Are you looking for ways to import from China? Do you want to know about the best Chinese suppliers to import china products from?

Importing products from China, dubbed “the factory of the world” because of its massive manufacturing infrastructure, skilled population, and depth of industry knowledge can increase your store’s profitability by improving margins and allowing you to provide more personalized products.

This blog delves into the details of imports from China.

Table of Content

Chapter 1: Why Import From China?

Chapter 2: Importing from China: A Step by Step Guide

Chapter 3: Where to Source Chinese Suppliers?

Chapter 4: Clear Your Shipment through Customs

Chapter 5: Importing from China? Air or Sea Shipping, Which Works Best?

Chapter 6: Frequently Ask Question Import from China

Chapter 1: Why Import From China?

Why Import From China

Importing from China is a smart move if you are thinking of importing from China; it is likely because you want to sell on Amazon.

There are three main business models for selling on Amazon.

  • Shopping Arbitrage; Buying cheap goods from stores and reselling online
  • Dropshipping;  Buying goods directly from distributors and wholesalers, then selling online
  • Importing China/Private Marking; Find products to import, sometimes with slight product improvements, and sell them online

1. Import Taxes

Most products are subjected to import taxes. These are added federal and local sales and use taxes. US orders with customs worth less than $800 qualify for free duty.

You should consider tariffs if you plan to import more valuable products.

The average US duty is 19.3% on imports from China, though certain products may be subject to different taxes.

The HTS organizes duties rates. This Harmonized Tariff System, or HTS, categorizes imported products by category and assigns taxation percentages.

 U.S. International Trade Commission offers an interactive database to help you determine the code (Harmonized System) for any product you’re interested in and the duty rate.

If you are unsure which product to source, determine each item’s HS class to determine the applicable tariffs.

2. Product Restrictions

Product Restrictions

The United States Customs and Border Protection states that some product categories are banned or restricted to protect America’s economy and security.

This is done to protect consumers’ health and well-being and preserve domestic animal and plant life.

 These laws and regulations prohibit certain products, including ivory and coral.

There are several examples of import regulations such as:

  • Commercial equipment products: like air conditioners, water heating units, and furnaces must carry energy efficiency labels.
  • Nuts, fruits, vegetables, and fruits: Many varieties need to meet size, quality, and maturity criteria. FDA must issue an inspection certification.
  • Egg, meat, and poultry: All varieties must be accompanied by government-issued certifications from their origin countries. These certificates are then reinserted at entry by the USDA.
  • Seeds: Shipments that contain seeds are detained until the drawing and testing of samples at entry.
  • Wood packaging materials: Pallets/crates/boxes and dunnage must be heat-treated or fumigated to certify their treatment.
  • Toys: Children’s items must comply with safety regulations in the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

3. Permits and Licensing

The US is one of the most import-friendly countries on the planet. Most people and businesses need not have a license to import.

 However, import-specific commodities require a permit issued by one government agency that works with CBP. These categories are:

  • Agricultural items such as plants and agricultural products
  • Ammunition and Arms
  • Select foods such as cheese and milk
  • Livestock & animals
  • Tobacco and alcohol
  • Medical equipment and supplies

4. What You’ll Need to Get Started

You will need money to buy inventory in China. I recommend purchasing a list of at least $500 and 2000-5000.

You’ll also need an Amazon Seller Centre account to sell on Amazon. This will run you $39.99 per month.

What You'll Need to Get Started

5. Import Requirements

Chinese importers are usually distributors, agents, joint venture partners, or foreign-invested entities that gather documents needed to import from China.

They then provide these documents to Chinese Customs Agents.

 It is possible to require standard documents such as a bill of lading, an invoice, a shipping list, and a customs declaration.

  • A sales contract.
  • An account for delivery.
  • An invoice.
  • Shipping document.
  • Insurance policy and insurance policy.

Also read on: How Covid-19 Has Affected The Trading Business?

Chapter 2: Importing from China: A Step by Step Guide

Importing from China

China is fast becoming a production giant and now produces a substantial amount of the world’s consumer goods.

Many businesses have found it a profitable strategy to source global suppliers from China. This provides a beautiful opportunity for both buyers and resellers.

Even for novices, it can be not easy. The import process can be complex, confusing, expensive, and time-consuming.

 Long transit times, rising delivery costs, regulatory fees, and unexpected delays can often negate the expected gains.

