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China's Clearance Procedure

[China's Clearance Procedure]



Definition of customs clearance


Customs clearance refers to export, import, and return in accordance with laws and regulations.


Specifically it refers to a series of procedures performed by Customs after entry-exit details are declared, followed by documentary examination and inspection on export/import goods and vehicles, and collection of customs duty and approval for import/export, etc.


As import and export products have increased sharply, effective customs clearance system become particularly important to China. Recently, China adopted import clearance system of developed countries, excepting some areas because of large territory and imperfect administrative system. Compared to past, other regions also are equipped with a stable and efficient customs clearance system.


Some enterprises still believe that China's customs system is unprincipled and backward, but the system and the implementation of the system of China has been no less than developed countries. Therefore, thorough preparation should be made for customs clearance.



Import and export customs clearance procedures of China


China's import and export customs clearance process is generally divided into customs declarationproducts inspection taxation customs clearance and entry and exit, which are four stages.


As for import and export with processing trade mode and products required for post-management, its customs procedures are customs declaration products inspection taxation customs clearance and entry and exit losing of customs clearance, which are five stages.




Consignor or his agent of imported and exported goods submits the relevant documents to the customs for customs clearance application.


Products inspection


Customs inspects the import and export goods to verify the consistency of application materials and goods, and to examine the involvement with illegal actions and the legality of import and export.




According to China's Customs Act, and import and export tariff regulations, except for specified by the State, all import and export goods are taxed, and the tax rates are based on import and export tariff regulations of China. In addition, during the process of import, consumption tax, VAT and other domestic taxes are levied.


Customs clearance, and entry / exit


Customs clearance in a narrow sense refers to administrative measures which customs officer re-confirmed the previous stages of materials report, products inspection, taxation and other customs procedures, and sealed for the permit of entry and exit of import and export goods.


However, for import goods with the bonded processing trade mode and post-management, Customs will release goods after reviewing the application materials, and the goods enter the follow-up management phases for import and export goods.


Closing of customs clearance


Customs of sailing inspects the released import and export goods under post-management and processes padding materials, and taxation services within the prescribed period.


For imported processing trade goods, the Customs, within the time limit of processing trade, confirms the status of import and re-export, and remaining amount. In addition, it fulfills padding material for domestic sales, taxation procedures, and then closes contracts of customs clearance processing trade.


For temporary import and export goods, the customs confirms re-export status of temporary import and export goods within the prescribed period, and fulfills taxation and confirmation procedures and finally closes customs supervision.


For tax relief goods, at the expiration of customs supervision period for imported goods, by releasing the supervision declaration and issuing "Releasing proof of customs supervision for imported goods tax relief", the customs supervision business is completed.



China's import and export goods declaration system


Declaration methods


Declaration as the first stage of customs clearance contains three methods such as oral declaration, written declaration, and electronic declaration by EDI.


Customs registered customs broker, customs clearance agent, enterprises which process their own customs business and their customs personnel have the qualification of declaration.


Declaration contents should be filled with business enterprises with import and export goods, the consignee or consignor, declared enterprises, modes of transport, and trading partner. These documents shall be submitted along with declaration details, submitted import and export declaration form, and import and export permits, and other relevant materials together. This way of declaration is almost the same with other countries.


Required documents for customs clearance


1. Basic Materials

Commercial and delivery notes related to import and export of goods


INVOICE (delivery insurance documents must be submitted together)

P / L (excluded bulk, single goods or goods which match its packaging and contents)

B / L (ocean import and export)

AWB (Air transportation)

Package details (postal transportation)

Licensing of goods received (land transportation)

Export payment receipts declaration confirmation(for export)

Tax relief certificate for import and export goods issued by customs and bonded registration certificate proof.


2. Special materialsFor different products, some are required to provide special management certificates regulated by the foreign trade regulations.


Quota permit (Quota proof, import and export permit issued by national planning authorities)

Other special materials (commodity inspection certificates, animal and plant inspection certificate, pharmaceutical inspection certificate, and other kinds of certificates in supervisory conditions)


3. Preparatory materials

If necessary, the customs will request for providing below materials:


Trade contract

Certificate of Origin

Business license of commissioning party

Account information and other related materials of commissioning party


Filling in customs clearance application


Please fill in customs clearance application form based on the above-mentioned materials, but the characteristics of Chinese system are that each trade owns its different filling method, the number of copies, and the color of application form.


General trade - white application form - three copies for both import and export(only one for EDI declaration)

Processing with imported materials - pink application form 4 copies for import, 5 for export

Processing with supplied materials - light green application form 4 copies for import, 5 for export

Foreign-invested enterprises - light blue application form- 4copies for both import and export

The case tax rebate is accompanied - yellow application form - 4copies for both import and export


Pre-input of customs clearance declaration


According to Customs clearance declaration personnel regulations of China, for computerized login system, professional agent of clearance enterprises and their declarant should first input declaration data and upload to the Customs computer, which is known as pre-input of customs clearance declaration with the same effect as manual operation of customs clearance declaration.


Notes for declaration


Declaration areaFor imported goods, the consignee or his agent will declare at customs having jurisdiction over the location of import, and for exported goods, the consignor or his agent will declare at customs having jurisdiction over the location of export.


However, except for special reasons for prohibition, prior declaration for bonded transportation (so-called transit goods system) can be transferred to other jurisdictions for customs declaration.


Goods for border crossing, transit transport, and direct transport are transported to abroad through transport system in China. Such goods shall be declared by the responsible person for vehicles.


Declaration qualification

According to Chinese customs regulations, qualified objects are recorded customs clearance enterprises (agents), or enterprises with the qualification of import and export.


Specific as:

Consignee or consignor of import and export goods is limited to enterprises with the qualification of import and export.

Self declaration enterprises should be recorded at customs.

(Agent) customs declaration enterprise should be customs recorded. enterprises, the clients are required to obtain import and export qualification.

Declarant should be designated by declaration enterprises which are trained and approved by Customs.


Customs clearance deadline

For imported goods, declaration should be made within 14 days since the arrival date of delivery; for exported goods, declaration should be made within 24 hours after the shipment of goods. After the declaration deadline, imported goods will be levied additional tax according to 5 / 1000 of the landed price.



China‘s inspection for import and export goods


According to Customs Act of China, import and export goods except for declaration by consignee or consignor, and special goods whose inspection have been exempt shall go through inspection of Customs.

Customs' inspection of goods is processed in the period regulated by custom, and at the port, warehouse or goods installation area or other designated locations. But, products such as the workshop, precision equipment, valuables, urgent need supplies, door to door transportation of containerized goods which cannot be inspected at designated locations shall be on-site inspected by customs personnel according to the declarant’s application.


Range of inspection is related to the consistency of nature, origin, condition of goods, quantity, and amount of money for import and export goods with the declared contents.





Transferred customs clearance system


In order to facilitate port goods distribution, and simple formalities of consignee or consignor of goods, customs clearance can be transferred to other jurisdiction of customs, according to the declaration enterprise's application.


Direct customs clearance system


Import and export direct customs clearance permit means that imported goods with statutory requirements are inspected at inspection institutions of destination not at inspection institution of the port.


Direct customs clearance system is not applicable for all import and export. Import and export supplier should possess the necessary qualifications and goods must be the corresponding products of direct customs clearance.


Import and export guarantee system


Like other countries, for incomplete customs declaration documents and documents with suspicion of illegality, application of post-payment of tariff, temporary import and export goods, and import bonded goods with processing trade mode etc. security may be offered before customs clearance. If the obligations are not fulfilled, foreclosure will be implemented.



ReferencesCustoms entry and exit customs clearance declaration form and inserted items of taxation declaration form of China


1. Pre-input No.

2. Customs Code

3. Import port / Export Port

4. Record No.

5. Contract Agreement No.

6. Date of import / export

7. Declaration date

8. Business units

9. Receiving unit / delivery unit10. Declaration unit11. Mode of transportation

12. Name of conveyance13. Voyage or flight number

14. Bill of Lading No.

15. Mode of trade (supervision regulation0

16. Nature of exemption

17. Proportion of increased tax/ settlement mode

18. License number19. Country of departure(region) / Country of arrival(region)

20. Port of loading / port of arrival

21. Domestic destinations / domestic source of goods

22. Approval Number23. Mode of transaction

24. Freight charges

25. Premiums

26. Incidental expenses

27. Number of items

28. Kinds of packing

29. Gross weight (kg)

30. Net weight (kg)

31. Container No.

32. Attached documents

33. Use/ manufacturer

34. Mark code and note

35. Item No.

36. Product Code

37. Product name, specifications

38. Quantity and unit

39. Country of origin (region) / final destination country (region)

40. Unit Price

41. Total price

42. Currency system

43. Reduction rates

44. Status of taxation

45. Input operator

46. Input units

47. Filled date

48. Customs certificate annotation and releasing date (with signatures and stamp)

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