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Understand China's Custom Clearance Rules to Send Parcel from Singapore to China. Read these simple tips!

E-commerce · 6 min read

Understand China's Custom Clearance Rules to Send Parcel from Singapore to China. Read these simple tips!

We all know China as the world’s largest consumer market. Automatically, shipping to China becomes a critical service for any shipper around the globe. While sending a gift to a close friend or documents to your business partner may sound simple, the process of shipping from Singapore to China may not be as easy as you’ve thought. On top of that, if you are not privy to the rules and customs duty charges of the place, your parcel may be delayed in the process and eventually get lost or damaged. This is where DHL Express comes to your rescue.

With DHL Express, you can stay assured of the safety of your items. Our efficient and reliable courier service makes sure that your goods reach the consignee on time and in good condition.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about parcel shipping from Singapore to China.

What do I need to know about the customs information of China?

Updated customs clearance

  • All WPX( non-document) shipments require waybills, invoices, packing lists, and sales contracts (if applicable), which must include incoterms, Change Of Origin (COO), actual value, full description of items, and other information.

  • False (or ambiguous) declaration of goods will lead to clearance delays and a heavy penalty.

  • Invoice/packing list must be typewritten with no manual changes. Manual invoice/packing list is only accepted for personal effects.

Advertising Brochures/ books (non-commercial use), magazines, periodicals & journals

  • Advertising brochures, journals, magazines, or periodicals for commercial purposes can only be imported by the government-authorized importers. For personal purposes, the quantity of the items should be kept to 10 sets or 50 pieces max.

  • For books, Chinese translation of the book name, book cover and brief introduction is required.


  • Sending liquid milk for personal usage is not accepted. If you are sending milk powder for personal use, the allowed quantity will be 5 regular cans, which is about 5kgs.

  • If you are importing foodstuffs including grain, both the exporter and importer must first register in the China customs. A Chinese label registration is mandatory for such items.

  • If it’s for personal use, the registration can be exempted. However, the quantity must be reasonable enough for personal use. Items like seafood, meat, and yolk products are not acceptable for personal effects.

Personal effects

  • For shipping personal effects, the receiver's full name must be shown in the consignee column, instead of the company’s name.
  • For unaccompanied baggage, a passport with valid visa and entry/exit stamp from immigration customs in the last 6 months must be provided. Plus, the Baggage Declaration Form must display a complete list of articles being shipped with the form being stamped by the border customs. Normally, clearance lead time for such unaccompanied baggage takes about a week.
  • For commodity/gift sent to private individuals, a copy of the consignee’s ID, list of the commodity/gift in detail and a proforma invoice is required. The quantity of commodity/gift should be reasonable for personal use, and not for resale. The reasonable quantity will be determined by customs officers.
  • Animal derived food/milk and dairy products, including meat/seafood products, raw milk, fresh milk, yogurt, cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products are prohibited from being shipped to private individuals in China (B2C or C2C).

Films: entertainment

  • An import license must be obtained from the Ministry of Culture or State Administration of Radio Film and Television to send DVDs and VHS.


  • Only costume jewellery is accepted for both import and export.

Chemicals, non-hazardous


  • To ship cosmetics, both the exporter/importer must first register in the China customs. Paperworks needed for the registration include sanitary certificates from the origin country, certificate of origin, sales contract, and original label with Chinese translation.

  • If the items are for personal use, the Chinese label registration can be exempted. However, the quantity should be reasonable enough for personal use.

Alcoholic Beverages, tobacco products

  • For shipping dutiable items like alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and tobacco, a permit is needed for the land or sea connection to China.

Telecommunication equipment, mobile phones, accessories & component, toys

  • For toys, telecommunication equipment, mobile phones, accessories and their components, an import license from China’s Ministry of Commerce may be required.  

Drugs: prescription

  • For importing prescribed drugs, the exporter/importer should first register in China customs. Import licence from the State Food & Drug Administration is required.

  • For personal shipment, a medical prescription from a doctor is required.

Coal & firewood (including samples)

  • Both exporters and importers must register with China Customs for shipping coal and firewood goods. For various types of coal and wood products, an import/export licence from the Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce or its approved authority is necessary.

Textile articles

  • When importing textile articles, the garment tag must have Chinese illustration on it.

  • Depending on the type of commodity, a certificate of origin and a declaration of conformity may be necessary.

Medical/dental supplies and equipment

  • An import licence from China Inspection and Quarantine(CIQ) Bureau is required. Used or defective goods are prohibited.

How can I ship a parcel to China?

When you are shipping to China, make sure that your DHL air waybill contains detailed information about the items in the package that you have shipped. DHL Express believes in simplifying the journey of your parcels, and hence preparing your shipping invoice is of utmost importance. This invoice is then used to clear customs duties in China. However, that depends upon which items you are shipping to China.

For instance, if you are shipping any diplomatic mail or pouch with a seal, it can only be cleared by the embassy staff of China and you should apply for a 'customs envelope' for further clearance.

Remember that all parcels, with the exemption of documents being shipped to China, must contain a Harmonized System code to be indicated on the customs declaration form. This code, along with the right, detailed description of goods in the supporting documents will help expedite the process of clearance.

Also remember to create your AWB and invoice in English instead of local language. All invoices must be itemized with unit value and total value.

Note: All importers in China must register with the Customs authorities for an importer Customs Registration code (CR Code). They can also engage with an agent who has the CR Code and is certified to act as the importer of their shipments. This CR code must be shown on the customs declaration form of all shipments, except documents and personal effects.

Take the duty of packing your own shipments. You cannot miss this step as it guarantees the safe shipment of your parcel from Singapore to China. After packing, you can call us for your shipment collection. This can be simply done by scheduling for your pick-up at DHL’s Customer Service. You can also plan for your shipment collection through MyDHL + or deliver the shipment by yourself to any DHL Express retail store near you. And you’re done!

Advantages of using DHL Express

Teaming up with a logistics partner with knowledge of China’s customs duty rules ensures smooth shipping process, saving you additional time and cost. So, make the most of DHL Express’s hassle-free shipping to China and have the assurance that your shipment will cross the border swiftly and smoothly.

Here are some of the  key advantages:

  • DHL Express’s network is spread over 220 countries and territories

  • Flexible delivery options

  • Offers a wide range of door-to-door international shipping services

  • Customers are able to get real-time updates of their shipment’s clearance statuses

  • Shipment collection time can be decided by you

  • The shipping process is made super easy with DHL Express’s various tools such as MyDHL+, MyBill, and ODD (On-Demand Delivery)

  • 24/7 customer support

Do you have more items on your list that you wish to ship from Singapore to China? Contact us for more information. To learn more about how DHL Express can help grow your business internationally, feel free to reach out to us!

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