Top tips for Importing from China

Importing From China – 7 Tops Tips

Brunel Shipping is an expert in freight forwarding and providing logistical solutions to all our valued clients who are importing from China.

There are many points to consider before you import goods from China and like many of our clients who import from China to the UK or other countries in large volumes or bulk, this process needs to be fully understood. In this post we want to give you a clear insight or view of the key issues when using a freight forwarding or air cargo specialist to import goods from China.

The velocity and rate of China’s economic success is unrivalled. Since economic reforms in the mid to late 1970s, China has emerged as a leading economy throughout the world. Western countries show no sign of stopping when it comes to importing goods, indeed China is now arguably the largest producer of manufactured goods worldwide and that affords many opportunities to buy quality goods at very cheap prices.

With China’s exports expected to reach over 2.5 trillion dollars in 2015, you can clearly see that most of these goods are going to be very good value, are well manufactured and offer you the potential importer from China an opportunity to gain a solid ROI on any shipment you bring into the UK.

Importing goods from China – Our tips

Here are our Top 7 Tips for importing goods from China; we hope that they will help you to keep your costs down and save your time.

Tip 1 – Correct Customs Information

Having the correct customs information is critical. The shipping paperwork such as bills of lading, ID labels invoices and packing lists must include the following information:

In the case of the commercial invoice you must show the authorised sender and receiver’s full address information, a clear description of the goods and what they are made of and the quantity of the goods being imported and a very clear value of the goods. A fully typed invoice is required with no hand writing.

These are the first basic points if you have not had solid experience of importing from china before, then please ensure you use a BIFA accredited freight forwarder such as Brunel Shipping to ensure these procedures are followed correctly.

Tip 2 – VAT Number – EORI Approved

Along with the above information an importer must also ensure his company VAT number is EORI approved. This stands for Economic Operator registration identification. There is a simple online form to complete that Brunel can forward to you. The link is also enclosed below, please lodge this with Revenue and Customs to complete the registration process.

If your company is not Vat registered you still use the enclosed link and revenue and customs will issue you with a non-VAT registered EORI number.

Tip 3 – Consider using Brunel Shipping

Importing from china can appear daunting at the outset but all Brunel Shipping require is the supplier details in China or the country of origin and we can then obtain the weight and CBM of your goods and give you a clear price door to door and handle the customs clearance of goods in the UK at all major ports. This will ensure a hassle free shipment from your supplier’s door to your door in the UK. For more information on this please contact our team at or complete our quick quote form.

Tip 4 – Calculating Import Tariffs & Duty Rates

Let us look at import tariffs and duty rates. It is very important to understand that different products have very different import duties attached to them. You can contact Revenue and Customs or you can use our guide below which gives a broad idea of various import duty rates.

We want to stress this is a very important step to understand and this will give you a clear costing platform. You will need to calculate the value of your goods plus the cost of freight (sea or air), the UK landed charges and your import duty and add all of these factors together. This will ensure you make solid calculations to give you a total price for your product per piece door to door.

At Brunel we have seen several importers miscalculate there charges and it can be costly so please contact our team if you require any further advice on this importing from china subject.

Tip 5 – Trading Standards & Food Safety

Please ensure that you check with the relevant trading standards or food health agency (in the case of foodstuffs) that all licence requirements are met and that there are no potential copyright infringements. It’s important to let you know that for certain products and goods being imported from China you will need to acquire an import licence (don’t worry, we can help with this).

Many goods that are manufactured in China and across the globe have certain restrictions when being imported into the UK. Please contact Brunel for any assistance regarding this matter.

Some of the types of goods which are heavily controlled and legislated are military and arms goods, technology, artwork and antiques, plants and animals, medical supplies and chemical supplies.

There are also special controls on importing foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and hazardous chemicals.

The export and import of these types of goods without the right licence and documents is a criminal offence, so it’s important to take advice from your UK freight and shipping agent.

Tip 6 – Marine Insurance

Importing from china can be a very rewarding and lucrative business when done correctly. One other small piece of advice is to ensure your goods are insured. If instructions are given to us in writing, we can provide insurance for your goods at very competitive rates. This means you have your own marine policy tailor-made for your own shipment.

Also one other simple tip is to make sure that any agent or freight forwarder that you use can give you real testimonials and references from their customers.

Tip 7 – Importing from China Services

Finally, don’t just take the first quote you receive from an agent or Freight Forwarding company. At Brunel we don’t just promote our services based on price but also on what we can give to our client with regard to our knowledge and experience and a personal service. We give all our clients a client manager who will work to build a long term relationship with them and fully understand their individual needs. No client is the same we understand this and that’s why we have produced this importing from china newsletter.

We hope this has been useful for you and if you have any further questions about importing full container loads from China or LCL /groupage shipments from China then either call or email one of the team
Number +44-01268-243610 Email:

Contact one of our agents

Phone Number: +44 (0) 1268 243610
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