The Chinese shipping and customs process can be hard to understand and implement if you are a first-time importer. We have put together a few salient points to make use of when deciding to import from China.
Get a better understanding of how it all works when shipping from China to South Africa
Meet with your shipping agent and logistics partner prior to placing your final order with the Chinese supplier. They will be able to explain the process to you, as well as advise you about the tax and customs implications. They will be well versed in the processes and will help put your mind at ease. Make sure to shop around for the right shipping agent, and avoid overpaying for the shipment process.
Seek advice from your Chinese supplier
Your Chinese supplier will be shipping products all over the world, as well as to South Africa already. Why not engage with them as to the current systems they have in place regarding customs and import tax when shipping products to other South African customers. It does not hurt to ask, and they may be very informative.
Importer and Exporter Customs Registration Codes
All importers and exporters in China are required to register with customs authorities for an importer or exporter Customs Registration code (CR Code), or engage with an agent who has the CR Code and is authorised to act as the importer or exporter of record for their shipments. This CR code is to be indicated on customs declaration forms of all shipments, except for documents and personal effects. We encourage you to relay the urgency of these requirements (for both HS Codes and CR Codes) to your trading partners in China, as shipments being imported into/exported out of China may be placed on hold by customs authorities until this information is available.
*Content supplied by DHL South Africa
Payment of customs and taxes
There are various ways to pay the customs duties and related taxes when importing from China. You can even pay these directly to your Chinese supplier. However, if you do not feel comfortable with this, payment can be made through your shipping agent.