Dubai: Are you travelling to China from the UAE? Then you will need to know the customs regulations in China to avoid any inconvenience when you land there. Here is a complete guide.
Items you cannot take with you
According to the website of General Administration of Customs of China, www.customs.gov.cn, these are the items that are prohibited from being brought to the country:
1. Various weapons, imitation weapons, ammunition, and explosives.
2. Counterfeit currency and counterfeit securities.
3. Printed materials, films, photographs, discs, audio tapes, video tapes, computer storage media and other items that are harmful to China's politics, economy, culture, and moral.
4. Various potent poisons.
5. Opium, morphine, heroin, marijuana and other addictive narcotics and psychotropic substances.
6. Animals, plants, and their products carrying dangerous germs, pests, and other harmful organisms. However, you can bring one dog or cat, if you have its health certificate and vaccination certificate, issued by an official organisation of the country or region you are travelling from.
7. Food, medicine, or other items that are harmful to human and animal health, or come from epidemic areas, or can spread diseases.
8. Soil and organic cultivation medium.
9. Genetically modified biological materials.
- Raw or cooked meat (including viscera).
- Aquatic animal products, excluding dried and cooked ones, as well as edible fermented aquatic animal sauce.
- Animal milk and dairy products, including raw milk, pasteurised milk, sterilised milk, modified milk, fermented milk, cream, butter, cheese, condensed milk, and other dairy products.
- Eggs and their products including fresh eggs, preserved eggs, salted eggs, egg liquid, eggshells, mayonnaise, and other egg products.
- Swallow’s nest. Except for commercially and aseptically processed canned swallow’s nest.
- Oils and fats, skins, raw wool, hooves, bones, teeth, horns, and their products, excluding hand-crafted eggshells, hoof bones, shellfish, and crustaceans that have been processed and free of blood, muscle, and fat.
- Animal-derived feed, animal-derived Chinese medicinal materials, and animal-derived fertilisers.
- Fresh flowers.
- Tobacco leaves.
- Seeds, seedlings and other reproductive plants, plant products and materials.
Items that you need to declare
According to the website of General Administration of Customs of China, the items you need to declare at customs in China, as an inbound passenger, include:
- Any overseas items purchased by residents for personal use, with value that exceeds RMB5,000 (Dh2,572.95). You will be taxed on the excess value of the items. The tax amount depends on which category your item falls into.
- Any overseas items purchased by non-residents for personal use, with value over RMB2,000 (Dh1,029.23). You will be taxed on the excess value of the items and the tax amount depends on which category your item falls into.
- 1,500ml or above of alcoholic drinks (containing 12 per cent or higher alcoholic content); 400 sticks or above of cigarettes; 100 sticks or above of cigars; 500g or above of tobacco.
- RMB20,000 (Dh10,292.14) or above in cash, or any other foreign currencies in cash equivalent to US$5,000 (Dh18,365.30) or above.
- Animals and plants, animal and plant products, microbes, biological products, human tissues, blood, and blood products.
- Radio transmitters, radio receivers, communication security equipment.
- Other articles which are prohibited or restricted from being brought into the territory in accordance with Chinese law.
- Goods of commercial value, samples, advertisements
- Unaccompanied baggage.
Tax rate by item category
Food, non-alcoholic beverage, medicine, including dairy products, sugar products, condiments, mineral water, soft drinks, coffee, tea, and traditional Chinese medicine wine – 13 per cent.
Alcohol, including beer, wine, rice wine and sake – 50 per cent.
Tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, homogenised tobacco, and tobacco substitute products – 50 per cent.
Textiles and their finished products, such as pants, shirts, T-shirts, hats, silk scarves, blankets, pillows, towels, and carpets – 20 per cent.
Leather garments and accessories – 20 per cent.
Bags, cases, and shoe boxes, including boxes of various materials, backpacks, handbags, wallets, key cases – 20 per cent.
Shoes, like leather shoes and leather boots – 20 per cent.
High-end watches with a duty-paid price, which is a price that includes the cost of import clearance, of RMB10,000 (Dh5,147.27) or more – 50 per cent.
Other watches – 20 per cent.
Precious jewellery and gemstones (excluding diamonds), including natural pearls, precious or semi-precious stones – 50 per cent.
