China customs regulations let you know what items you are not allowed to bring in or out of China, and the things you must declare and pay duty on.
If you find you are carrying any of the following you must declare them, according to Chinese Law. They will probably be confiscated and an investigation held. Consequences are worse if found in possession once you have passed through customs.
Prohibited for bringing into or taking out of China:
- Arms, ammunition, and explosives of all kinds
- Radio transmitters-receives and principal parts
- Over 20,000 yuan RMB in cash
- Manuscripts, printed matter, films, photographs, gramophone records, cinematographic films, loaded recording tapes and videotapes, etc. which are detrimental to China’s politics, economy, culture, and ethics
Prohibited for bringing into China:
- Poisonous drugs, habit-forming drugs, opium, morphine, heroin, etc.
- Animals, plants and products thereof infected with or carrying germs and insects
- Unsanitary foodstuffs and germ-carrying foodstuffs from infected areas
- Other articles the import of which is prohibited by state regulations
Prohibited for taking out of China:
- Illegally obtained foreign currency or drafts
- Rare and precious copies of books about the Chinese revolution, history, culture and art that are not for sale
- Valuable animals, plants, and seeds
- Precious metals, pearls, and jewels (things declared to the customs are exempted)
- Other articles the export of which is prohibited by state regulations
Entering China: What to Declare and How
If you have anything to declare (see the list below), you must fill out a baggage declaration form (in duplicate) and hand it into customs, retaining the carbon copy to show upon exit.
Personal possessions, gifts for relatives or friends in China, or articles carried on behalf of another, must be declared if duty is required to be paid, or if they fall under one of the categories below.
- That resident in China may bring in duty-free articles for personal use worth up to a total of RMB 5,000. Customs shall levy duty (20%) on the portion of the article(s) whose value exceeds the duty-free limit.
- Non-resident visitors may bring in duty-free items, which will remain in China, with a total worth of RMB 2,000. Those exceeding the duty-free limit shall be released subject to payment of Customs duty.
- Passengers may bring duty-free into the country 1,500 ml. of alcoholic drinks (with an alcohol content of 12% or above) and 400 individual cigarettes, or 100 individual cigars, or 500 grams of smoking tobacco.
- Those items designated for personal use, which exceed the duty-free limit, shall be released subject to payment of Customs duty.
Passengers carrying over RMB 20,000 in cash or foreign currencies with a conversion rate exceeding US $5,000 shall be processed by Customs in accordance with the current regulations.
Passengers carrying foreign currencies exceeding the US $5,000, which will be taken out of the country at the end of their stay, shall complete a Customs Declaration Form in duplicate. One copy of this form, endorsed by Customs, shall be returned to the passenger for relevant procedures at the time of their exit.
- Passengers carrying animals, plants and/or products made of or from them, microorganisms, biological products, human tissue, blood and blood products, shall be processed by Customs in accordance with the current regulations.
- Passengers carrying radio transmitters and/or receivers or communication security devices shall be processed by Customs in accordance with the current regulations.
- Passengers carrying articles which are restricted or prohibited from entry into the country according to the laws of the People’s Republic of China shall be processed by Customs in accordance with the current regulations.
- Passengers carrying goods, samples or articles for the advertisement shall be processed by Customs in accordance with the current regulations.
- Passengers who declare unaccompanied luggage, which is to be transported separately, shall be processed by Customs in accordance with the current regulations.
What is Exempted
Personal belongings will be admitted duty free, including food, two bottles of liquor and two cartons of cigarettes. Wristwatches, radios, tape recorders, cameras, movie cameras, and similar items may be brought in for personal use, but cannot be sold or transferred to others and must be used up or brought out of China.
Visitors can bring in up to 20,000 yuan in foreign currency and/or Chinese yuan (RMB) and/or traveller’s checks, and the unspent portion can be taken out.