Shipping Samples to China? Don't Run Afoul of the Customs Bureau!

This time of year, we’re getting launched on many of new product development and manufacturing launch projects. That means our clients will be bombarding us with lots of prototypes and product samples. That also means that we’re going to get sideways with the China Customs Bureau. Why? Some people in the new product development community don’t know the sample shipping drill.

If you’re planning on sending us a sample of your product, there are new Chinese regulations in place regarding how the item should be identified on the shipping documents.

According to recent changes in Customs regulations in China, effective January 1, 2011, all export and import shipments to and from China (except for documents) require an Importer/Exporter Customs Registration Code (a 10-digit customs code generally known as a “CR” code) to be provided by the importer or exporter for customs declaration. Also required is the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) code for the items listed on the commercial invoice.

Please add our company’s CR code (*3205242280) as well as your product(s)’ HS code(s) to your commercial invoice when you ship your samples.

If you’re sending no value samples to China, please write “Free sample, no commercial value, for customs purposes only” on both the commercial invoice and airway bill.

For the declared value, please list a reasonable amount so not to draw the attention of the Customs Bureau. The current government policy states that if the total amount of the import duty and VAT (Value Added Tax) is more than RMB50.00 (approximately USD8.00), then it is necessary to pay this amount. If the import duty and VAT is less than RMB50.00 then no payments are required.

Estimated Import Duty and VAT calculation:

Import Duty = Duty Rate X CIF Sample Value (or 110% of the sample value)

VAT = 0.13 X (CIF Sample Value + Duty)

*Please feel free to contact your EastBridge representative if you have any questions.

So, make this first step in the NPD easy and predictable for your suppliers. Know the sample shipping drill and everything will go smoothly.


Jack Daniels

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