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China is one of the world’s most active and well-oiled delivery locations, so it’s no surprise that hundreds upon hundreds of deliveries and imports are passing through the country on a daily basis. While shipping here really isn’t much different from shipping anywhere else in the world, its popularity and the sheer volume of deliveries has led to a need for stricter customs rules and a general need for more secure packing where possible. Here, we’re exploring just what you need to know before you arrange your shipment to China.

The Paperwork

In order to pass through customs in the first place, you’ll need the right invoice to describe what is in the parcel, where it was manufactured, the value of each item and just why you’re sending the parcel. Unless you’re planning on shipping paperwork or documents to China, anything that you send will be subject to customs charges but in most cases, the recipient will pay these, so ensure that they are aware that this is the case! The overall customs charges will be 20-30% of the overall value of the goods being shipped.

All items will also require a tariff code, which you can find on the UK government website here.


Like all countries, China has its restrictions and prohibitions on what can and can’t be shipped into the country. Any cane, bamboo or Rattan, for example, will be subject to inspection by local customs, and all wood will need to be fumigated before shipping. Processed wood does not require this, but you will need to provide details and proof of how it was processed. Food and electronics also have their own documentation that you’ll need to provide.

Items that are entirely prohibited include:

  • Any documentation or media that China believes undermines ideology or culture. These will be destroyed on sight.
  • Aerosols
  • Dairy
  • Furs
  • Ivory
  • Fresh Food
  • Animals
  • Cash
  • Nail Varnish
  • Perfume
  • Plants
  • Tobacco
  • Seeds

These items cannot be shipped into China under any circumstances.

Packaging Tips

General packaging tips will help you ensure that, even when amongst a high volume of other shipments, your parcel and its contents will remain safe and secure. Of course, here at Barrington Freight we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of your parcel, but there are a few things you can do to further ensure safety in the case of accidents or circumstances outside of our control:

  • Ensure you invest in brand new corrugated cardboard box. Used boxes can have weak points that may break or tear during shipment, whereas brand new boxes are more likely to be strong from the very beginning until the very end.
  • Double or triple corrugated cardboard boxes can add even more protection in the case of bumps or scrapes throughout the journey.
  • Make sure that you fill in any gaps within the box with packing materials. Crumpled paper, bubblewrap, foam or packing peanuts can all make great and effective ways to ensure the safety of even the most fragile of items.
  • Cover the label on your box with clear tape. This can protect the ink from running or being smudged if your parcel happens to get wet during transit.

Shipping to China is simple as long as you ensure that all customs forms are completed and that you don’t try and ship anything prohibited. If you’re looking to send your goods to China, you can fill in our quote form today to get a bespoke quote on your shipments. We can help with the forms, the shipments, and ensuring your parcel arrives safely. If you have any further questions, get in touch with us today.