1. Select Products to Import

You are now the importer when goods come from foreign suppliers.

DHL/UPS/FedEx or FedEx will take care of everything and deliver it to you if your package has a small value or is used only for personal use.

You will save a lot of money and time if this is the case. You will need to check if your import rights are in place before purchasing commercial goods into your nation, either as a company or an individual.

  • EURO will require you to register operator economics.
  • Japan – Any person wishing to import goods into Japan must declare them to Director-General Customs and get an import permit after being examined.
  • You will first need a Company Number issued to you by Canada Revenue Agency for Canada.
  • Australia does not require importers to obtain an import license, whether individuals or corporations.

2. Identify the Goods You Want to Import

Trade companies make money by selling goods. If you make the wrong choice, you can waste your time and money.

The first step to becoming a successful Importer is choosing the right product to resell. If you want your business to be remembered, it must stand firm.

Look for something you can be proud to sell. Your products define your business.  Your products represent your business.

Your primary consideration should be to sell the product.

It’s best to choose products you are familiar with or would buy. Products are the foundation of everything you do.

They impact your marketing, profits margins, and design choices. Legal and logistical restrictions also come into play.

It’s essential to do your research and determine if there’s a demand for the products you plan to import from China.

Also, it is necessary to decide on the cost of your product to make a good profit.

3. Classify Your Goods and Calculate the Landed Cost

3.lassify Your Goods and Calculate the Landed Cost

The 10-digit tariff classification number is required for every item you import.

 These numbers and the Certificate of Origin can determine the amount of duty you have to pay when importing. Then, do the cost calculation for land.

Make sure you pay attention to Incoterms. Calculate the Total Landed Cost before submitting your order. FOB can be defined as adding the three following together.

Get the product’s price from the supplier. The freight agent will send you the shipping costs (if it is the door to door shipping).

Seek out information about customs clearance and land transport costs from the landing area to your warehouse.

 It’s crucial to get the landed costs in place sooner. Customers don’t want to be disappointed by high prices or low earnings.

If it’s more expensive than you anticipated, there are ways to reduce costs.

4. Obtain Your Shipment

Your customs broker should arrange to clear your goods through customs. If everything goes as planned, you have the right to collect your shipment.

To-door delivery allows you to wait for your shipment at your address.

Once you have received your products and checked for quality and packaging details, you can send an email telling your supplier that you have not received your goods.

Once you’ve reviewed the items, tell your supplier that you’ll be in touch to place an order.

5. Track Your Cargo and Get Prepared for Arrival

International shipping can take time. Shipping goods internationally can take time. For example, goods sent from China typically take 14 days to reach US West Coast.

It takes 30 days for East Coast. Usually, the consignee is notified via arrival notice by the destination agents listed on the B/L within five days of port departure.

  • A bill of Lading listing the items to import.
  • A bill lists the country, price, and tariff classification for imported goods.
  • A packing listing that lists all imported goods.
  • A freight agent provides an arrival notice.

6. Plan Your Cargo Transportation

3d global business commerce concept

Container fees, packaging, terminal handling, and broker fees are just a few of the costs of transporting products.

 Each aspect should be considered to gain a clear picture of shipping costs.

Once you’ve approved the freight price, you’ll need to email us or forward the contact information to your supplier. From there, we’ll take it.

We’ll maintain continuous contact with you and your supplier to ensure that your shipment is delivered quickly and safely.

7. Importing and Processing Imported Goods for Sale

Certain goods are prohibited from being imported. Different countries have different restrictions on the import of certain goods.

 Make sure you check with your government to ensure that the goods you want to import are not subject to conditions or permits.

It is the responsibility and obligation of the importer to ensure that the goods are compliant with various rules and regulations. The products listed below should be avoided.

  • Cheese, Milk, and Dairy Products
  • Nuts, fruits, and vegetables
  • Insects
  • Livestock and Animals
  • Meat, Poultry and Egg Products
  • Plants and Plant Products
  • Seeds
  • Wood packaging materials
  • Tobacco-Related products
  • Fireworks

Importing unsanitary goods, products that don’t meet health code requirements, or items that violate restrictions could lead to significant penalties and fines.

The minimum punishment for importing unsafe goods is to have them detained and possibly even destroyed.

8. Make the Best Deal Possible

Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and the priorities of your supplier will allow you to negotiate a great deal.

