Temporary Entry to China

A Hot Tip about Trade Policy and Regulations in China

Posted on: 6 Jan 2010

1. Trade Shows & Exhibitions

Participants of trade shows and exhibitions can come into China on tourist visas and travel in-country. Notebook computers, cameras, portable printers, and VCRs can be brought into China as personal belongings. Business firms seeking to bring in exhibits and items for display should consult with customs authorities or the show organizers for regulation on the procedures and to obtain copies of appropriate forms.


2. Temporary Entry

Goods imported in China for display or demonstration at trade shows and exhibitions are exempt from Customs duty, provided they are re-exported within three months. The time for re-export may be extended with Customs approval. The exhibition organizer must obtain advance approval from Customs, provide certain shipping documents and a list of items to be exhibited, and coordinate with Customs officials. Customs may sometimes request a guarantee in the form of a deposit or letter. A local sponsor with authority to engage in foreign trade may sponsor small exhibitions or technical seminars, requiring less than 1000 square meters in exhibition space, without first seeking approval from MOFCOM. Customs will handle the tariff exemption


formalities based upon a guarantee of re-export that is signed between the sponsor and the foreign party. Food and beverage exhibition "not-for-sale" sample-entry rules are not clearly defined and appear capriciously applied. U.S. exhibitors should contact the exhibition organizers to determine their liabilities regarding sample entries for such events before registering to participate, to obtain a clearer understanding of exhibition-related expenses. Some exhibits or samples imported under the temporary not-for-sale regulations may be sold after the trade event is completed; in which case the duties owed on these items are levied by the Customs.


According to the Corporation for International Business, it should also be noted that as of July 20,2005, the ATA Carnet Issuing authority in China no longer required a cover letter along with the carnet presented to Chinese customs inspectors. The CIB is an ATA Carnet Service Provider of the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB), New York City. USCIB is the Guaranteeing and Issuing Association for ATA Carnet in the United States, under appointment of the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.


Companies are advised that freight forwarders will help to prepare a declaration Form and Chinese Customs requests the model and serial numbers for high value exhibits. Requirements may differ for types of products to be imported. In addition, fumigation is required for all wooden packing materials, in accordance with IPPC standards, and must bear the IPPC symbol.


3. Passenger Baggage

Reasonable quantities of items for personal use by short-term visitors may be imported duty-free. Other items such as cameras, televisions, stereo equipment, computers, and tape recorders must be declared and may be assessed a duty depending upon the item's value. Maximum cash allowed for an individual to bring on board is USD5000 each time.


4. Advertising Materials and Trade Samples

Samples and advertising materials are exempt from customs duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT) if the item's value does not exceed RMB 200 (USD 30). Samples and advertising materials concerning certain electronic products, however, are subject to customs duty and VAT regardless of value.


5. Representative Offices’ Personal Effects and Vehicles

Representative offices must submit a written application to Customs if they intend to import any personal effects or vehicles. Approval by Customs waives any relevant import license requirements and allows the office to import the equipment in reasonable amounts for office-use only.


6. Processing Materials and Parts

Raw materials, components, spare parts, auxiliary materials, and packaging materials imported by FIEs for the production of goods which will be re-exported are exempt from customs duty and VAT. The materials and components must be processed into products and exported within one year from the date of importation. In special circumstances, an FIE can apply to extend the date of export to a total time no longer than two years from the date of importation. Bonded warehouses may be established within the FIE and are subject to supervision by Customs.


7. Warehouses

Goods that are allowed to be stored at a bonded warehouse for up to one or two years, are limited to: materials and components to be used for domestic processing subject to re-exportation; goods imported under special Customs approval on terms of suspending the payment of import duties and VAT; goods in transit; spare parts for free maintenance of foreign products within the period of warranty; and fuel for aircraft and ships. At the end of the two-year period, the goods must be imported for processing and re-exported, licensed for import, or disposed of by Customs. Customs duties and VAT may be assessed depending upon the degree of processing done in China. Goods imported under normal import contracts are not allowed to be stored in bonded warehouses.



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Posted: 06 January 2010

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