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How to export from Vietnam to China

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According to CEIC Data, Vietnam's vibrant export sector had seen a resurgence in 2022, hitting an all-time month-high of US$34.9 billion in August. With China as its second-largest trading partner, Vietnam exported goods worth US$371.3 billion in 2022 alone. The top exports that contributed to this growth include mobile phone and spare parts; electronics, computers, and components; and machinery, instruments, and accessories. Encouraged by the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), Vietnam export products are making a significant impact in the Chinese market; its manufacturing strength in electronics and textiles caters to the growing demands of China's vast consumer base. With high-quality products at competitive prices, Vietnamese goods are not only meeting market needs but also influencing consumer preferences and standards in China.. Understanding the nuances of this international shipping route and employing the right door-to-door delivery service can unlock significant benefits for Vietnamese exporters.

1. Tailoring exports to Chinese regulations

In the sphere of international trade, conforming to the regulations of the destination country is of paramount importance. In particular, China has stringent import policies for diverse product categories, necessitating careful examination. For instance, while China allows the import of most agricultural goods, certain commodities like some fruits, grains, and seeds may require special licences or health certifications due to China's efforts to prevent the introduction of foreign pests and diseases. Moreover, there are strict rules around shipping other items such as drugs, animals, precious metals, antiques, and perishable goods.

Navigating this complexity with a trusted partner like DHL Express — which has over 50 years of experience in international express shipping and customs clearance support — ensures compliance and smooth customs clearance when shipping to China.

2. Estimating shipping costs effectively 

Cost plays an integral role in export decisions, comprising various components that collectively determine the total expense of shipping from Vietnam to China. These components primarily include the freight charge, which is the fee for transporting goods from the origin to the destination.

Shipping costs also encompass surcharges related to specific situations. For instance, shipments to certain areas within China that are difficult to access might incur remote area surcharges. More typically, businesses might face surcharges related to special handling needs, such as secure transport for valuable goods or temperature-controlled transport for perishable items.

Furthermore, exporters must take into account the customs duties and taxes imposed by Chinese authorities. These charges can vary greatly based on the product type and its value. For example, electronic devices and luxury goods often attract higher duties and taxes, while certain categories of goods might be duty-free under the ACFTA.

Estimating these costs accurately is crucial, and that's where DHL's Trade Automation Services (TAS) comes in. TAS is a comprehensive online tool that provides a detailed breakdown of all potential charges, from freight and surcharges to customs duties and taxes. By using TAS, exporters can gain a thorough understanding of all the costs involved, allowing for more accurate financial planning and competitive pricing strategies.

3. Packaging and labelling to Chinese standards

Correct packaging and accurate labelling are indispensable when shipping from Vietnam to China. Given China's strict import regulations, businesses must thoroughly consider their packaging strategies.

The nature of your product greatly influences the type of packaging you should use. For instance, fragile items require sturdy, cushioned packaging to prevent damage during transit. Similarly, the weight and dimensions of your product can influence the choice of packaging materials. Larger, heavier items typically require reinforced, sturdy packaging, while smaller, lightweight items may be safely shipped in padded envelopes.

When it comes to labelling, ensuring accuracy is crucial for smooth customs clearance. If you're shipping regulated goods to China, such as lithium batteries, you'll need to comply with specific labelling and packaging requirements — your labels need to display the UN number, proper shipping name, and hazard class. Packaging for such items also has specific requirements, including the use of robust, non-conductive material. Similarly, for chemical substances like certain cosmetics or cleaning supplies, you must adhere to China’s labelling standards for hazardous materials. This includes proper identification of the substance, hazard pictograms, signal words, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and supplier information

In addition to selecting the right packaging and ensuring accurate labelling, you may also want to consider insuring your goods. DHL Express offers various insurance options, providing additional security for your valuable exports from Vietnam.

4. Preparing compliant shipping documents 

Shipping from Vietnam to China requires several key documents, including an airway bill, a commercial invoice, and potentially specific licences or permits required by Chinese authorities. For example, if you're exporting food products, you might need a Health Certificate or a Certificate of Quality, Quantity, and Weight. For technological or electronic goods, China might require an import permit or a certificate of conformity to ensure the products comply with their standards. Ensuring these documents are accurately completed and presented can expedite the customs process, reducing the chance of delays.

5. Delivering exceptional customer experience 

A standout delivery experience can truly differentiate your business. DHL’s advanced shipment tracking feature provides you and your customers with real-time visibility of the shipments. This access to up-to-the-minute information not only aids in planning and anticipation, but it also enhances the sense of reliability and trust in your services.

On top of that, DHL's On-Demand Delivery (ODD) tool takes customer experience to the next level. With this tool, your customers can choose from a variety of flexible delivery options. These include scheduling a delivery on a specific date, leaving the parcel with a neighbour, collecting the parcel from a nearby DHL ServicePoint, or even requesting a vacation hold. These options can be easily selected through the MyDHL+ platform, ensuring a seamless, customer-friendly experience.

According to research, transparency in shipping — especially real-time tracking — is a key driver of customer satisfaction. A study by MetaPack states that 86% of shoppers consider clear and reliable tracking to be a crucial part of the online delivery experience. By leveraging DHL's superior tracking and flexible delivery options, your business can not only meet but exceed these customer expectations.

6. Simplifying your exports to China with DHL Express

As you chart your course in the booming China market, remember: successful exporting doesn't have to be a complex puzzle. DHL Express stands ready to simplify your journey, handling the intricacies of logistics while you focus on what you do best — growing your business. Our comprehensive suite of international shipping services is designed to make the exporting process seamless:

  • MyDHL+: This platform makes creating shipments, tracking, and managing deliveries easy.
  • Delivery choices: DHL Express offers flexible options to cater to diverse business needs.
  • Pick-up or drop-off options: DHL's convenient pick-up and drop-off services work around your schedule, not the other way around. Customers booking DHL couriers can arrange for pick-up at ta preferred address, or opt for drop-off at any DHL service point depending on their needs.
  • Real-time tracking: Keep your customers informed with DHL Express’ advanced shipment tracking feature.

Make the most of Vietnam-China trade opportunities today. Open a business account with DHL Express.