How to Import from China

There is no doubt that you can buy cheap clothes, shoes, toys, and other profitable products to import from China and benefit from them.
However, the import and export process between countries is undoubtedly very complicated, especially for a new beginner. But for a China Sourcing Agent who has been working in business trading for a long time, it is actually very simple.  And today we will show you how to import goods from China.

Importing goods from China wholesale, mainly divided into 7 steps:

1. Goods from China should be made sure that it can be imported into your country.

Some products are not permitted to be imported by customs. Prohibited products are various due to countries.

Therefore, the products to be imported must be confirmed first that they are licensed to be imported by the government. It will result in a large number of fines to import unsafe or illegal products. In severe cases, the products may be detained or destroyed.

For Example. Here are some U.S. Customs and Border Protection prohibited restricted items :

prohibited restricted items

2. Confirm the product and find a qualified supplier.

The merchant who traveled far and wide to China to buy the goods, in order to obtain benefits.

Therefore, be sure to choose a product that will help you make a profit while selecting. So you’d better collect as much information as possible about the product and the supplier, get a detailed description and a physical sample of the product. Of course, if possible, you’d better visit the factory in person to ensure the reliability of the products and suppliers.

so Where to find quality China manufacturers&Supplier? Here, we provide the top 10 places to find China Manufacturers:

3. Inquiry & Quotation

Generally speaking, international trade starts with the inquiry and quotation of the product.

Quotation for the exported product mainly consists of: the quality grade of the product, specification and model of the product, whether the product requires special packaging, the quantity for purchasing, delivery time, transportation mode, the material of the product, etc.

China Sourcing Agent Suggest:

  • When making an inquiry, please ask for the material, size, weight, specification, and function of the product as much as possible. When placing an order, the factory is required to provide confirmation samples before the product can be arranged
  • If you have a quality requirement for products. Such as azo-free, SGS, FLGB, etc test report thus factory shall be informed in advance. Because basically the factory will give you an attractive price, but if you need requirements for testing report or certificates, There may have big different price and quality in between.
  • For the design of products which are similar to the famous brand, please be sure to confirm with the factory again and again whether this design can be exported. If the factory says yes, please ask the factory to sign a guarantee paper. If the goods can’t ship to the destination they will be responsible for all the losses.

4. Signing the contract

After the two parties have reached an agreement on the quotation, the buyer will formally place an order and negotiate with the seller on some related matters. After both the parties have agreed and approved, the “Purchase Contract” needs to be signed.

At the proceeding of signing, it is mainly under negotiation on item name, specification, and model, quantity, price, packaging, place of origin, shipping period, payment terms, settlement method, claim, arbitration, etc., which will be written in the “Purchase Contract” after the two parties reached an agreement

Please keep an eye on the production of the goods after placing the order. Such as when the material is in place, finished product time, packaging time, etc. So you can arrange the inspection and transportation in advance.——China Sourcing Agent

5. Payment Terms

There are three normal terms of international trade payment, namely, the letter of credit(LC), TT, and direct payment.

  • LC: letter of credit is a guaranteeing document issued by banks that assure sellers of the ability of the buyer to pay for the goods in due time. Due to the multiple cumbersome procedures involved with it, a letter of credit is only used as a last resort by buyers and sellers. Most sellers wouldn’t agree to it unless the order amount exceeds $20000.
  • TT: The Telegraphic Transfer is standard bank transaction, placed either through your internet bank, or in a local bank branch. This payment method is accepted by all Chinese manufacturers with a bank account.
  • Direct Payment: If you feel free, you can also use cash for face-to-face trading, or use PayPal, Western Union to pay.





1. Accepted by all suppliers with a bank account
2. Low Cost

1. Requires an upfront deposit payment
2. No payment protection


1. No deposit payment required
2. Puts pressure on the supplier to comply with buyer requirements

1. Rarely accepted for very small orders (e.g. Below $30,000)
2. Not accepted by all supplliers
3. High fees


1. Suitable for very small transactions (e.g. Sample orders)
2. Fast. Payments arrive instantly.

1. Not accepted by all suppliers
2. High fees

6. Transportation Arrangement of the Goods

The cost of transporting goods is high, including container cost, packaging cost, terminal handling charge, and brokerage fees. Each factor should be considered for comprehensive transportation costs.

Usually, there are two transportation ways of importing goods from China: by air and by sea.

The flight charge is high and it is suitable for light-weight and high value-added products.

Bulk goods are usually exported by sea. Therefore, it is necessary to elect an appropriate packaging, container type, and transportation insurance so as to ensure that the goods can arrive the destination safe and sound with low loss and reasonable shipping cost.

  • Packaging Manner

You can choose the packaging manner (for example, carton, wooden box, woven bag, etc.) according to the goods. The packaging requirements vary from package to package.

  • General export packaging standards: packing according to the general standards of export trade.
  • Special export packaging standards: packing according to the special requirements of customers on export goods.
  • Packaging and shipping mark (transportation mark): they should be carefully checked and verified to meet the requirements of the LC.
  • Types of Shipping Containers

(1) According to the size:

20’ Container:5.69m x 2.13m x 2.18m and actual cargo gross weight 17 tons. Volume: 33.1 cbm

40’ Container:11.8m x 2.13m x 2.18m and actual cargo gross weight 22 tons. volume: 58 cbm

40’ HQ (high-cube) Container: 11.8m x 2.13m x 2.72m and actual cargo gross weight 22 tons. volume: 68 cbm

(2) According to the material: aluminum alloy container, steel container, fiberboard container, glass-reinforced plywood container.

(3) According to the purpose: dry freight container; reefer container, dress hanger container, open top container, flat rack container, tank container.

  • Type of Insurance

There are three types of insurance: Free from Particular Average (F.P.A), With Average or With Particular Average(W.A or W.P.A) and All Risk(A.R.).

  • F.P.A covers the total loss of goods due to natural disasters at sea; the overall loss of goods during loading and unloading or transshipment; sacrifice, sharing and salvage costs due to general average; Total loss and partial loss of cargo due to transport vessels hitting the rocks, stranding or sinking caused by collision, flood, and explosion.
  • W.P.A is one of the primary insurance of marine transportation insurance. In addition to the risks listed in the F.P.A, it also covers the risks of natural disasters such as severe weather, lightning, tsunamis, and floods, etc.
  • The coverage of All Risk is equivalent to the sum of W.P.A and general additional risks.

7. Track the Shipments and Obtain the Goods

International shipping takes time. For example, goods shipped from China take an average of 14 days to reach the U.S. West Coast or 30 days to reach the U.S. East Coast.

Meanwhile, please check your commercial invoice(CI), packing list(PL), bill of lading(BL) and other relevant shipping documents (which will be provided to you by your supplier). If something goes wrong, you can quickly find the core issue and solve it.

With these documents, you can also follow up the progress of cargo transportation, as well as the entire transportation and process. When the goods arrive at the port, you can get the goods after the broker cleared the customs.

Click here to know specific details about import from China:

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