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Required documents for importation from China


Before beginning the importation, it is really important to know about the required documents for import. Most people face issues or even understand that it is impossible to ship a particular type of goods in the middle of the process. So, let’s look at the list of the required documents for import from China. Don’t forget that they are not full and it may differ depending on your country or city, but it is the most common and basic one.

  1. Commercial invoice

It is one of the key documents for importation that is used for valuation, duty determination, and others. It should include name and address information for shipper and consignee, and other characteristics of the good.

This document is prepared by the exporter. Sometimes, exporters try to indicate decreased prices for the good in order to avoid taxes. The commercial invoice is checked carefully by customs clearance authorities, so any kind of issues may cause you financial loss.


  1. Bill of lading

Bill of lading is the next important document for import from China and other countries. It is also known as B/L and BoL and can be used as a shipment receipt. It includes details of freight, like titles of goods, destination, quantity, and others.

This document is prepared by a shipping company and it can be used as an official document of importation.


  1.  Airway Bill

Airway Bill is also known as AWB is a document prepared by an airline that proves the transportation. If you are shipping by air, it is an important document for transportation, and AWB can be prepared electronically.

AWB can be used to track the shipment and as a contract between shipper and carrier.


  1.  Packing list

The packing list provides the exporter, receiver, and freight forwarder with information about the freight. It is also known as Waybill or shipping list. The packing list is not technically required document for import from China, but it makes the process easier and helps to avoid issues with shipment.


  1. Proforma invoice

A proforma invoice is an estimated invoice. It is used to request payment from the buyer for goods or services. It is also an important document for importation, but it is not the true invoice. It includes a description of goods, payable amount, and other details about the transaction.

Some countries accept proforma as a legal document. It can be used to calculate customs duties and for bank services.


  1.  Certificate of origin

A certificate of origin is a document that proves that it was produced in a particular country. It is a crucial document for importation from China. Because in most states, import duties may differ from country to country. In general, there are two types of certificates.

· Non-Preferential Certificate of origin certifies that the goods are manufactured in a country without preferences.

· Preferential Certificate of origin certifies that the products are made in a country with privileges. For this type of certificate, importers pay reduced tariffs.


  1. Import/export declaration

Import/export declaration is required by customs of some countries. It includes a list of import/exported goods.

The import/export declaration form depends on the requirement of customs. It is a crucial document for importation that should be filled during the importation. Usually, it can be found online.



The list of documents above is not full, but most of them are essential depending on the importer/exporter country.

Required documents for import from China are Commercial invoice, Bill of Lading, Air Waybill, packing list, Pro forma invoice, certificate of origin, Cities permit, declaration, CE Certificate, Single Administrative document, Fumigation Certificate, and etc.


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