As a business owner, there is a good chance that you are interested in expanding your market overseas. After all, setting yourself up with a global business can potentially lead you to incredible opportunities and a significant potential for profit.
One of the most sought after markets on the planet is China due to its booming economy and large market of consumers. However, the logistics of transporting your goods to China can be challenging, particularly if you aren’t knowledgeable about the nuances of international shipping.
To help you make your business dreams a reality, here are four helpful tips you can consider if you would like to begin shipping your products to China.
1. Know the entry requirements.
Every country has different entry requirements, so before you start shipping your products to China, you need to ensure that you are aware of all these and that you have the necessary documentation.
Most importantly, you will need a China Compulsory Certificate (CCC) which certifies that your goods are allowed entry into China. Additionally, your HS codes must be accurate as it is pretty prevalent for products to be delayed or simply denied entry due to Chinese authorities not knowing the applicable HS codes.
Furthermore, you will need to provide GB standards test reports, a bill of lading, a commercial invoice, a packing list, a customs invoice, a sales/trading contract, an import quota certificate, and an H2000 Customs declaration.
Depending on the type of products you are shipping to China, you may also need to provide inspection certificates or licenses, quality certificates, and health and safety paperwork.
2. Ensure your product can indeed be shipped to China.
Not all goods are allowed to enter China, so it is vital that you ensure that your shipments will be allowed entry. Some of the main items that are restricted or prohibited from entering China include animal skins, antiques, certain biological substances, firearms, ivory, perishables,
pornography, and precious stones and metals.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you are concerned about your products, make sure to check with the Chinese customs service before beginning the process.
3. Work with an online shipping platform.
There are a lot of moving parts involved in a successful shipping strategy, particularly when you are looking to enter the Chinese market. For this reason, it is highly suggested that you opt to work with an online shipping platform that can guide you in the right direction.
Not only will a top online shipping platform assist you in identifying and complying with all the required documents, but they will also work with you to make the entire process as smooth and cost-effective as possible.
By opting to use an online shipping platform, you can be assured that you are in knowledgeable hands and that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. You can benefit from working with professionals who will guide you through the steps, from obtaining a quote to scheduling your shipment, paying for the process and then tracking its movements.
4. Maintain an efficient shipping strategy.
Once you have followed these above steps and you are starting to ship your products to China, it is time to fine-tune your shipping strategy.
One of the challenges for small and medium-sized businesses that are opening up to international shipping is keeping costs low and profit margins high.
Before you start shipping, make sure to create a detailed plan that covers your shipping rates, your product measurements, and your chosen packaging. Play around with these three details until you can find a sustainable profit margin.
When you are first setting up your international shipping plan, take some time every quarter to recalculate your costs and see what steps you can take to make your shipping strategy even more efficient.
Are you a small-business owner looking to ship products to China? Have you ever tried? What challenges are you facing in getting your goods to a global market? Let us know in the comments below!
Toby Edwards is the CEO of Shipa Freight and is based in Dubai. Shipa Freight is a new online platform powered by Agility that makes it easy to get air and ocean freight quotes, book, pay and track shipments online. Shipa Freight empowers small and medium-size businesses, taking the complexity out of International Freight Forwarding, making it easy to manage legal, regulatory and compliance issues, and offering convenient ways to pay to move their goods.
Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels