Shipping between Europe and China
A package from China Shipping to the European Union is subject to certain regulations. Because the import of goods into the EU is extremely strictly controlled by customs. China also checks shipments from Europe for weight, size and content. Some goods are not even allowed to be imported into the country.
In addition, there are completely different costs compared to domestic shipping. In addition to the regular shipping costs, there are also customs fees and taxes. The customs costs differ between commercial and private transfers of parcels and letters.
Shipping from Germany to China
You have to travel about 7,200 kilometers as the crow flies Parcel from Germany to China put back until it reaches the recipient. During these thousands of kilometers, the package passes through several stations until it finally reaches the Middle Kingdom. Customs controls are crucial for smooth shipping between Germany and the People’s Republic. They check the content, weight and purpose of the delivery. If all regulations have been complied with, the package can then leave the country. The shipping time is usually between seven days and three weeks. Faster is only possible with express shipping, which is also associated with higher costs.
A Parcel from China to Germany to send is structured in a similar way as from the Federal Republic to the Middle Kingdom. Since there are no sanctions or embargoes between the two countries, Chinese export regulations are usually uncomplicated.
The situation is a bit different when German Internet users have ordered goods from a Chinese online shop. Many shops deliver free of charge worldwide, but import fees and taxes into Germany may still apply.
Parcel shipments to China: find international parcel services
Like a package sent domestically, an express shipment destined for abroad is handed over to a delivery service. Which international parcel service is used is mainly a question of the right price-performance ratio. Differences between the offers of the individual providers are noticeable both in the price segment and in the range of services. However, it cannot be said that expensive is always good and that cheap necessarily means bad. It is fundamentally relevant that the shipping services are based on a package to China fit. Specifically, it means that a package to the Far East must be adequately insured. However, being well insured is of no use if the items in the package are excluded from the insurance cover of the delivery service. Such information can often only be found in the fine print.
The amount of postage and the fees of the parcel services also differed from each other. There is a double-digit price difference between the cheapest and the cheapest provider. And yet it is not the amount of postage that is decisive, but the overall price-performance ratio. After all, the Chinese recipient wants to receive his shipment from Germany undamaged.
When a parcel becomes a package
If the external dimensions of a package are more than 1.20 cm high, 60 cm wide and 60 cm deep and it weighs more than 30 kg, the package becomes bulky goods. Although these are only the dimensions of the German Post, they are an excellent guide.
If it is bulky goods, higher shipping costs and customs duties apply. If it is a non-commercial shipment, the items can certainly be divided into two packages. Provided that it is an exclusively private shipment and the value of the contents does not exceed the limit of 1,000 euros set by customs. The situation is different for business deliveries to China. For commercial shipments, according to German customs, it is not possible to divide the goods into partial shipments so that the specified value of the goods is not exceeded.
Whether it is financially profitable to send two parcels in order to save on the higher costs of bulky goods depends above all on the different prices offered by the individual parcel services.
Correct addressing of packages to China
Fortunately, the recipient’s address does not have to be in Chinese. However, the address must be written in Latin script and in capital letters. Full addressing includes the name of the recipient, street and house number, place of destination and country of destination. The correct designation for China is in German and English: People’s Republic of China or People’s Republic of China. However, since English is more common in China than German, it is advisable to address in English to ensure reliable delivery. The required customs declaration should also be filled out legibly, preferably in capital letters. In this way, any discrepancies due to illegibility can be avoided.
Send parcels and letters from Europe to China
Sending a package from Europe to a third country is first subject to a customs export procedure. Customs uses third countries to describe states that are outside the European Union. Controls are also carried out in order to be able to monitor the movement of goods to third countries. Such measures serve primarily to protect the population. For example, weapons may only be shipped under very specific conditions and permits. The same applies to rough diamonds.
In order to be able to check the contents of the package properly by customs, an export procedure must be submitted to the respective customs office. If the value of the goods is less than 1,000 euros, a verbal declaration is sufficient. If the amount is exceeded, electronic registration is required. Furthermore, under certain conditions, parcels and letters can be sent without an export declaration. This is possible if the package is to be sent to China for non-commercial purposes. The same applies to parcels and letters that are sent for commercial purposes but whose value does not exceed EUR 1,000. In addition, no restrictions or prohibitions may apply to the content. These include, for example, weapons or plants and animals. For shipping without an export declaration, you need the C23 customs declaration. This is affixed to the package by the sender in order to be able to provide precise information about the contents of the consignment.
China: import bans on certain goods
You can’t send everything to China – especially not as a private person. Only a certain amount of tobacco and spirits are allowed in a non-commercial package. Chinese customs are particularly critical of books or other publications that are incompatible with the country’s political system. An import ban to China also applies to radios, weapons and ammunition. It therefore makes sense to obtain information about the import regulations of the People’s Republic in order to be able to send the package to China without restrictions.
Online ordering from China to Germany
There is a lot of shipping traffic not only between Germany and China, but also vice versa, numerous shipments leave China every day to be sent to Germany. Online orders now account for part of this. Chinese online shops are considered an insider tip, especially among German Internet users. The reason for this is the low prices compared to the German market. Above all, technical devices are many times cheaper than in Germany. In addition, many online shops from the People’s Republic advertise free shipping. And yet buyers may incur costs. Despite free shipping, import taxes and customs duties may have to be paid. Many Chinese shops have a warehouse in Europe, from where the goods can also be shipped. However, this may mean higher shipping costs, but there are no taxes and customs duties.
Whether this alternative really makes financial sense depends on the value of the order. Because taxes and fees do not always have to be paid. This is also the case if the total value of the goods does not exceed EUR 22.00. However, this does not apply to all goods. Import duties have to be paid for tobacco, coffee, perfumes and alcohol, despite the reasonable value of the goods. If the value of the goods is between EUR 22.00 and EUR 150.00, the shipment is duty-free, but VAT must still be paid.
Taxes and fees for the import of Chinese goods into the Federal Republic
The subject of taxes and customs duties is a bit confusing anyway. Because the German law knows many exceptions and guidelines. A good example of this is the consumption tax. It is incurred when goods are imported into the Federal Republic. In principle, the consumer tax is required from the manufacturer, who in turn is allowed to apply it to the purchase price. But there is no uniform consumer tax worldwide. So far, agreement on this has not even been reached within Europe. The result of this disagreement are differences, which are then raised when goods are imported. Special regulations apply to spirits and tobacco, among other things.
It also becomes complex when it comes to import duties. The so-called import sales tax is almost identical to the sales tax that also applies when goods are imported into Germany from a third country. The difference between the two types of tax is that the import sales tax includes both customs duties and consumer taxes. In addition, the import sales tax makes no difference between business and private shipments.
In addition to fees and taxes, any restrictions on the import of shipments from China are quite possible. In this case, an import permit is required. In principle, this must be applied for if it is a business shipment. But as soon as the value or quantity exceeds the prescribed maximums, the contents of the package are no longer considered private but business shipments and are therefore also subject to the import permit.
The import restrictions imposed by the Federal Republic of goods from third countries that require a permit are primarily intended to protect domestic industry.
It is therefore generally advisable to inform yourself a little in advance. German customs provide detailed information on this on their website. Forms and leaflets that are required can also be printed out there.
Send mail and parcels within China
China also has a comparable customs system and even the Chinese postal system can be compared to that in Germany. But unlike in Germany, there is still a monopoly in China. The China Post Group is a state-owned company that has numerous subsidiaries under its control. They ensure that the mail reaches the country’s most hidden villages. In addition, the China Post Group ships to around 200 countries around the world. With around 82,000 branches, the company has a widely networked system that extends across the whole of China. Since China Post ships internationally by both air and sea, the transit time is very different. If the shipment is sent by air, the shipping time from China to foreign countries takes about one week. It is cheaper to ship parcels abroad, but the recipient has to wait up to two months for the shipment.
The cost of one Parcel from China to Germany vary. The amount of postage depends on the weight of the package and the country of destination. There are also differences in the type of transport, packages that are transported by sea freight are easily 12 weeks on the road, by economic it is often 4 weeks, while a premium express shipment usually reaches its destination after 5 days.
Chinese Special Administrative Regions: Customs specifics
However, different policies apply to the shipment of goods in the Chinese special administrative regions. This also applies to the import of foreign objects. Hong Kong is one of the special administrative regions in China. The seven million metropolis has a special status due to British colonial rule. After the city was returned to Chinese hands in 1997, Hong Kong retained a high level of autonomy. Unlike the rest of the country, the Chinese metropolis has a free market economy. One of the distinctive features of Hong Kong is the free port. Among other things, private gifts can be imported there without customs formalities. In addition, there are no duties on imports and exports. However, importation to Hong Kong is not entirely without provisions. For example, spirits can only be shipped with an import license and a commercial invoice is also required.
Taiwan is also one of the Chinese government’s special administrative regions, but does not have the same status as Hong Kong. Chinese ownership claims have not been clearly clarified to this day and the demand for independence has not been met to this day. On the other hand, Taiwan has far stricter customs controls than Hong Kong.
Conclusion: Even if there are several thousand kilometers between Germany and China, sending parcels and letters is uncomplicated. Only the customs regulations can be a bit confusing. But with a good parcel service, senders usually have little to do with the many customs guidelines.