How to Import Your Foreign Product into China: A Visual Guide

Starting your business of foreign products in China can be a hassle. From exporting, licensing, passing customs, to selling… The tasks are never-ending!

ASI Solutions has been providing its expertise on importing into China for more than 10 years now. We handle everything from origin to your final customer’s doorstep. Our aim? Make managing your operations easier, for you to concentrate on what matters!

Why Is It Worth Taking the Leap?

A Quick Overview

What Are the Steps?

A Quick Overview

Before Exporting to China

Make sure your product can be imported. The products are divided into 3 categories: prohibited, restricted and permitted goods. Apart from products whom prohibition is obvious (explosives, arms, foods, medicines and other articles coming from disease-stricken areas) some items considered more common are also submitted to restrictions. For example raw materials for plastic, polyester, raw materials for chemical fibers, cotton, etc. They require quota and licenses.
As such, it is essential to check if your product can be imported and under which conditions in accordance with the Chinese legislation.

It is mandatory to check if your product complies with the GB (国标, Guóbiāo) standards. These standards serve as basis for testing the products and, depending on their prefix code (GB, GB/T, GB/Z), they are identified as mandatory or voluntary. While 85% are optional, we still encourage you to follow them anyway as it can enhance the brand of your product. Even though deriving from the ISO norms, the rules are stricter when it comes to products such as edible ones, cosmetics, or when they have an impact on the safety.
Complying with the GB standards means going through testing (in a certified laboratory in China), and using a compliant labelling. For more information on this topic, check here!



Breaking Down the Export Process

with ASI Solutions

What Can We Do for You?

  • Regulation advice: we are experts in Chinese, and also Vietnamese, regulations. We are able to advise you in order to tailor your export strategy.
  • Resources and information: we provide you with the resources and information you need thanks to our tools and experts as to guarantee you a successful implantation.
  • Logistics: working with us means you have access to all our infrastructures and services in order to guarantee a qualitative door-to-door service using our licenses (import/export) in China, for B2C and B2B.
  • Distribution: ASI Solutions is also a distributor specialized in Fashion, Cosmetics, and F&B for the wholesale and Horeca sectors. As such, we often offer different collaboration methods for the distribution. We provide Supply Chain & Financing services to help you open new sales channels and assist you on your long-term development in China. We finally can directly purchase your products..
  • E-Commerce: E-Commerce being booming in China, many companies use online selling as their preferred choice. We offer our clients the opportunity to work with our E-Commerce partners, which are among the most recognized in their field.
  • Communication: take advantage of a network of experienced partners to administrate the social networks of your company in China.
  • Administrative: we are strong of a solid regulatory expertise, we accompany you for your administrative needs.
  • Finance: we help you manage your financial operation in China.

Work with an experienced facilitator to make launching your business in China a success!

ASI Solutions’ Conference at the CCI France-Chine

Numerous are the companies eager to launch their business and products in China. Chinese consumers are keen on foreign products and the Chinese market thus represents a huge potential for foreign European brands.. However, many companies lack knowledge about the import process and common difficulties that they could meet on their way.

ASI Solutions was glad to offer its expertise to few members of the Chambre de Commerce et de l’Industrie France Chine (CCIFC) on Thursday, 4th June. Our fellow colleagues had a breakfast presentation session, where they were introducing to the participants the barriers that they could meet and how to overcome them. Many situation were exposed, with a range going from Food & Beverages to textile products.

We would like to thank the CCIFC for having hosted us for this conference, all the participants that were present this day, as well as Madeleine who delivered us delicious breakfast. We are looking forward to exchange again on this topic and share our expertise and experience!
Eager to gain more insight on this topic? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Exports of Liquors to China: Conquering the Baijiu Country

Foreign liquors have gained in popularity in China, especially in the first-tier city, and compete more and more with the traditional Chinese baiju. Restaurants and supermarkets now provide a subsequent choice of foreign wines, craft beers or even scotch whiskeys. It is also more and more offered as a present, and the Chinese middle-class is looking for new flavors. If wines have made their path into the Chinese market, some other liquors such as vodka and whiskey are increasing in popularity.

ASI Solutions, as a specialist in the Food and Beverage importation, is an ideal partner on-site to start your spirit business in China. We present you today the specificities of the Chinese market and the import process of these kind of products.

More Insights on the Chinese Market for Liquors

Did you know that China was the first worldwide producer and consumer of beers?

This fact should not make you afraid! China is still an interesting market for beer producers. Although Chinese wine market might start to congest, it is not the case of the other kind of liquors of which few have experienced China yet. In fact, Chinese consumers are willing to consume more imported products, including imported beers. Reputation of imported beers has increased over the last years, when Chinese beers were impacted by scandal and copycat. Fake alcohol have been spreading in China, but nowadays Chinese consumers are looking for higher quality products. However, they are worrying about appearances, and care more about social status. Consuming imported alcohol is also perceived as a distinctive sign of wealth.

Traditional retail channels are through wholesalers and supermarkets, but online sales are not outdone. Nowadays all the retails chains are also operating via online stores, and safe solution to deliver bottles are available. More and more consumers are ordering online. China counts 610 millions of online shoppers in 2018, an increase of 14.4% compared to 2017 (CNNIC, 2019). Delivery services are now able to carry more and more atypical goods, such as frozen, or even fragile bottles. Regarding this growing potential, an e-commerce strategy should be thought of for any goods imported in China.