For example, if your cash situation is intense, you may be willing to pay more for a good deal.

Chinese believe that potential business partners should create a relationship to make commercial transactions possible.

9. Decide Whatever Mode of Transportation You Will Choose

Mode of Transportation

It would help if you decided on how you intend to import.  The two main options for importing from China are sea and air.

Shipping by sea may work well if you need to transport large quantities but don’t feel pressure to deliver fast.

You might prefer shipping by air if your items need to be delivered quickly and with greater security.

You may be interested in importing via post if you’re looking to import small items.

All goods that arrive by mail from China to the UK must be declared and taxed to HM Revenue & Customs. Attach a completed declaration form (CN22 or 23) to the sender.

You must display a Single Administrative Document for all goods exceeding PS2,000.

10. Make A Declaration to HMRC About Your Imports

All imports outside the European Union must be declared to HM Revenue & Customs. This is usually done with the Single administrative Document (SAD), called form C88.

11. Taxes and Duties on Imports

Traders must understand whether they must pay import duty and VAT before their goods can be cleared to enter the UK.

Imports can be subject to import duties depending on their type of goods and where they came from.

 VAT is added to goods imported from countries outside the European Union at 20%.

12. Check If You Need an Import License

To import goods from China into Britain, you might need an Import License. Various import controls apply to multiple interests, such as firearms, food, and textiles.

Chapter 3: Where to Source Chinese Suppliers?

1. Trade Shows

Visiting trade shows is arguably the best way of connecting with high-quality trade partners.

 China has begun to ease travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The powerhouse events were resumed in 2021.

While attending a Chinese tradeshow can be time-consuming and intimidating, many retailers find it worth it for the personal interaction with suppliers and the chance to handle products personally.

Over time, these benefits are reflected in your product quality and can increase your profit margins.

These exhibitions draw large international crowds. English is widely spoken, so language barriers are not an issue.

You can hire a translator for $15 per person if you request one. It’s also possible to attend most trade shows for free, so the cost of lodging, board and transportation is very reasonable in China.

This makes it easy for you to budget for the expense.

2. Yiwu Wholesale Marketplace

Yiwu Wholesale Marketplace

Yiwu Wholesale Marketplace can be used to source suppliers and products in China if you want to visit.

Unlike China’s trade fairs, this exchange is open all year round (except on national holidays).

3. Import Records

The best way to source reliable suppliers is by looking at who your competitors are. This can be done by looking at public import records.

The US government keeps copies of all bills of lading imported into the US and makes them available for public inspection.

This means valuable information, including the importer’s name, the supplier’s name, and shipment details–is readily available.

However, this information only applies to shipments that arrive via boat. It still amounts to approximately 10 million records per annum.

4. Supplier Network

If you have a good relationship with a Chinese vendor and are looking for a different product, it might be worth using them as an option.

Suppliers tend to be close-knit and happy to refer clients. Often, they charge a 5%-10% finding fee.

Chapter 4: Clear Your Shipment through Customs

Importing from China involves customs clearance. If you don’t provide the required documentation and do not follow the appropriate procedures, you could have your goods confiscated and inspected.

This could lead to delays or hefty fees. CBP could seize your merchandise and destroy or auction it.

As we mentioned, most goods can be brought into the US without a license from China.

CBP (Customs and Border Protection) will allow you to enter the country, examine, Value, classify, and clear customs.

1. Customs Duty (Import Tax)


Imported cargo valued at more than $800 (as per the order’s commercial invoice) is subjected to duties and taxes.

All shipments below the United States’ minimal-Value of $800 are free from responsibilities.

2. Entry Requirements & Documentation

Once your merchandise arrives in the United States, you must file it for informal or official entry.

3. Customs Bonds

CBP will pursue the surety companies that issued the bond to collect the principal’s unpaid bonds.

The surety can use legal methods to collect what they owe. Customs require a bond to release goods.

This bond must be posted, and the regulatory requirements met. To obtain a Customs Bond, you must go through the U.S.

3.Customs Bonds

4. Customs Brokers

To import any shipment, a customs brokerage is not required by law. CBP and industry professionals recommend using a customs broker when importing formal entries.

As we have already explained, the role and function of a Customs Broker are to assist importers with complying with Federal requirements for entry.

CBP licenses to import/export specialists, but they do not work for the government.

5. Holds and Examinations

CBP may (and will) choose specific shipments to inspect during customs to increase the supply chains’ security.

This causes delays and pays an examination fee to the responsible party.

The United States uses highly confidential algorithms to assess the level of risk associated with every shipment.

  • Absence of shipping history
  • Infrequent shipment
  • Insecure chain of custody
  • High-risk materials or products
  • Problematic packaging/labeling
  • Country of origin at high risk
  • Incomplete paperwork
  • Consolidation of other loads that are high-risk

Chapter 5: Importing from China? Air or Sea Shipping, Which Works Best?

Logistics and transportaIndustrial Container Cargo freight ship,

1. Cost of Shipping

Airfreight is undoubtedly more expensive than sea freight. According to the World Bank, it can cost anywhere from 12-16 times as much.

Airfreight is generally more costly because an aircraft has a smaller capacity than a cargo ship. This is why 90% of global shipping is done via sea.

However, costs can also depend on volume and weight.

2. Transit Time

Air freight is also a winner. The transit time for air freight is usually between three and five days, with a maximum of 10 days.

However, shipping by sea between Shanghai and Los Angeles can take up to 21 days.

Some logistics companies offer LCL service (less than container loading), which is quicker than traditional LCL shipping.

This service is promoted as an alternative to airfreight at a meager cost.

3. Risk of Damage and Reliability

3.Risk of Damage and Reliability

Sea shipping and air reliability are dependent on good weather.

However, aircraft tend to adhere to their schedules more than ships. Sea cargo may experience delays due to bad weather conditions or congestion at ports.

In addition, flights fly more often than ships. You can place your consignment on the next flight as soon as it is available if your consignment is late for a flight.

 Cargo ships follow a weekly schedule, making shipping shipments that have already missed one deadline more challenging.

4. Limitations of Air vs. Ocean

There are some massive cargo planes like the Antonov An-225Mriya, but even that has a maximum take-off weight of around 640 tons.

This is the equivalent of the cargo capacity of Hong Kong with 21,413 tonnes of empty fuel.

One TEU, or Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit, has the exact dimensions as a standard 20-foot container. It is 20 feet long and 8 feet tall.

An-225 will carry the maximum cargo it can.

5. Environmental Impact

It isn’t just about convenience and price. How about the impact on the environment of transportation goods?

 It is no surprise that air freight has more carbon footprints than sea freight. Cargo carried by air is responsible for releasing 500 grams per metric tonne of carbon dioxide each km.

Contrarily, load carried by modern ships emits 10 to 40 grams of CO2 per metric tonne per km.

Chapter 6: Frequently Ask Question Import from China


1. What Are the Major Imports from China?

  • US$548.7Billion (26.7%) in imports of electrical machinery and equipment
  • Mineral fuels (including oil): $267.6B (13%)
  • Machinery, computers, and machinery: $192 billion (9.3%).
  • Ores slag, ash: $180billion (8.8%).
  • 1 Billion (4.8%): Optical and technical medical apparatus
  • Vehicles: $74Billion (3.6%)

2. How Do I Get Imports from China?

  • Identify your import rights.
  • Identify the goods which you would like to import.
  • Check that imports of goods are permitted in your country.
  • The cost of landing your goods can be calculated by dividing them into categories.
  • Locate your China supplier, and place your order.
  • Arrange your cargo transport.

3. Do I Need a License to Import from China?

Do I need a permit for imports from China? Importing products from China is not permitted without a specific license?

A permit may be required to import certain goods from China from a federal agency.

Different federal agencies have diverse requirements and oversee other import products.

4. How Much Tax Will I Pay If I Import from China?

Imports containing goods below US$2500 cost US$2, US$6, and US$9 for each shipment Imports that exceed US$2500 in Value: 0.3464% (Minimum MPF: US$25, Maximum MPF: US$485)

5. What Is the Cheapest Way to Import from China?

Buy goods from wholesalers and sell them online. Dropshipping: Buying goods from distributors or wholesalers and selling them online.

Importing From China/Private Labeling: Buying goods from distributors or wholesalers and selling them online.


China continues to be the world’s factory, despite higher costs and sometimes more significant tensions with the West.

Even though China has a reputation for making low-quality products, the quality of many Chinese products is excellent.

While there has been an increase in competition between private label sellers, especially Amazon, the opportunity to build a business and brand around China’s imports is enormous.