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Prohibited and Restricted Items when Sending to China

There are several goods that China prohibits the import of, and like many other couriers, Fastlane® has a list of items that we will not carry. Fastlane ®’s list of restricted goods should be used in conjunction with the IATA’s forbidden goods and the goods that China prohibits for shipping:

  • Rhino horns
  • Any opiates
  • Syringes, both with and without needles
  • Needles of any description
  • Stethoscopes
  • Videogames
  • Games operated by coins
  • Refrigerators
  • Videotape recorders
  • Digital cameras
  • Wired phones
  • Television sets

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of goods that are prohibited for shipping to China. For the complete list, please see the Chinese English Service Guide.

China also restricts printed matter and other media which is detrimental to the political, economic, cultural and moral interests of the People’s Republic of China. If you’re not sure whether this applies to your package you should contact Chinese customs to make sure that your parcel will be allowed into the country.

Any shipments that are made up of wood, cane, bamboo and rattan – including items packaged in wooden pallets or crates – will undergo extra checks and further clearance from China Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, which may mean that your package takes several extra days to clear Chinese customs.

Furthermore, packages containing wood have to be chemically processed or require a Phytosanitary Certificate to be provided by the Plant Phytosanitary Authorities of the exporting country. If it is a processed wooden item in the package, it does not require this certificate, but the recipient has to issue an official statement on the method of wood processing.

A note on sending personal goods

Because personal effects – which includes unaccompanied luggage – are classed as used goods for personal use, you must clearly list them on the customs paperwork. As with all paperwork, it’s vital to fill in the forms as clearly and comprehensively as possible.

The recipient of the shipment is required to submit their passport, visa and proof of entry to China – including an arrival stamp on their passport – with a letter explaining the purpose of their import to China customs. The personal effects will only be cleared once all of these have been provided.

If you are sending books as part of your personal effects, keep in mind that all imports and exports of books in China must go through one of two authorised companies for customs clearance. This normally comes with a small fee charged by customs, and the receiver will be contacted to pay this fee before the shipment can be cleared.

When medicine is included in your personal effects, a Medical Inspection Certificate must be obtained by the Bureau of Health and Sanitation by the recipient of the shipment.

Any electronics, computers and mobile phones included as part of the shipment must have a China Compulsory Certification (CCC) from the China Inspection and Quarantine Services to pass through customs. The receiver must provide this to customs.

A CCC is not necessary for all shipments – some personal effects are exempt, so if you’re not sure whether you need one, contact Chinese customs before you send your package. Most shipments are inspected upon import into China, and if a CCC is required and not provided, the goods will be returned to the exporting country or will be seized in China.

Contacting Chinese Customs:

China customs phone number: (0755)84398000

Website: http://english.customs.gov.cn/

Address: No.6. Jianguomennei Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China