This leaves ample opportunities for British businesses: China is the UK’s third largest import partner, and demand for goods from China is increasing.
To find out more about why China is sometimes called ‘the factory of the world’, the following guide gives key details on importing from China, including what documentation you will need for Customs clearance.
Sources: GOV.UK, McKinsey Global Institute
For more detailed information when trading with China, download our China Fact Sheet.
Read more detailed
information about China
Gateways into the Country: 10
Number of Service Centres: 131
DHL Delivery Zone: 8
Vehicle Fleet: 1819
|China: Country Profile|
|Capital:||Beijing||IMPORTS TO CHINA|
|Population:||1.3 billion||Imports into
|US$ 1.653 trillion (2012 est.)|
|Area:||9,596,961 sq km||Import Commodities:||Electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles.|
|Currency:||1 yuan/renminbi (CNY) = 10 jiao = 100 fen||Top Import Destinations:||Germany, USA, Hong Kong, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Singapore.|
|GDP:||US$ 12.26 trillion (2012 est.)||EXPORTS FROM CHINA|
|Time Zones:||UTC +8; no summertime observed||Exports from
|US$ 1.971 trillion (2012 est.)|
|Languages:||Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages||Export Commodities:||Electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, radio telephone handsets, textiles, integrated circuits|
|Ethnic Groups:||Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uighur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, other nationalities 8.5%||Top Export Origins:||USA, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, India, UK, Hong Kong|
To commercially import into the UK, the receiver needs to hold an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number. This is issued by UK Customs, the HMRC.
Guidance and further information on obtaining an EORI number:
GOV.UK: EORI Scheme
General guidance for importing into the UK, including information on restricted items and Commodity Codes:
GOV.UK: Starting to Import
To find applicable duty rates:
GOV.UK: Trade Tariff
Most goods imported into the UK from China are subject to the full rate of Customs duty and the applicable VAT rate. Many products manufactured in China are also subject to anti-dumping measures and may require the payment of high additional duties.
When exporting goods from China, the following documentation is usually required for clearance with China Customs:
1. DHL Waybill
2. Commercial Invoice
Minimal required information: