Importing Products from China: A Step by Step Guide


China remains one of the countries topping the charts when it comes to manufacturing and export of consumer goods. Over the years businesses around the world have relied on the efficacy of this tactic.

One of the major reasons for the success this country enjoys is that there are reliable agents for importing products from China. Importing from China provides wholesalers with a whole lot of opportunities and advantages including increased revenue.

Steps Involved in Importing Goods from China

For importers across the world, below are step-by-step processes involved in importing goods from China. Note however that the procedures described below are for general purposes and it is always best to check with your local customs authority.

1. Identify your import rights.

You are regarded as an importer when you buy products from foreign countries. Every country has import rights so it is left for you to identify yours. For small packages intended for personal use, courier services such as UPS/DHL/FedEx handle the delivery.

But the process is a bit more difficult for bulk purchases and regulations vary from country to country. For instance, if you are a resident of the U.S., your Social Security Number or your company’s Internal Revenue Service Number will be used to carry out the routine. On most occasions, import regulations apply only to goods imported for commercial purposes.

2. Identify the goods you wish to import

Granted, importation and trading are a profitable business but if you are not careful about your choice of products, you will lose money and time. Your products are going to be the face of your business so you should choose something you are going to take pride in selling. It is always advisable to go for products that you are knowledgeable about. The products you choose will determine your profit margins, your marketing style, and your design.

3. Ensure the goods you wish to import are permitted in your country

Importation of certain foods is prohibited by certain countries. As an importer, you must ensure that you are not breaking any government regulation by importing a certain product.

You should avoid goods that are not safe and goods that fail to meet government requirements and health code requirements. Violating restrictions can cost you money and time. In a worst-case scenario, the imported products will be detained and destroyed.

4. Find a supplier in China and place your order

Select a trusted supplier and identify the most suitable shipping terms. Ask for a Proforma Invoice (P/I) after you have chosen your supplier. The P/I is a non-legal document that helps you make a budget for future purchases. This document also contains a clear description of the item purchased, the weight, and the value of the item.

5. Arrange your cargo transport

To get a proper estimate of shipping cost, factors such as packaging fee, broker fee, container fee, and terminal handling should be put into consideration. Once you are satisfied with the pricing system, you should provide your transport company with your supplier’s contact details. The transport company will keep in touch with the supplier to ensure that your goods get to you safely and on time.

6. Track your cargo and prepare for the arrival

International shipment takes time. For instance, importing goods from China to the west coast of the United States will take about 14days, or 30 days for imports into the East Coast.

On a normal condition, you will be notified within 3-5 days of port arrival through an arrival notice. When the goods finally arrive, you will be expected to file an entry document with the port director at the goods entry port.

7. Obtain your shipment

On goods arrival, make arrangements for the goods to be cleared through customs. A period of quarantine is also observed if need be. On completion of this process, you are now allowed to pick your goods.

Most times, to-door services are made available for customers who wish to have their goods delivered to a particular address. You can utilize this service too.


Importing products from China might seem intimidating. If it does, getting an agent might be the best way forward. So, what are you waiting for?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here