Shipping to China: Getting Compliance Right
Think all you can do is import products from China? Though the “Made in China” label seems ubiquitous in the U.S., it’s not a one-way street: China is the third leading market for U.S. exports, after Canada and Mexico.
Like all other worldwide markets, China has its own set of regulations that require proper attention to ensure compliance, confirm proper importation and avoid delays in shipments.
What kinds of things are important to keep in mind when shipping to China?
- Count carefully. Discrepancies in piece counts between commercial invoices, packing lists and shipping documents can cause Chinese customs to place cargo on hold at time of arrival for inspection. Even a difference of just 1 piece can cause a delay.
- Don’t get flagged. Customs will flag shippers with frequent discrepancies, so even though a future order may be correct, the shipment could be delayed due to a reputation for previous errors.
- Consider infrastructure: The Chinese economy has been growing at a rapid rate, but oftentimes, technology and infrastructure hasn’t quite caught up. For example, Chinese trucks are smaller than American trucks, meaning more vehicles will be required to deliver freight.
- Don’t be shocked by high prices: With a lack of development and space for larger roads and warehouses, logistics services in China are at a premium. In fact, costs can be nearly double of those in the U.S.
- Know what restrictions apply: There are a number of U.S. export restrictions to China that may not be the same in other countries. These include things like commercial aircraft radar and certain types of computer equipment that are considered dual-use as military equipment (and require special licenses).
With proper planning, you can rise above many of these challenges. Download our guide on exporting to China to help ensure a successful and profitable experience for your company!