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China customs regulations let you know what items you are not allowed to bring in or out of China, and the 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 (see the list below), you must fill out a baggage declaration form (in duplicate) and hand it in to customs, retaining the carbon copy to show upon exit.
Personal possessions, gifts for relatives or friends in China, or articles carried on behalf of another, must be declared if duty is required to be paid, or if they fall under one of the categories below.
Passengers carrying over RMB 20,000 in cash or foreign currencies with a conversion rate exceeding US $5,000 shall be processed by Customs in accordance with the current regulations.
Passengers carrying foreign currencies exceeding US $5,000, which will be taken out of the country at the end of their stay, shall complete a Customs Declaration Form in duplicate. One copy of this form, endorsed by Customs, shall be returned to the passenger for relevant procedures at the time of their exit.
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, you must submit any baggage declaration forms with declarable items for customs inspection (the second copy). Those traveling 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.
Passengers carrying items for personal use, such as cameras, camcorders and laptops valued in excess of RMB 5,000 each, and which will be brought back from overseas, should complete Declaration Forms in duplicate.
One copy of this form, endorsed by Customs, will be returned to the passenger for relevant Customs procedures at the time of their re-entry.
Passengers carrying over RMB 20,000 in cash or foreign currencies with a conversion rate in excess of US $5,000 shall be processed by Customs in accordance with the current regulations.
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.
Whether you can consign or carry drugs, food, and health care products depends on whether they comply with the ingredients and type restrictions and 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.
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 (the following are for reference only):
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.
Tourists must provide written documentation from a medical institution to prove the necessity of the medicine. Customs will verify the amount of medicine the tourists needs according to the original prescription. 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.
Under the principle 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 paying a tax (20% on the excess). The result of an inspection by customs shall be final.
Under the principle 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.
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, one traveler can bring only one pet dog or cat cross the border.
1. After receiving the declaration of a pet dog or pet cat filed by a traveler, customs should inspect the certificate of quarantine and certificate of rabies vaccination issued by an official of the exporting country (or region).
2a. Customs should inform the port Animal and Plant Quarantine Office to quarantine the pet dog or pet cat. The port Animal and Plant Quarantine Office should provide certification of quarantine to the traveler. The validity of the certificate lasts for 30 days.
2b. If a traveler can not provide sufficient certification or exceeds the limited number, customs should inform the port Animal and Plant Quarantine Office to take temporary custody of the pets.
3. Tourists should handle the procedure of withdrawing the pets within the stipulated time. Pets will be considered unclaimed if tourists do not proceed with the formalities or do not declare the waiver of the pets. Under such circumstance, pets will be processed with quarantine treatment by port Animal and Plant Quarantine Office.