Must-read for Importing from China

屏幕快照 2018-05-08 下午2.54.32

According to our database, Seeed’s products have been exporting abroad to total 209 countries and regions. And  it stirs tons of questions and inquiries about Customs Clearance when the packages arrive different borders. Based on these questions, we’ve put together a Must-read for Importing from China, which we hope it could help.


What is Customs Clearance for Imports?
Customs Clearance for Imports is usually defined as the process of custom declaration, and customs formalities when goods are imported to a country.

What kind of goods needs to go through Customs Clearance?
All non-domestic goods that is introduced into the customs of any country is subject to the customs clearance. But some countries offer an Exemption Amount (of customs taxes) for official customs clearance. Here are some references for the Exemption Amounts:

Customs Clearance Process
Although every country has its regulatory requirements for different imported products based on its own economy & policy, the import clearance processes are similar, generally as follows:
1. Arrival notice: the customs will inform the recipients when the imported goods arrive at the customs of the importing country
2. The freight forwarding company informs the recipients that the goods have arrived and the recipients assist customs clearance by providing these documents: invoices, TIN (tax identification number), licenses, etc.,
3. The customs review import clearance documents
4. Customs approve and recipients pay customs clearance fees
5. Freight forwarding company delivers the package, recipients receive the goods.

How can I track my package during its shipping?
You can go to the official websites of respective carriers to track the shipping status with your tracking number.
Websites of some carriers:

When do I need to do the customs clearance?
When the packages arrive at your country, the customs will review the goods to determine if there is need of clearance. If yes, the customs will contact you. Please make sure the contact info on your order is reachable when the packages arrive at your country.

Documents for Customs Clearance
-Sales Invoice & Packing List from Seeed (in the package),
-Your TIN(tax identification number) or related licenses/qualifications
-Transport documents: Express Waybill, Bill of Lading or Air way bill
-Others documents: Import Permit, product certification (if needed, please contact Seeed), etc.

Why do the carrier charge me for the customs clearance fee when delivering my package?
The express delivery companies usually heIp to do the customs clearance for all shippings. When the customs clearance fees are higher than the threshold, the delivery companies will pay for the fees in advance, which they will charge you when delivering the packages to you.

How much do I need to pay for the customs clearance fee?
Customs clearance fee is a tariff or tax imposed on goods when transported across international borders. Use the calculator below to determine the amount of customs clearance fee on your products. Once you find the correct classification for your product, multiple the total amount on your commercial invoice (excluding shipping, if applicable) by the duty rate for your products. This will give you the estimated amount of customs duty you will pay.

What documents do I need to prepare for the customs clearance?
Usually, an invoice will be sufficient. However, there are some specific requirements for the invoice: for EU countries, the customs usually requires the EORI code on the invoice. And for countries in South America (eg. Brazil, Argentina, Chile etc.), it requires the TIN (taxi identification number) on the invoice.

Why are packages of express delivery to Russia are always returned?
A: For express delivery to Russia, recipients (companies with import qualifications) in Moscow and St. Petersburg could enjoy the parcel services. If you don’t have import qualifications, please choose EMS to ship your orders, do not choose express delivery.

Why packages containing batteries are rejected by Express Delivery?
UPS, DHL, FEDEX are the three major international express delivery suppliers, and they all have specific packaging and certification requirements for batteries or products with batteries. If the products you want to deliver don’t meet their requirements, they will be rejected.

Could I change my shipping address when the package arrive in my country?
If you want to change to another address within the same city, please contact the delivery company to change the address directly. If you want to change to addresses in a different city (within the same country), please contact the delivery company as well as email Seeed Customer Service ([email protected]). The delivery company will confirm with Seeed after they get your application. When it’s confirm, they’ll contact you to change to address.

Why do I receive several packages when I buy several products in one order and in one waybill?
In the process of sorting the packages, the delivery company might sort your packages into different batches. Hence, they might be delivered to you separately at different time. Rest assured, you will get all your packages. If not, please contact us, or you can also contact the delivery company directly.


We know it is a really long must-read. But we sincerely hope that it helps in some way when you are ordering goods from China. Last but not least, we would love to share an artistic picture of May. PCB waste could be art too. And the background picture was shot by WIRED back in 2016.IMG_1671

Happy May and Happy Making!!!


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May 2018