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In this page: Customs Procedures | Industrial and Manufacturing Profile | Identifying a Supplier | Controlling the Quality of the Products | Organizing Goods Transport To and From China


Customs Procedures

Export Clearance
An export license is required for a foreign trade company (FTC) as soon as it wants to export goods from China. However, this may not be necessary if the goods are under incoterm FOB (free on board). An export license or permit is a document that gathers information about the exporter, the buyer, the cargo, the value and the mode of transportation and it is issued to firms by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
Necessary Declaration

In general, the supplier provides:

  • export licensed or permit
  • certificate of origin
  • HS Code
  • invoice
  • packing list
  • certificate of fumigation
  • Value and description of the merchandise
  • Composition of the merchandise
  • Finished/semi-finished
  • Name/contacts of the supplier
  • Destination of product
  • Recipient
The China’s Ministry of Commerce has classified goods in three categories in order to determine what type of export license is required for each goods: the permitted goods (automatically licensed), the restricted goods and the prohibited goods.The restricted goodscan be exported, but either license approval or annual quotas allows their control and their regulation. The exportation of prohibited products is absolutely banned and cannot be traded.
Export Taxes
Only a few goods and semi-finished products are subject to export duties. As of January 2020, China continues to impose export tariffs or provisional export duties on 107 commodities with fixed and unchanged tax rates.

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Industrial and Manufacturing Profile

Industry (including construction) amounts to 39% of Chinese GDP, according to the World Bank. Principal industries in China are mining (world leader in reserves of tungsten , molybdenum and titanium), coal (world leader in coal production and consumption), metallurgy, petrochemicals, naval (leading shipbuilding nation), automotive (China was the leading market for motor vehicle production with about 25.7 million cars and commercial vehicles produced in 2019) and energy (second producer in electrical energy). China is also the world's biggest producer of electric household appliances products (creating one third of worldwide production), third largest producer in data-processing products (second for the PC), the largest producer of toys (70% of worldwide production), largest producer of shoes and the largest producer and exporter of textiles.

Sector-specific professional associations

86 professional associations listed for China.

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Type of Manufacturers

Original Equipment Manufacturers
Chinese OEM's are in automobile industry aeronautics industry, mobile phone industry and laptops. Many of these OEM are at the same time, ODM's.
Original Design Manufacturers
The ODM in China specializes in the manufacture of electronic products with a cost advantage. Certain ODM are well internationally established OEM. Several startups are specialized in wireless, digital products or instrumentation. Some examples are: China Electronics Corp., Panda Electronics, Shinko Electronics.
China is one of the 3 great centers of international subcontracting. Subcontracting is particularly developed in China in the textile and shoe industry, in the mechanical engineering and machinery industry. China has cheap labor, university graduates speaking foreign languages and a telecommunication network and an ever expanding Internet.
Useful Resources
Chinese sourcing summit

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Identifying a Supplier

Chinese multisector Business directories

2345 - Multi-sector directory for the Chinese market

2FindLocal China - Multisector directory for the Chinese market - China - Directory of companies in China

BizExposed China - Business directory for China

BizPages China - Chinese business directory

Bloombiz China - Business directory for China

Business Directory China - China business directory

China and Taiwan Products Online - Directory of manufacturers from China and Chinese Taipei.

China Business Directory - Business directory for China

China Directory - Chinese business directory


To see 18 more, check out our Business Directories database.

