New streamlined single customs declaration for importing into China

26 September 2018


Until 1 August this year, China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) was responsible for enforcing China’s national standards in the domestic market, and China Customs was responsible for collecting the  customs declaration for imported goods, which stated whether incoming goods met those standards.  Two separate bureaus that had closely related responsibilities and interests.

However, as part of a major re-arrangement and rationalization of government departments, from 1 August 2018 CIQ has been merged into China Customs (known as the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China, or GACC).  Accordingly, the two declaration forms that had been required by these two bureaus has now been replaced by a single customs declaration form.  This streamlining has significantly reduced the number of boxes on forms that importers need to fill in, and has cut out a lot of duplication too.  This is a big improvement for importers, because previously it was possible to enter conflicting information on the two forms, and resolving such inconsistencies with CIQ and China Customs could result in lengthy delays.  Of course, it’s still possible to enter inconsistent or incorrect data into the new form, but the possibility of this is reduced, and there is now just a single bureau to deal with.

At the same time, GACC has adopted a 13-digit HS code format, rather than the previously used 10 digits.  Note that there is no change to the usual 10-digit code used by China to classify imported goods.  The new digits at the end of the code relate to inspection and quarantine requirements.  Therefore, the importer needs to ascertain the requirements for inspection and quarantine, based on the first 10 digits, and the correct 3 digits numbers.

There have been some reports of confusion being caused by the new system, but it appears to be more user-friendly in general than the former one.


For more inforation, contact our China specialist Matthew Grandage @ChamberIntChina.


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