Certain items you are not allowed to bring in or out of China, and there are other things you must declare and pay duty on.
If you find you are carrying any of the following you must declare them, according to Chinese Law. They will probably be confiscated and an investigation held. Consequences are worse if found in possession once you have passed through customs.
If you have anything to declare, you must fill out a baggage declaration form (in two copies) and hand it in to customs, retaining the carbon copy to show upon exit.
Gifts for relatives or friends in China, or articles carried on behalf of another, must be declared.
Personal belongings will be admitted duty free, including food, two bottles of liquor and two cartons of cigarettes. Wristwatches, radios, tape recorders, cameras, movie cameras, and similar items may be brought in for personal use, but cannot be sold or transferred to others and must be used up or brought out of China.
Visitors can bring in up to 20,000 yuan in foreign currency and/or Chinese yuan (RMB) and/or traveler’s checks, and the unspent portion can be taken out.
On leaving China, the tourists must again submit the baggage declaration form for customs inspection (the second copy). Travels by ship are exempted.
Items purchased in China with RMB converted from foreign currencies may be taken out or mailed out of the country after receipts are presented for customs inspection. In cities where a Customs Office does not exit, this can be arranged through the local Friendship Store.
Q: What are the twenty commodities not exempted from duty?
A: TVs, video cameras, VCRs, video players, sound equipment, air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, cameras, duplicators, program-controlled telephone exchanges, microcomputers and peripherals, telephones, radio paging systems, facsimile printers, electronic calculators, type-writers and word processors, furniture, illuminating apparatus, and food materials.
Our Shopping in China guide includes a section on what not to buy in China for customs and other reasons.
Q: What are the restrictions on the consignment or carrying of Chinese herbal medicines and Chinese patent drugs abroad?
A: Medicine is in the catalogue of exporting restrictions. Whether you can consign or carry it depends on whether the medicine complies with the ingredients and type restrictions and quantity-related restrictions.
Quantity-Related Restrictions. The quantity consigned or carried must be within a reasonable amount for personal use. According to Administrative Regulations of the People’s Republic of China Concerning Consignment and Carrying of Chinese Herbal Medicines and Chinese Patent Drugs Abroad, the total quantity of Chinese herbal medicines and Chinese patent drugs should be limited to under 150 RMB for Hong Kong and Macau, and limited to under 300 RMB for abroad. As regards consignment, the total quantity of Chinese herbal medicines and Chinese patent drugs should be limited to under 100 RMB for Hong Kong and Macau, and limited to under 200 RMB for abroad.
Q: What are the regulations concerning bringing in high-end foods, such as dried sea cucumber, abalone, and cubilose, from abroad?
Quantity of consignment should be within a reasonable amount for personal use and should not exceed the limited quantity. The amount should be within 1,000 RMB.
If the ration you consign exceeds the limitation but is still for personal use, you must pay the duty in the 25th Proclamation of 2007. The tax rate on dried abalone is 10% at 5,000 RMB per kilogram. The tax rate on fresh abalone is 10% at 1, 000 RMB per kilogram. The tax rate on dried sea cucumber is 10% at 1, 500 RMB per kilogram. The tax rate on cubilose is 10%, but the price of cubilose ranges from 5, 000 RMB per kilogram to 15, 000 RMB per kilogram. Gifts of these products received from friends or family members can be listed as personal effects. But relative formalities are required. Or else it will be declared as cargo.
Q: What are the regulations of bringing in medicines for personal use?
The quantity of medicine foreign short-stay tourists are permitted to carry should be within a reasonable amount for personal use. The inspection of customs will be guided under the principal of “reasonable amount for personal use”.
Personal use includes personal consumption and giving as gifts, but does not include renting or selling. A reasonable ration is referred to as the normal amount you need during your travel and stay. Tourists must provide written documentation from a medical institution to prove the necessity of the medicine. Customs will verity the amount of medicine the tourists needs according to the original prescription. The quantity should be within a 7-day ration. A copy of the prescription will be kept as documentary evidence of the inspection of the tourist. A prescription can only be used for one customs inspection. Any exceeded amount should be declared as cargo.
Q; What are the regulations on bringing laptop computers from abroad?
Q: What are the regulations of bringing one new laptop computer and one used computer?
In principal, one person can bring only one laptop computer when crossing the border. The used laptop computer will be cleared. You must pay a 20% duty on a value of 5, 000 RMB for the new laptop computer. That is 1, 000 RMB. This is for your reference only. The result of the inspection carried out by customs shall be final.
Q: What are the regulations concerning bringing high-value (over 5, 000 RMB) cameras and other items from aboard?
Under the principal of personal use and reasonable amount, travelers should refer to the portal website of China Customs — Guidelines — Information Related to Travelers’ Belongings. Items carried by tourists which are not listed in the Table of Classification (valued higher than 5, 000 RMB) will not be regarded as personal belongings. These items can be cleared after pay a tax. The result of an inspection by customs shall be final.
Q: What the regulations of bring pet dogs or pet cats from abroad?
According to Notice on the Implementation of Regulations Concerning Entry of Pet Dogs and Pet Cats by the Ministry of Agriculture and General Administration of Customs,
Q: What are the restrictions on the consignment of oil paintings for transport abroad?
Under the principal of personal use and reasonable number, the value of personal postal articles should be under 1,000 RMB. Exception will be made for singular articles or indivisible articles which have been confirmed to be for personal uses and undergone required formalities. Senders who consign items for transport abroad must fill in a customs declaration form with the name of articles, quantity, and value and file the declaration to the accredited postal office. After clearance by customs, the article will be sent. Gifts of these products received from friends or family members can be listed as personal effects, but relative formalities are required, or else they will be declared as cargo.
Q: What are the restrictions on the consignment of pearls and jewelry for transport abroad?
According to the 43rd Proclamation of the General Administration of Customs, from 1st of September, 2010 on, “the total value of personal-use articles should be limited to under 800 RMB if tourists consign them to or receive them from Hong Kong or Macau, and under 1000 RMB if consigned for transport to or received from abroad. All entry postal articles should be collect import duty, but if taxes are under 50 RMB the article will be free of duty. When checking postal articles, clearances depend on whether or not the articles matches the requirements. Exceptions will be made for singular articles or indivisible articles which have been confirmed to be for personal use and undergone required formalities. Business mail should undergo cargo import procedures”.
Articles should be for personal use, or else they can be refused for consignment. As for entry articles from the United States, please contact local customs. This is for you reference only. The result of an inspection carried out by customs shall be final.