Chinese Marketplaces

Sample of marketplaces incorporated in China (A to Z)


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Upcoming Trade shows in China

April 24th, 2024
Food industry - Alcoholic drinks - Non-alcoholic drinks - Bakery, pastry, confectionery - Cereals, spices, tobacco - Fruits and vegetables - Dry groceries, packaged goods - Dairy products - Fish and seafood - Meat and poultry - Wines, spirits
April 24th, 2024
Land planning, urban planning - Construction, public works - Masonry, carpentry, pipework - Waterproofing, roofing, plumbing, carpentry - Painting, door and window frames, wall and floor coverings - Electrical installations - Heating, air conditioning, ventilation - Sanitary equipment, kitchen, swimming pool - Wholesale, B2B intermediaries - Retail, distribution - Retail business - Machine tools, agricultural machinery - Robotics - Precision, measures, optics, watches - Equipment - Networks - Telecommunications - Internet, cybersecurity - Transportation, logistics, handling - Air transport, airports - Maritime transport, river transport, cruises - Road transport - Rail transport - Logistics, handling - Freight - e-commerce
April 24th, 2024
Robotics - Electronic equipment and components - Software
April 25th, 2024
Plastics, rubber - Automobiles, lorries - Automobile manufacturing, lorries - Automobile subcontracting, lorries - Cycles, motorcycles - Machine tools, agricultural machinery - Hardware, tools, accessories - Professional hardware - Oil - Metallurgy, steel, foundry - Industry service - Embedded systems
April 25th, 2024
Plastics, rubber - Automobiles, lorries - Automobile manufacturing, lorries - Automobile subcontracting, lorries - Cycles, motorcycles - Machine tools, agricultural machinery - Hardware, tools, accessories - Professional hardware - Oil - Metallurgy, steel, foundry - Industry service - Embedded systems
April 25th, 2024
Health, medicine - Medical professions - Hospital - Dental - Medical Equipment
April 25th, 2024
April 27th, 2024
Automobile manufacturing, lorries - Automobile subcontracting, lorries - Renewable energy - Electrical equipment - Electronic equipment and components - Embedded systems
May 1st, 2024
Medical professions - Hospital - Pharmacies, analysis laboratories - Dental - Medical Equipment - Technique and technology
May 1st, 2024
Hygiene, perfumes, cosmetics - Packaging, packing, conditioning - Pharmacies, analysis laboratories - Research, innovation - Technique and technology - Earth sciences - Natural sciences - Sciences

To see 1.107 more, check out our Trade shows database

Controlling the Quality of the Products

Quality Control Organizations
CIS China Inspection Services

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Organizing Goods Transport To and From China

Main Useful Means of Transport
Ten ports in mainland China are included among the 30 top container harbors in the world. The port of Shanghai is by far the busiest in the world. The cargo turnover of Shanghai port exceeded 40 million twenty-foot equivalent shipping units (TEUs) in 2018 (latest data available). In 2018, the country shipped 249.8 million TEUs, which was a 5.3% increase on the previous year.

Road freight is the most prominent mode of cargo transportation in China. As of 2018, China had one of the largest road networks in the world. It measured around 4.8 million kilometers, second only to the United States. In 2019 there was a drop in the total volume of goods transported by road in China. Nonetheless, in 2019, cargo road freight traffic volume in China amounted to nearly six trillion ton-kilometers.  

In 2019, the cargo volume of China's air freight traffic amounted to approximately 26.32 billion ton-kilometers. China currently has 238 civil aviation airports, including the world's second busiest in Beijing.

Railroads are the principal mode of transport and the cheapest solution for long distance freight. In 2019, the volume of China's rail freight traffic had amounted to 3.02 trillion ton-kilometers. The country's state railways transported 299 million tons of freight in May 2020, an increase of 11.15 million tons compared to a year ago, according to data from China State Railway Group Co Ltd. There are currently a total of 141,400 km of railway lines in China, including 36,000 km of high-speed lines, the most important in the world, according to China State Railway Group figures. China aims to have about 200,000 kilometers of railway tracks by the end of 2035, including about 70,000 km of high-speed railway.

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By Road

Transport Professionals
Chinese association of road transport (in Chinese)
Government Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport

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By Rail

Transport Professionals
Guangshen Railway Company
China Railway Tielong Container Logistics Co., Ltd
Government Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport

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Latest update: April 2024

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