Guide to importing from China: mistakes, tips and warnings

Guide to importing from China: mistakes, tips and warnings

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Import from China


  • Use a letter of credit when shopping for products from China. Go to your bank for detailed formality and cost.
  • Usually a first deposit of 30-50% will be requested by a Chinese manufacturer to get your product / order in production.
  • Visiting fairs are a great way to see suppliers face to face without traveling to China.
  • Export agents in China are very common, they are hired by Chinese exporters. Some of these exports are third-party suppliers.
  • You must have a good estimate of the cost before you place your order. Cost of goods fob + transport by sea or air + import duties (where applicable) local costs + transport + cost of service providers (inspections, agents, etc.). There can be many hidden costs when importing from Asia, check with a shipping company.
  • Payment for that product can be made in different ways according to the Chinese supplier. Make sure it’s a business account you pay into. Western union, paypal, credit cards should be avoided. So always be careful if it is requested, especially when you do not know the person.
  • Make sure that the product description of the HS number corresponds to the products from China that you are importing. An incorrect HS number can delay customs clearance of the shipment.
  • Often the supplier only includes shipping to a port in Sweden. Expect that there will be additional costs for customs declaration, unloading and domestic shipping when you buy e.g. clothes from China or other products from China.
  • If you have a small business, your order may not meet the minimum order volume (MOQ) requirement. In this case, you should pay attention to websites that offer retail such as. com, and You can also visit Chinese wholesale market, such as Yiwu wholesale market, for the purchase and transportation of small consignments.


  • Check regulations, HS code and EU rules when importing from Asia. If the item is not approved by customs, you may be forced to pay expensive and unexpected costs such as customs and delay in customs clearance. This will cost you dearly in storage fees, at a train station or container yard.
  • Never pay the full amount of the purchase price in advance. If there is a problem with the order, you have something to negotiate with.
  • If you are new to international trade especially with a country as different as China, use the help of letters of credit. Especially with purchases at places like, or Up-front deposits should be considered very carefully if you have not checked the factory.
  • When you talk to the company. If they do not sound professional and are business-like, but just answer with a simple “yes” or “hello” without mentioning their name or company, then you may be dealing with counterfeits or unprofessional intermediaries.
  • You should be aware of any permissions that are specific to the individual product you want to import from China. A consultation with an experienced lawyer before buying things from China may be all you need to gather all the information needed to ensure compliance with applicable laws and requirements.
  • Their websites should have physical addresses and contact information. But if it does not exist, one should be careful. Ask for their contact details and if they do not mind you coming and visiting their factory. This should not be a problem at all, unless they are hiding something from you.
  • During the first contacts, request business license or sales tax ID. They have legitimate companies.
  • Once you have created a list of Chinese suppliers that meet price criteria, it is important to select the ones you want to work with. One thing you need to keep in mind is that you should not always choose the cheapest supplier because you may have problems with the quality of the goods.
  • If you bargain, you must also ensure that the product’s specifications or quality do not change.
  • Also, do not always choose too large a company as a supplier of China production because you will not be able to end up in the company’s VIP list and, as a result, will not be able to get good service. You need to choose a provider with a reasonable price and with a good attitude to the services provided.