Importing your Personal Belongings Back Home to China after Studying Abroad

Monday, 20 Nov 2023

Returning home to China after spending the year studying in the UK?  We have prepared this guide to help you to navigate your shipment through Chinese customs duty free.

Customs Information

Chinese Customs allow you to import your personal belongings duty free, however, there are some documents which you will need to obtain and provide to Send My Bag to do this. 

1. Stamped Baggage Declaration Form

This document must be obtained from customs at the airport of your arrival in China to allow your shipment to be cleared without duties or delays. 

To obtain this form, you will need to go to the ‘red lane’ or ‘goods to declare lane’ and advise the customs officer that you have ‘unaccompanied baggage’ to follow’, the customer officer will then request a list of the goods you are importing.  For this reason, we recommend you carry a copy of your Send My Bag packing list, detailing the contents of your shipment, to speed up the process.

The customs officer will then provide you with a stamped Baggage Declaration Form which you can upload to your order via your Send My Bag account, which we can then submit to customs on your behalf via our courier partners.  

Please keep the original copy of your Baggage Declaration Form safe and accessible as in rare occasions customs may request you provide the original copy to them via Post.

2. Passport 

A clear image of your passport is required and can be uploaded to your order via your Send My Bag account.

3. Resident Identity Card (Visa and Entry Stamp for non-Citizens who are resident in China).

Customs will require a copy of your Resident Identity Card if you are a Chinese Citizen.

If you are not a Chinese Citizen but are a permanent resident of China or staying longer term for work or other studies, you will need to provide a copy of your entry stamp received at the airport on arrival along with a copy of your Permanent Resident, Work, or Study Visa. 

Other Import Information

Goods Must Go to a Residential Address

  • Chinese Customs will only permit duty free clearance to shipments sent to a residential address.  If you have to send your items to a commercial or business address, please be aware that you will need to pay duties on your shipment.

Names Must Match.

  • You must ensure the name of the owner of the goods, matches the name on the documents provided for customs clearance, and also matches the receiver’s name at the delivery address in China even if they will not necessarily be the person signing for the delivery. 

Missing Documents

  • China prohibits the shipping of second hand products unless the necessary documentation listed above is provided to clear the items are personal effects, or the consignee can provide proof of purchase (receipts) for their items along with a copy of their Resident Identity Card.    If you do not have the necessary documents, or receipts and ID your shipment will be returned back to the origin country and the additional costs for this incurred.

Prohibited Items

  • Chinese Customs to do not permit the sending of any lithium batteries in personal effects shipments.  Typically, most items with a lithium battery are found in fragile electronics anyway and we would we recommend carrying these on your return flight home to keep them safe. 
  • Storage Devices such as hard drives and USB Flash Drives etc are tightly controlled and cannot be imported through Send My Bag services.  You may be able to take these as part of your personal luggage on your flight however we would recommend you check with your airline or customs for confirmation.
  • For a full list of all prohibited items on Send My Bag Services please visit our China Information Page here.
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