Import From China Business

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A practical guide for starting a small business

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Export to China

How to Export to China

Export to China can be a hair raising experience as you conquer the culture, language and political red tape.  With patience, perseverance and some solid knowledge, hundred of thousands of successful export entrepreneurs have successfully conquered the exciting opportunity of export to China.

Tips for Export to China

Here are some warning signs to be aware of when you are trying to export to China and sell your products.

  1. More Samples Please

    Your Chinese buyer asks for excessive samples or prototypes. Providing samples and prototypes is part of the normal process of exporting to China.  When this step becomes unreasonable or excessive, be cautious of your business partner's ulterior motives.
  2. Ship to Me Now

    Your Chinese business partner asks for the shipments before payments are fully secured.  While this may be fine with long time business partners, this is not something you want to engage in with someone new in the export to China process.
  3. China Import Dummies

    When you are working on your first business deal, it is normal to be enthusiastic and want to get it done.  However, be very cautious if you find that your buyer knows nothing about your product or your product category.  This is especially important with products that are more complex and technical by design.  Do you really want this person with little or no knowledge to represent your products in China?
  4. I Really Like You

    Finding the right buyer for your China Imports products takes time. You have to scrutinize the potential buyer especially if the interest in your products is unsolicited.  While it may be true that buyers will find you, be careful.  Like the old saying goes.  If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
  5. Ship to Where?

    Do your homework on shipping addresses and routes in China.  If your potential buyer has destination addresses or shipping routes that seem illogical, that is a cause for concern.  Similar to a taxi driver who takes the long way around, your potential buyer may have ulterior motives.
  6. Pay Me Now

    Review in detail what you are being charged for.  When the buyer begins to bill the seller for things like travel, gifts and banquets especially prior to negotiations, it is time to run.  He is interested in more than your products perhaps your bank account.
  7. Skipping Steps

    Your buyer wants to work around and bypass the Chinese government and or World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements. It may seem tempting to let your buyer expedite the process.  But ignoring requirements is simply a recipe for disaster.  When you are starting out in your China Imports or Export to China business, you might as well do it right from day one.

Inbound Customs for Export to China

Importing products to China or exporting products from your home country to China involves working with local Chinese customs.  If you are working with a freight forwarder or customs broker, they will likely process the paperwork, inspections and import custom fees on your behalf.  Certain kinds of products (food, medicines, cosmetics, clothing, furniture, technology products) will require special procedures.

Depending on the source of the goods, significant tariffs may be required prior to the goods being released into China.  If the goods are not processed within a certain time limit, then they may be auctioned off or sent for destruction.  It is wise to know exactly what you are doing and the steps involved prior to sending a shipment over to China.  This is not the time for a trial and error or learn by doing process.

Freight Forwarders for Export to China

Freight Forwarders can make life a lot easier for the Exporter to China. The role of the Freight Forwarder is to combine less than full container shipments at the country of origin and disperse them when they arrive in China.

Freight Forwarders have expertise in scheduling and traffic management. They will deal directly with the air, sea and land carriers as well as providing tracking and updates on the shipments.  The shipping formalities such as customs clearance, shipping fee, export and import tax payments, documentation and insurance become the responsibility of the Freight Forwarder.

Export Services to China

Exported services can be much simpler than exporting products to China. Services are a major component of China and the world's GDP.  For those export entrepreneurs  who have the skills to conduct background research and competitive analysis, it is a great export to China opportunity.  This typically requires direct communication between you, the provider and the client in China.  The client provider relationship can occur in a number of ways: