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November 15, 2017

A Guide to Exporting to China from Europe

Exporting to China can be a great move for your business if done correctly.

There is a huge market for crossborder ecommerce in China.

One of the first questions you may ask yourself when considering whether or not to export to China, is whether or not it is legal to ship your product there.

Thankfully there are many products that can be sent directly to China for crossborder ecommerce, and you can see the full list here. The list includes clothes, milk products, food, clothing, furniture and more.

Another question you will likely ask yourself is how will your customers pay, and who will handle the currency conversion?

The most popular payment methods in China are WeChat and Alipay. With both of these ewallets, your customer pays in CNY, and then the app owners (Tencent or Alibaba respectively) will covert the currency. They handle the conversion with their partner bank and will charge about 2.5% for the service. The amount paid is then sent to the app providers overseas account. Once the settlement amount is reached, it is then transferred to your merchant account.

exporting to china

For exporting to China, there are 2 different options for shipping.

The first is Direct Shipping. Directly shipped packaged go directly to the customer, but this can be an expensive process. These packages can take a long time to arrive, and are unlikely to be tracked or guaranteed to arrive. They are also more likely to be help up at customs. In such a case, your customer will have to claim the item in person, and may need to pay tax to allow their package to enter the company. Although it may seem like a hassle, direct shipping is a good idea when you begin exporting to china for the first time. It allows you to test the reaction to your product in the country before shipping a large amount of your goods out. 

The other option is to use the service of a logistics partner operating from a Hong Kong or other free trade zone. This is a much more scalable option in you plan to ship a significant amount of products to China. Your logistics partner should be able to guide you through the process of clearing customs, making sure you pay the appropriate taxes and fees.

Clearing Customs

The customs clearance process in China can be quite complex. In order for customs to be cleared, as a merchant you must provide the legal name and ID number of your customer. After this, the package will be inspected & examined and documents must be submitted. Once fees and taxed are paid, the package is then released but still subject to foreign exchange control.


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