China Export License

Are you looking to import products from China?

Do you consider that as an importer, why do you still need to know about China export license?

China export license includes lots of information of manufacturers. So if you need to cooperate with a local supplier in China, but they don’t have an export license, you can face difficulties like communication only can be done in Chinese.

Therefore, if you are dealing in international trade with Chinese suppliers, then you must know about the export license, its importance, and so on.

In today’s blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about China export license. With that information, you will understand how to acquire one for the safe and secure delivery of products from China.

Table of Content

Chapter 1: What is a China Export License? Why is it Required?

Chapter 2: Benefits of Buying from the Manufacturers who Have China Export License

Chapter 3: Different Categories of Goods and Their Requirements of China Export License

Chapter 4: Frequently Asked Questions  about China Export License

Chapter 1: What is a China Export License? Why is it Required?

What is a China Export License

If you are looking to buy products from China, you need to consider several factors for safe transportation and communication with suppliers. One of them is the China export license requirements.

In this chapter, we are going to introduce you China export license and its importance.

1. What is meant of China Export License?

In simple words, we can define an export license as a kind of document given by the national authorities that allow exporters to transport products out of the nation.

We can also define an export license as an International Sales Permit or simply just an Export Permit. It can be required in one form or another, depending on your organization’s industry and the type of product it manufactures.

In the case of China, you can get an export license from China’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.

What if the exporter does not have an export license? Then the Chinese customs authorities will not allow the exporter to transport goods out of the nation.

2. Why a China export license is important for your manufacturers?

If you are doing business with Chinese suppliers, then it is essential for you to understand the importance of an export license.

An export license allows a country to manage products from leaving the country. It is same as an import license that enables a country to control goods from entering the country.

China export license is important for your manufacturers

For example, let’s say you’re working for a chocolate company located in China. Under Chinese law, it would be illegal to transport chocolate products outside of Chinese borders without first securing an export license.

Why? It is done to prevent companies from shipping their Chinese-made candy overseas to compete with other sweet foodstuffs already widely available there (with few barriers to entry).

3. Steps for acquiring a China Export License

China’s Ministry of Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation is responsible for the issuance of an export license. Those who want to get a China export license will have to submit written applications to the Ministry of Commerce.

Let’s have a look at the following core steps required to acquire a China export license:

  • Apply for an export license

In particular, you would need to provide the following information in the written document:

Apply for an export license

  • Associated with the item

You’ll need to provide the name of the export commodities, their quantity, their characteristics, total amount, the destination regions and countries, delivery date, unit price, and payment method.

  • Associated to the type of business

You need to provide the original contract (or a duplicate thereof) for the FTC. And authorization from the appropriate authority is also needed for foreign non-trade enterprises.

Furthermore, you must ensure that you have all of the necessary documentation. For example, if you plan to export magazines and books, you must first obtain permission from the department of the publication.

  • Verification of documents and form-filling

After verifying that the document is accurate and adheres to standards, the applicant will submit an application form for the export license. Not to mention, applicants should double-check each detail before the final submission of the form.

  • Issuance of China export license

Finally, the administration authority will issue the China export license within three working days after receiving the application forms and verifying all the details.

4. Who is responsible for acquiring a China export license?

Who is responsible for acquiring a China export license

Only Chinese businesses who want to export items from China to international markets are able to apply for China export licenses.

Therefore, foreign buyers do not need to acquire a China export license or a permit in China. Generally, it is the exporter’s responsibility to guarantee that a legitimate export license is issued.

However, it’s true that many smaller companies or manufacturers do not have export licenses in China. What they do is contact a freight forwarder to assist them in finding an FTC who has it.

5. How to buy from manufacturers who don’t have a China export license?

If you need to buy from a manufacturer that do not have the export license, you can hire an export agent.

So, when you deal with such manufacturers, they will send the invoice to the export agency with an export license. The agency will then send an invoice to your company.

Once the goods are delivered, you will send the payments to the export agency, further sending the payment to your supplier. This is how suppliers engage with you who do not have an export license.

6. How long will the China Export License be valid?

The validity of the China export license is determined by the delivery date specified in the agreement. An export license usually expires six months after its issuance.

If the items aren’t transported during the license’s validity period, the exporter may seek a two-month extension.

Chapter 2: Benefits of Buying from the Manufacturers who Have China Export License

Benefits of Buying from the Manufacturers who Have China Export License

Now that you know how to define export license and how to apply for export license online, you might start to think:

Should we only cooperate with manufacturers that have China export license?

The most straightforward answer to this question is yes!


You can enjoy so many benefits while working with exporters or manufacturers having an export license in China. Some of the benefits are discussed below:

1. You can easily communicate with the manufacturer because they provide English-speaking staffs

If you want to get professional services, you should work with a manufacturer who provides a China export license.

One of the most significant advantages is that they have a qualified team of professionals who can communicate with you in English.

To do the exporting business with the manufacturer, you need to communicate with them for the whole process, from the sourcing to the final delivery of products. So, you need to talk with them.

You can easily communicate with the manufacturer because they provide English-speaking staffs

The manufacturers in China usually cannot speak your language fluently. However, they need to understand your needs, so they will offer an English-speaking service staff to talk with you.

2. You will less worry about the quality of products

Quality is not determined by the price you pay, but by the experience you get while using the product and how it makes you look and feel.

Most things that seem to be cheap and good initially turn out to be expensive and poor in the long run.

When it comes to sourcing products from China, you can face major scams and quality issues. Many suppliers in China can provide you with low-quality products.

Then you will face difficulty in selecting high-quality items and a greater chance of encountering illegal sellers.

If you want to source high-quality products from China, you should contact only those suppliers with export licenses. If they have enough licenses, there is less chance for you to be scammed.

3. You can ensure compliance with a whole range of product safety standards when it is needed

When you are sourcing products from China, it is essential to consider quality standards. Because if you fail to meet safety requirements, your company can face a range of fines and penalties.

So, you should hire only licensed manufacturers who can make sure that the products comply with terms of safety standards when needed.

Chapter 3: Different Categories of Goods and Their Requirements of China Export License

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has divided items into three groups to determine which kind of export license is necessary for each item. Let’s have a look at the major types of goods and requirements of China export license.

1. The Permitted Goods

This group of goods is automatically licensed, which means that you will require a license to transport products out of China, but it will be provided immediately upon application.

Different Categories of Goods and Their Requirements of China Export License

The automatic license offers validation for six months and can be used for up to 6 batches of products.

2. The Restricted Goods

These products could be exported only with a license or yearly quotas that allow for their regulation and control. So, for the export of these kinds of goods, you will require approval for each shipment which will be valid for only one year.

The Restricted Goods

Are you thinking about which items are considered restricted goods? Let’s have a look at the following list of items that are restricted on exit from China:

  • Precious metals like silver & gold, as well as items produced from them;
  • National fiat money;
  • Foreign currency as well as the corresponding marketable securities;
  • Communication security devices & radio transceivers;
  • Traditional Chinese medicines of great value;
  • Cultural antiques in general; and
  • Other Customs-specified banned outbound goods

3. The Prohibited Goods

These items are strictly prohibited for export and can’t be traded by the FTC. The list of restricted items is defined by several entities, including China’s Ministry of Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation.

The Prohibited Goods

The very first batch of products prohibited from export included in the Catalog of Items are:

  • Boiled-off tiger bone (such which have not been defatted or processed );
  • Rhinoceros horns;
  • Ephedra herbs used as spices or for other uses;
  • Tiger bones which haven’t been boiled off (those that have not been processed or defatted);
  • Musks;
  • Bezoar;
  • Fresh nostoc flagelliform (powdered or not powdered);
  • Ephedra plants used for medical purposes;
  • Frozen;
  • l, 1, 1-methyl chloroform;
  • Carbon tetrachloride;
  • Dry nostoc flagelliformes;
  • Trichlorotrifluoroethane (CFC-113);
  • Needlebush logs, mahogany logs, tropical logs, Oak logs, teakwood logs, beechwood logs, camphorwood logs, rosewood logs, paulownia wood logs, or nanmu logs medicated by other methods (except those that have been treated with kreosote, paint, colorant, or other rust removers);
  • Unwrought or power platinum;
  • Platinums;

The second group of products prohibited from export included in the Catalog of Items is:

  • Rod-like charcoals having sectional diameters more than 4cm and lengths greater than 10crn;
  • Rod-like charcoals have non-circular sections.

Chapter 4: Frequently Asked Questions about China Export License


1. In China, do customers have to pay any export fees?

In China, foreign customers are not obligated to pay any export fees or taxes. Nevertheless, the importer must pay a set of export clearance costs on a per shipment basis.

All such fees, however, are included in the DAP (Delivered at Place), CIF (Cost Freight Insurance), and FOB (Free on Board) pricing quotes.

2. Why don’t some Chinese exporters have export licenses?

Historically, about 15 years ago, most manufacturers in China did not have export licenses. They used to rely on export agents and trading companies to ship their goods.

This is due to a variety of factors. To begin with, acquiring an export license used to be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Even today, there are still manufacturers who do not have China export licenses. These are often smaller businesses with little direct exposure to certain other markets.

3. Should we always work with suppliers having China export license?

In most circumstances, the simplest answer is yes. So, you should only cooperate with manufacturers who have China export license.

Suppliers who don’t have an export license are often not exposed directly to international markets. Furthermore, they usually communicate in Chinese only, and they don’t provide any English-speaking staff.

4. How can suppliers who do not have a license export products from China?

Manufacturers that do not have the necessary license can hire an export agent. Whenever such manufacturers get orders from abroad, they send invoices to the export agency with export licenses and send an invoice to your firm.

Once the payments are received by the export agency, they are sent to the supplier. This is how suppliers engage with you who do not have an export license.


In China, most suppliers now have export licenses. However, that wasn’t always the case, and there are still many manufacturers who do not have them.

If you’re thinking about exporting goods from China, you should try to find out those suppliers who have export licenses.

We have explained about why China export license is important for you to check. We hope this article has helped you. If you’re interested in learning more about how to export to China, we invite you to contac