading

This document will show the goods belongs to whom, which means who has this document who will master the goods.

Generally after the goods load in container, the shipping company will open a B/L to your supplier, your supplier will send you a copy file for you to pay for the balance, after they get the balance, they will send you the original Bill of loading or you can also ask them to do telex release.

Choose original bill of loading or do telex release that depend on your Customs requirement. If your Customs agreed telex release is much faster and simple for you.

  1. Balance paid

As mentioned in the 9th item, after received the copy of BL, your supplier may ask you to do the balance. But just in case, you can also require them to supply some photos for your goods and some photos of loading the container. In that case, it will help you be totally sure you got what you want to buy. After that do the balance paid.

  1. Customs clearance

Before the goods arrived you need to prepare the Customs clearance. At that time, in most countries your government(Cutstoms) will ask you to supply following document:

B/L: bill of loading: signed by shipping company, it contains most goods information. Also shows who the goods they shipped belongs

Packing List: It will show the packing info of goods, how many cartons, gross weight, night weight packing size etc.

packing declaration: Its a declaration signed by supplier to show that your goods does not contains wood or something special

Invoice: signed by supplier, it will show value of goods, also your customer will charge the import tax according to the value show on it.

While some countries will also require following documents:

Draft: Bill of Exchange mostly used in L/C terms

Insurance Policy: signed by insurance company

Insurance Certificate: also signed by insurance company

Certificate of Origin: generally signed by CCPIT~ China Council for the Promotion of International Trade

Certificate of Inspection: signed by AQSIQ~ General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of P.R.C Generalized System of Preferences,G.S.P.

All of the document you could ask you supplier to supply, those they can signed themselves of course its simple they will do. But some document they also need to apply from government. May cause some extra money, but I am sure its much better than after the goods arrived your port but you do not have the documents.

  1. After Customs clearance done, you will need to arrange your inland shipping and arrange the resell stuff.

Welcome any questions at the comments blank.~Andrew

If you have interest in buying from Chinese taobao, may you can check my other blog here: