How to Import from China in 7 Steps in 2023

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Written By Farman Ullah

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Are you eager to tap into the vast potential of the Chinese market? Importing from China can be a lucrative venture, but it’s not without its challenges. Navigating the complexities of international trade, understanding the legalities, and ensuring a seamless process can seem daunting. However, fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the seven crucial steps to successfully import from China in 2023.

If you’ve ever considered importing from China, you’re likely aware of the myriad of obstacles that can hinder your progress. Uncertainty about the process, lack of knowledge regarding Chinese suppliers and manufacturers, shipping and logistics concerns, quality control issues, and language barriers are just a few challenges that importers often face. These problems can make the prospect of importing seem overwhelming and intimidating.

Acknowledging the difficulties and acknowledging that they exist is the first step towards finding viable solutions. It’s essential to understand that importing from China requires meticulous planning, careful research, and informed decision-making. Without addressing the challenges head-on, it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve success in your importing endeavors.

Why import products from China?

China now leads the world in terms of consumer goods manufacturing in recent years.

The chance to purchase and resell Chinese-made products might result in a substantial profit for the astute business owner.

China shipped goods worth roughly 216.7 billion dollars worldwide in February 2023, according to current data. China has continued to lead in global trade since 2013.

The capacity to afford goods or raw materials produced in China is a major consideration, but thorough investigation is required before pursuing this course of action.

When businesses choose to import goods from China, they frequently do it in enormous amounts, which is understandable if it raises suspicions. However, Chinese companies have enormous facilities that are set up and accustomed to producing substantial goods with ease.

The process of importing from China can be challenging and demands preparation and networking. Lack of planning may result in delays, missed deadlines, and a loss of revenue.

The following seven actions can be followed before importing goods from China.

Choose products to import

importing from china
Choose products to import

Analyzing your legal standing to import a certain commodity is the first stage in becoming a commodities importer.

It is advisable to be aware of any potential limitations that the destination country for your exported Chinese goods may impose.

Additionally, China has its own rules that ban the export of items like fake designer handbags and apparel as well as animal byproducts.

To avoid any legal snags, familiarize yourself with the import/export regulations of both China and your own nation.

The following Chinese items should not be imported because they need to comply with regulations:

  • Meat, poultry, and by-products from animals
  • Seeds
  • Veggies and fruits
  • Medications, medical supplies, and cosmetics
  • Every flammable material
  • Tobacco items
  • Explosives
  • Valuable metals
  • Any branded items, whether genuine or false
  • Alcohol (without the appropriate authorization)
  • Any type of boat or motor vehicle (without the necessary license)

Finding a fantastic thing to sell as a used item is one of the most important aspects of your business. Find out what sells well by doing some study; it’s even better if you have some expertise of it. You may promote your goods in a relaxed and assured manner in this manner.

Make sure there is a market for your desired product by researching its profitability. Determine the price at which you may sell fairly given your costs of acquisition.

Do your research to determine what may be imported legally. Keep in mind that many things have limits; take care to abide by these.

Find a supplier

Make a list of Chinese suppliers who can obtain the goods for you when you’ve chosen it. You get your stuff from China here.

Typically, exporters may use internet forums and trade websites to find international partners. Online sourcing directories are accessible.

You may either choose to use a reputable sourcing firm or decide to import your goods straight from Chinese companies.

But first, let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of each sourcing strategy to determine which one is ideal for your company.

For a novice who has never dealt with Chinese exporters, a sourcing firm would be a better option. This provides you access to vendors you would not otherwise be able to locate and enables you to network with reliable sources.

But keep in mind that you will pay a finder’s fee ranging from 3 to 15% of the buying price.

Examine the product

Request product samples and details about the manufacturing facilities from potential suppliers.

They ought to be prepared to do this so you can gauge the caliber of the goods.

While cost is crucial, you also want to make sure that your product is of a high enough caliber that you can safely stand behind it.

Classification and calculation

Once a product has been created, the following step is to assign it a ten-digit tariff categorization code.

You may use this to figure out the import tariff rate.

To figure out how much you should charge your consumers in order to turn a profit, add this figure to the cost of the goods and the cost of delivery.

It’s crucial to work on this estimate because you won’t have a precise figure until you receive your first shipment.

You will keep consumers and profits by coming as near to the cost as you can.

Just be ready to compare the real cost to the estimate after the first shipment—cost variations caused by unanticipated surcharges are common.

Placing an order

The minimum order requirements and shipping terms differ from business to business. Most Chinese businesses will need an order of at least 10,000 units each.

Chinese exporters sometimes demand a 30 to 50 percent down payment to begin manufacturing. Upon delivery, the balance is payable.

You have a choice between two methods for shipping your goods.

Although carrier airmail is quick, it can be pricey and is preferable for smaller orders. For more expensive shipping options and appropriate for bigger products, choose sea freight.

Either a full container load (FCL), which fills the whole shipping container, or a less than container load (LCL), which shares space with other shipments, are two ways to ship.

If your load is substantial enough to warrant it, the FLC is more affordable. Make careful to give yourself plenty of time for arrival if you’re shipping by sea. Customs hold-ups, the ship not departing on schedule, or other factors may cause delays.

Be aware that it will take a day or two to transport merchandise from the plant to the port and an additional day or two for routine customs processes.

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Prepare for and await shipment

goods from china
Prepare for and await shipment

By using a customs broker, you may greatly simplify the procedure.

This expert will prepare and submit the required documentation, calculate expenses, understand the rules, and otherwise streamline the procedure.

If you’re shipping by sea on your own, be sure to complete the import security form, which is necessary.

The original import documentation must also be submitted.

They consist of the following:

  1. Packing lists
  2. Certificate of origin
  3. Bill of lading
  4. Customs bond
  5. Commercial invoice

Prepare to pay import taxes and make arrangements for the pickup and delivery of your items when the purchase is delivered.

Examine the package for damage, then get in touch with your source to let them know it has arrived.

Importing and selling Chinese goods may be a successful company, despite the first procedure being a little intimidating.

Just make sure you do your homework and anticipate a few hiccups along the road.

Take things slowly and don’t be scared to network or ask questions of others.

You have to start somewhere, and your business may succeed with a little experience.

Make payments to China

When you have to send money to China for your supplier, importing plays a significant role.

Recently, the Yuan, or RMB, has been permitted to increase in value by the Chinese government.

This implies that if you buy RMB and pay your supplier in China with that RMB, you’ll be in a stronger position to haggle for better terms.

You’re providing your Chinese partners with a stronger currency that they can also use at home.


Understanding the essential measures to guarantee your business is successful and sustainable while importing goods from China is crucial. This is given that you adhere to the correct regulations.

It might be worthwhile to spend time learning about the Chinese procurement procedure. It may help you make prudent investments, effectively maintain your sales, and cultivate the correct connections with your suppliers.

Opening a business account is one of your alternatives for making sure your transactions are worthwhile and to prevent any errors.

You may send and receive payments without incurring any responsibilities while using a virtual business account, just as with banks.

Whether you’re a business owner or an online merchant, a business account has a number of advantages. Such include having a multi-currency account, no transaction cap, and many more things.


What are the commonly banned exports in China?

Meat, poultry, and by-products of animal origin Fruits and vegetables, seeds, cosmetics, medications, and medical supplies every combustible material, tobacco items, Explosives, valuable metals, Any branded items, whether genuine or not Alcohol (without necessary licensing), motorized vehicles of any type, or boats of any kind.

How can you ship to China?

Either a Full Container Load (FCL), which uses the whole shipping container, or a Less Than Container Load (LCL), which shares space with other shipments, are two ways to ship.

What initial import documents do I need to show?

Packing lists, a bill of lading, a certificate of origin, a customs bond, and a commercial invoice.

How to get products directly from China?

Utilizing a sourcing agency like Canary is the best approach to make purchases straight from China. Other options exist to communicate directly with suppliers, including Made-In-China, Date, and Alibaba. Your best choice will be to work with a firm like Canary, who has ties with suppliers that have been built over many years.

What is the best site to import from China?, Date,, CJ Wholesale, Made in China, Global Sources, China Wholesale, Yaw Market, and others are among the top 9 Chinese wholesale websites.

What are 3 imports of China?

Chemicals, fuels, machinery and apparatus (including semiconductors, computers, and office equipment) make up the majority of China’s imports.

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