Diamonds and diamond jewellery – 20 per cent.
Gold and silver product – 13 per cent.
Cosmetics, toiletries, including aromatic cosmetics, lip cosmetics, eye cosmetics, nail cosmetics, skin care products, hair care products and other toiletries – 20 per cent or 50 per cent.
Household medical, health care and beauty equipment, such as respiratory appliances, orthopaedic appliances, massage beds, massage chairs, steaming equipment, sprayer, as well as accessories – 20 per cent.
Kitchen and bathroom utensils and small household appliances, excluding information technology products such as telephones, and including tableware, knives, cooking utensils, stoves, water heaters, faucets, shower ware, lamps, fans, and accessories for these items – 20 per cent.
Information technology products such as telephones, handheld mobile phones, and pagers – 13 per cent.
Furniture, including sofas, combined furniture, cabinets, cupboards, tables, and chairs – 13 per cent.
Air conditioners and their accessories – 20 per cent.
Refrigerators and their accessories – 20 per cent.
Laundry equipment and its accessories – 20 per cent.
Television sets and their accessories – 20 per cent.
Photographic (image) equipment and its accessories, including television cameras, cameras (except digital cameras), and image washing box - 20 per cent. Video camcorder, digital camera, and memory card – 13 per cent.
Audio-visual equipment and its accessories, like recording pens, tape recorders, radios, MP3 players, MP4 players, disks, tapes, optical media, semiconductor media, and other audio-visual information technology products – 13 per cent or 20 per cent.
Computers and their peripheral equipment, including personal computers, input and output equipment, accessories, and parts – 13 per cent.
Books, periodicals, and other printed material – 13 per cent.
Video and video materials for education, including educational films, slides, original audio tapes, video tapes, and educational signboards – 13 per cent.
Stationery, toys, games, festivals, or other entertainment items, including various writing utensils and materials, photobooks, stamp collections, electronic calculators, electronic dictionaries, tricycles, scooters, playing cards, Chinese chess, as well as Christmas, carnival, and other festival items – 13 per cent or 20 per cent.
Stamps, works of art and collectibles, including various stamps, souvenir sheets, commemorative envelopes, and commemorative coins – 20 per cent.
Musical instruments, such as various keyboards, plucked strings instruments, percussion, and other instruments – 20 per cent.
Sports and fishing supplies
Golf clubs and golf balls – 50 per cent
Other sports and fishing supplies except golf, such as various fitness equipment and fishing supplies – 20 per cent.
Bicycles, including bicycles without engines and electric motors, tricycles, baby carriages and other non-motorised bicycles – 20 per cent.
Other items not falling into the mentioned categories – 20 per cent.
You will be fined under certain circumstances, including the following:
If you bring animals, plants, animal or plant products and other objects that require inspection, into the country and commit any of the following acts:
- Fail to declare the items.
- The declared items are inconsistent with the actual ones.
- Fail to go through inspection and approval procedures or follow inspection regulations.
you will be fined up to RMB5,000 (Dh 2,572.97)
You will be given a warning or a fine amounting to anywhere between RMB100 (Dh 51.46) and RMB5,000 (Dh2,572.94), if you:
- Refuse to accept quarantine or sanitation treatment, where necessary.
- Forge or alter health and quarantine documents.
- Carry prohibited microorganisms, human tissues, biological products, blood and its products or other animals and articles that may cause the spread of infectious diseases.
- Load and unload luggage without customs permission.
You will be fined an amount anywhere between RMB3,000 (Dh2,434.64) and RMB30,000 (Dh 15,431.10) by the customs, if you:
- Unload animals and plants, animal- and plant-related products, as well as other inspected objects from transporting vehicles, during the process of delivering them inside China, without customs permission.
- Arbitrarily take your items detained by the customs authority.
- Open or damage animal and plant inspection seals or signs without authorisation.
The customs department will impose a fine of no more than RMB1,000 (Dh514.38) on you, if you:
- Steal animal and plant inspection documents, seals, and signs, or use forged or altered ones.
- Steal health and inspection documents, or use forged or altered ones.
- Use forged or altered inspection certificates issued by foreign official organisations.