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How to avoid shipment delays in China customs clearance when sending samples?

One of our customers recently sent us samples to source manufacturers in China, they are stuck in China customs for almost one month and still in the customs clearance processing. The Customs authorities have varying and often severe restrictions on what can be imported– these restrictions are subject to frequent change like World Expo or Trade War effect.

The average courier transportation lead time to China is 3-4 days. Customs delays may extend it to 15 to 30 days. Delays caused by Chinese customs can seriously affect a project or business, here SVI would like to give some guideline about how to avoid customs stuck issues when sending samples to China.


·      All goods that go through customs are subject to duty and tax. Customs charges are usually the responsibility of the recipient to payupon entry, and are normally contacted by the local customs officials to agree on payment.

·      Fees can range from 20-30% of the value of the goods being shipped. Shipments worth more than 1,000 Yuan will have to pass through formal customs clearance. The general lead time for customs clearance takes around 7-10 working days if you can provide all necessary documents.

·      Shipments worth less than 1,000 Yuan could be delivered as samples, no customs clearance process required. So please send small quantity of samples.

·      Get ready the commercial invoice and shipment packing list to the recipient while you sending out the shipment. The invoice should include a detailed description of the goods, value, quantity, unit price, amount, currency, country of origin (COO). Recommend to use CIF (Cost +Insurance+ Freight) trade term. Note: The declared value must be reasonable(and at market price), otherwise Customs will ask the consignee or shipper to provide value evidence.

·      Use a common product description (e.g.toy/tops/shoes/integrated circuits), not an internal model number.

·      Provide a detailed description of the composition andusage for raw materials/chemicals/powders/ liquids.

·      The packing list must correctly and clearly describe the goods, the quantity along with the net weight and gross weight for each carton.The packing list must also have the total net weight, the total gross weight, and the packing method. If the shipper is sending more than one kind of goods, the shipper must provide a packing list. The commodities under the same HS code should be calculated/ listed together.

·      It is better to ask the recipient to review the invoice and packing list, so that recipient can pre-check what special documents or certificates are needed for China inbound clearance. This is particularly important when the recipient has no import permit, as they must find an agent to prepare all the import clearance paperwork, and some license applications take a long time (for example CCC :China Compulsory Certification and energylabels). Ideally, goods that may need special certificates should be shipped separately.


Some items which we have problems sending to our Dongguan China office.

·      Shipments with wooden packaging

·      All liquid or product with liquid.

·      Electronic Devices

·      Medical devices;

·      Chemical products

·      All battery or product with battery

·      Cosmetics

·      Commercial purpose publications (books/ magazines with an ISBN: International Standard Book Number);


These products require MSDS report, FDA certification, air freight safety certification, and/or China Compulsory Certification etc. If you plan to ship above process to China, be sure to check with the certification requirements and get ready before sending out the parcel.

For all SVI clients, please inform us prior to sending samples to our Dongguan China office. Our merchandiser will check the latest China customs regulations and prepare all documentation in advance, and give advice on how to send the samples to make sure shipment can be received timely.


Do you have samples sending to SVI to request a quote? Contact Our Experts Now!