Changes at Shanghai Customs for Imports 2015

This addition outlines the specificities of the regulations currently in place in Shanghai only, applying for any sea freight shipment arriving at Shanghai port on or after 15th November 2015.

Documents required for Foreign Passport holders:

  • Original Passport with Resident Permit valid for 365 days or more
  • Original Work Permit valid for 365 days or more
  • Packing list (in English or in Chinese)
  • Original Baggage Declaration form duly stamped by Airport Customs upon arrival in China


  1. Import permit can no longer be applied in the name of the dependents. Only holders of valid Work Permits are entitled to apply for Import Permit. Consequentially, should the family wish to import one air and one sea shipments, Imports Permits for both shipments have to be applied at the same time to enjoy preferable import duty. Should they be applied separately, the second shipment will be fully dutiable.
  2. A strict maximum of 4 bottles of alcohol can now be imported, 2 being exempt of duty and 2 subject to duties. Please note that a bottle is defined as 0.75 liter.
  3. If in the past Chinese Customs showed some leniency and granted the Import Permit for documents (Work Permit and Resident Permit) that were valid for slightly less than 365 days, this is no longer the case. If the Work Permit and Resident Permits are valid for even just a few days less, Chinese Customs will limit your shipment to only a few personal effects and no household goods (such as clothes, shoes or bedding), or request that you to extend your Work Permit and Resident Permit to show a validity of more than 365 days.
  4. Packing list must show clear and accurate for all items count, or Customs will consider it a false declaration should there be any discrepancy between declared count and physical count during inspection (all shipments are 100% inspected). In this event, the client will need to appear in person at Customs to clarify.

We strongly advise our clients to work with their employer’s HR department in China and pay more attention to the validity of the documents (Work Permit and Resident Permit), and suggest that employment contracts validity is extended in order to get Permits valid for more than 365. As always, we urge you to consult with AE Movers well in advance of packing and to do NOT dispatch any shipment without clear confirmation (green light) from our office that documents are in order for import. AE Movers will not be liable or responsible for any additional charges should a shipment not be granted an Import Permit.

  Last updated: November 13, 2015