How To Import Goods From China To UK | Everything you need to know

by Tim Howard

Globalization and Technology in the Global market have advanced at an amazing rate, where you have access to all the consumer groups around the world in a matter of seconds and now we’ve reached the pinnacle of import and export to bring goods from different countries to your own with certain methods that ensure a safe transaction between you and global seller especially from china.

Importing goods from other Nations is economically beneficial where the cost of manufacturing is lowered and resources are available at different prices allowing you for a more profitable business. 

China being one of the world’s largest exporters for electronics and various other goods, draws the attention of foreign businesses. With their mass production houses and assembling lines, they are able to provide competitive prices that potentially help for enhanced margins of profit over the goods.

In this article, you will find out how you can ensure a streamlined and secure importing process.

The first thing you need to consider when importing anything internationally is to identify your shipping goals. If you have any time constraints or if you want the cheapest shipping option to increase profit margins. Keeping these factors in mind will help you choose the right method.

So let’s start with what you need to prepare for before importing.

Related : Cost of Shipping from China to USA

Related : List of Shipping Companies in China

Importing from China to UK – Guide

Preparation before importing

Importing from China to the UK can help you reduce a lot of the cost to increase your profit margins and improve the service that you can offer to your clients, giving your business a competitive edge. For this, you need to prepare yourself with a certain set of mandatory directives that allows you to qualify for importing products.

Below are the mandatory standards and directives

#1 Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) Number

This number is the first thing you will need to have to start importing products from China. 

Applying for your number is easy; you can apply for it online which takes about three days for you to receive. The UK customs uses this number to keep records of all the imports and export happening in the UK. when importing any cargo from China all the businesses in the UK require an EORI number.  

This number is required to produce a commercial invoice If you are using a chief system where you will also need to provide an electronic export declaration along with that. It is also required if you are using freight or a courier forwarder to deliver your shipment. 

#2 Check if the Goods aren’t banned for importing or if a license is required to receive the goods

Before you start importing from China you have to make sure that you have a license especially if the goods you’re intending to import come under the surveillance control category. 

You will have to visit the International Trade Department where you will find the option to apply for the license. 

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In some cases, Import control is subjected by the government to control the goods entering the country. 

Types of Import Control you should know about: 

#1 — Quotas Control – This control restricts the import of goods if it crosses a certain volume. 

#2 — Surveillance Control – This control makes sure that the goods being imported are recorded with licenses 

#3 — Bans Control – The product cannot be imported since it is banned in the country, no license or permission can be taken.

#3 Right Commodity Code

commodity code China to UK

Using the right commodity code is important when importing goods from China. 

How to find the right commodity code? 

To find the right commodity codes, visit UK Govt. trade tariff where you can also find the VAT and duty rates.

Why are commodity codes important?

This is the way your imported goods are classified. There are three reasons why this classification of imported goods: 

  1. You can check if you’re eligible for duty reliefs
  2. You can also check how much duty or VAT fee you owe, if any
  3. You can complete all the paperwork and declarations required  

#4 CHIEF system declaration by registering

Importers, exporters, and freight forwarders use the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) system to:

  •  Input their customs data electronically
  • Calculate duty and taxes that are payable
  • Check for errors automatically
  • Identify which is your consignment that requires documentation before import or if any of your goods needs to be examined which allows for a fast entry with low risks to your goods. 

However, if you’re hiring a freight forwarding agency, all your shipment process will be handled for you by them. 

On the other hand, if you decide to handle all the shipment mumbo-jumbo yourself, make sure that you properly declare the goods you import by registering with CHIEF. This way you you’ll experience a smooth, fast, and hassle-free importing process. 

#5 VAT Fee

China to UK VAT tax

When importing from China to the UK you will be required to pay a VAT together with the total sum of import duty and customs value. 

Customs Value = Imported product costs +  development costs paid to supplier + import duty tax + shipping cost from China to UK

If you are VAT registered it is a must to pay the VAT, however it can be claimed back when filing for your standard VAT returns.

#6 Customs Registration (CR) Number and Power of Attorney (POA)

You will need a Customs Registration number and a Power Of Attorney for the imported goods to clear customs. 

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In China, it’s mandatory that both importers and exporters have a valid customs registration number. 

If you want to make this process easier, the best thing to do is hire a freight forwarding agency. Your freight forwarder will help you with these processes and I assure you that this whole process of shipping from China to the UK will be a piece of cake!  

Once you have all the above mentioned in order we can move to the next step. 

#7 Shipping Methods From China to the UK

When shipping products you can choose multiple options like 

#1 Sea freight – Goods are stored in a container and loaded onto a cargo ship and shipped to the destination. (Most Common mode of import-export)

#2 Rail freight – Goods are transported by train to the desired location.

#3 Air Freight –  Goods are loaded onto a cargo plane sent to the destination. (Most Expensive import solution) 

Once your goods have arrived in the UK, you will need to clear the Importing tax (duty)

Related : Best Shipping Methods on Aliexpress

#8 Duty (Importing Tax)

Duty Tax affects the cost of the goods imported, All importers are required to pay UK duty Tax + VAT unless the goods imported fall under the category of duty-free. Let’s say you paid your supplier 5000 pounds for the goods, 500 pounds for shipping. And let’s assume that UK rating is 3.5% so the duty fee you would have to pay will be 3.5% of 5000 pounds which is 175. 

20% VAT – UK duty + Shipping + Total Cost of goods

In this case 20 % of 5675 = 1135 

So the total shipping cost you will have to pay is (Good Value + UK Duty + VAT) 

5000+175+1135 = 6310.

Carrier Services from China to the UK

Carrier services are known to provide bulk service orders to your doorstep. If you don’t mind spending extra you can depend on these carriers like DHL China, FedEx, TNT, and UPS. Where they will handle all your paperwork and ensure your goods are delivered safely. 

Choose Door to Door Shipping Method to Ship from China to UK

The only problem using the door to door shipping method from China to UK is that it takes a lot of time. So, if time isn’t a concern for you then this shipping method is the best way to go because the freight forwarding agency will take care of everything and all you have to do is… well, nothing! 

With this guide to how to import from China to the UK, I hope I’ve made the process of shipping from China to the UK easier to understand.In my opinion, hiring a freight forwarding agency or a freight forwarder is the best way to go! 

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Choosing the right products to import from China to Uk

Selecting the right products is very crucial for a successful business and brand especially when you’re selling Chinese manufactured products. when choosing the right products to import, you have to consider the market environment you are selling to, if you have sufficient capital and an appropriate business strategy. Once you’ve confirmed the product you want to import is time to find a verified supplier. 

Finding The Right Chinese Supplier 

One of the best ways to find the right sellers is through, where they have more than 8.5 million active sellers that work on a b2b basis. Almost any product you have in mind you will find a manufacturer here for it.

If you want to find a cooperative supplier selling high-quality goods, my advice is that you attend a large-scale product exhibition. If you plan on ordering in bulk, scout the wholesale supplier market to find the best supplier!

Required Labeling

The CE label should be affixed on your goods. 

Why is this important?

The CE label is important because for anything to be sold in the Europian Union it has to be complaint with teh CE directives 

This CE label should be on the product unit, in the user manual and packaging. Also, make note that this is something that has to be done by your supplier in China. 

You need to check with your supplier if he has these specific label requirements as most of them might not be aware when importing. Hence you must provide the supplier with the position you want to affix the mark, the dimensions, and the graphic file on the product ensuring that there are no hassles. 

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