Importing Liquors Into China: the To-Do List

For any Food and Beverages, producers and exporters need to be registered on the Chinese customs' website The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, who is in charge of the quality control and the inspection, will accept that you export your product to China after delivering you a certificate. Without this certification, Chinese customs is able to confiscate and dispose of your goods. In that so, feasibility check need to be done upstream, in order to verify the compliance of each ingredient with the Chinese market. Send your Original label and ingredient details with their origin to ASI Solutions and we will manage this procedure on your behalf. You may proceed to some testing in laboratory.

Building your branding is a pre-requirement. It might take some time, but it is essential for Chinese consumers to know your brand, and be aware of your story-telling and the quality you deliver in your products. It will be also easier for you to open an online store on the biggest e-commerce platform, such as Tmall, Taobao and JD. Some other channels are available for the smallest brand, but be aware that branding will influence positively your sales and will increase your chance to stay longer on the Chinese market.

ASI Solutions has built strong partnership with the best agencies in Shanghai, who will take care of your marketing operations and reputation. Starting with a suitable marketing strategy focusing and understanding the Chinese consumers will ensure you for long-term establishment on this market.

When Chinese consumers know your brand better, after having read some articles and good reviews or seeing some key opinions leaders testing your goods, they now want to taste your product! You are now ready to import.

Basically, liquors will follow similar process as food imports:

  • Certificate of health and phytosanitary are required and must be issued by the authority of the producer’s country.
  • In the case of liquors, some additional certificate are required by the Chinese customs and authorities: Bottling certification, Grape variety, Medal award, Beer wheat concentration… ASI Solutions drafts a case-by-case solution, and will send you the exhaustive list of documents needed for your import business in China
  • Last but not least, ASI Solutions will take care about the Chinese labelling, according to the Chinese regulations.
  • Packaging can also be done, and is really important in the case of liquors. Do not forget that Chinese consumers are used to offer liquors as a present, so they will pay a particular attention to the visual of the packaging.
  • When your bottles arrive in China mainland, you need to store We also can propose to store your liquors in our temperature controlled warehouse.

ASI Solutions will support you at each step of your business in China, and will take care of the project from its conception to delivery to the final consumer.

We used to handle more than 20 cases in Food & Beverages, and built our expertise to a 360 level. We will have a solution for you at each step of your supply chain and will consolidate your position on the Chinese market.

Discover our full range of solutions!

Embargo Lifting for French Food

If you are a regular reader of French or Chinese newspapers, you may know that Xi Jinping was in France for a three-day state visit, late March 2019. It took place in the frame of his European tour, to secure and deepen European Union ties with China, as well as celebrating 55 years of France-PCC diplomatic relationship (established with Charles de Gaulle visiting Beijing). 14 trade deals were signed between French and Chinese enterprises, among which the resounding sale of 300 Airbus.

What one may not know however, is the content of the other trade deals signed. Some of them are directly concerning import regulations for French products, thus directly impacting French companies eager to develop their operations to China.

ASI Solutions, as foreign companies' best partner for handling their Chinese expansion, tells you more about it!

Embargo Lifting on French Poultry

Food safety is a great concern in China, and at the same time, demand for imported F&B is increasing. This embargo had been implemented since December 2015, after the avian flu plagued Europe.

The Embargo on beef meet was already lifted in August 2018, now it is turn to French poultry. France will be the second country, after Poland, to sign a new export protocol between the GACC and the French poultry industry.

The market is relatively modest in terms of volume: last time in 2015, France had exported for 3 570 tons of poultry meat for a total of 7 million of euros (Figures from FranceAgriMer). However these exports offered an appreciable complementary income for the industry, as it affected some pieces - such as frozen head, legs and wings of the chicken - that are really appreciated by Chinese consumers whereas less by European ones.

This agreement followed some audits made by Chinese inspectors on March 2018, when they visited hatcheries, slaughterhouses and sanitary control laboratory.

The export will resume as soon as the certified French companies for the export will individually receive the go.

And many more...

A protocol listing all the export conditions from France to China was signed during the visit. This protocol will open the Chinese market to all kind of French shellfish at once, when it was previously made case by case.

Notice that the Chinese delegation, during last March audit, have also visited a foie gras company, which is seen as a good omen for the producer and expat consumers in China.

Among these numerous agreements, noticed that a cooperative protocol between the French bank BNP Paribas, the French fund Eurazeo and China Investment Corporation sovereign wealth fund was signed. This agreement aims to encourage and support development of French companies in China, with an amount about 1 to 1,5 billion euros.

The French president announced that some cooperation will be made in countries involved in the New Silk Road, but France is not willing to participate in the infrastructure project.

Nonetheless, this visit offers promising business opportunities between French and Chinese companies and will certainly tighten their trade relations.

We will keep you updated on the project’s advancement.

ASI Solutions is always abreast regarding Chinese import and export regulations, and provides you with complete information on compliance and testing when it comes to Chinese import regulations and best practices. We provide you tailor-made solutions for your business to fully meet requirements of the Chinese market, and assist you in any challenges you may face in running your international operations.

Contact us for more information regarding regulations, shipment and commercialization of your goods in Mainland China.

Discover our full range of solutions!