The DHL / British Chambers of Commerce



44 Introduction4. 44 Executive4Summary4. 44 Key4Indicators4. 44 Firm4Size4Breakdown44. 44 Documentation4Data44. 44 In4Focus4-4Inflation44. 44 Country4Guide4-4China44.

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THE BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE The British Chambers of Commerce is the national body for a powerful and influential Network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK, a Network that directly serves not only its member businesses, but the wider business community. Representing 100,000 businesses who together employ more than 4.8 million employees, the British Chambers of Commerce is The Ultimate Business Network. Every Chamber sits at the very heart of its local community working with businesses to grow and develop by sharing opportunities, knowledge and knowhow. No other organisation makes such a difference to business as the British Chambers of Commerce. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

DHL – THE LOGISTICS COMPANY FOR THE WORLD DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry and “The Logistics company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and about 275,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting climate protection, disaster management and education. DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenue of more than 51 billion euros in 2010. For more information visit: www.dp-dhl.com



A lot has happened since the Q3 release of the DHL/BCC Trade Confidence Index. Three months ago we warned of the negative impact that economic problems outside of the UK were having on the ability of firms to export. Since then, the problems have become more acute, and policymakers appear unable to get anywhere near a solution. The situation seems to be getting gradually worse, not better, as every day passes, and this uncertainty hits order books and corrodes confidence. What is clear from the results of this survey is that exporters still do indicate that they will grow at the start of 2012, albeit at a slower pace than they did before. This isn’t great news for the prospects of rebalancing the economy away from domestic consumption and Government spending, towards investment and exporting, but it is no disaster either. John Longworth Director General British Chambers of Commerce The Chancellor has announced further measures to help the UK’s exporting community, but policymakers can and must go further in order to generate an exporting culture amongst the UK’s SME population. In particular, moves to improve outbound trade missions and promotional activity, and the implementation of exporting skills within schools would help both current and future exporters.

Whilst the latter part of 2011 saw the global economic crisis worsen, the UK trade deficit remained lower than it was for much of the year. The DHL/BCC Trade Confidence Index Q4 2011 shows that export volumes have slipped from the peaks seen earlier in the year, and given the worsening global economic crisis they are growing, albeit cautiously. The Index also found that business confidence has declined – highlighting an uncertainty amongst exporters about prospects for increasing profitability and turnover in 2012. In spite of this, exporters demonstrated a willingness to invest in training their workforce to ensure they are best placed to weather the potential challenges of 2012. Encouragingly, micro-exporters also expect to increase their workforce this year. Phil Couchman These findings coupled with Government initiatives to solidify trading relations with CEO international markets should instil confidence in UK exporters. George Osborne’s DHL Express UK & Ireland intentions to make the UK a leading offshore trading centre for the Renminbi, as well as Chinese Government plans to boost imports from the West to rebalance its own trade surplus present an opportunity for Britain to prosper as a trading partner with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. There are plenty of success stories out there of British companies beginning to export into foreign markets. The UK automotive industry is seeing an increase in exports to the East as foreign car manufacturers take advantage of the fall in Sterling; and an increasing number of UK exporters are seeing flourishing e-commerce sales to the continent, and further afield, specifically Australia – as disposable income and favourable exchange rates across the Pacific create inroads for British goods. Success though is dependent on support. A lack of business confidence indicates that companies don’t see growth opportunities on the horizon. More needs to be done to change this state of mind amongst businesses. A robust framework of support to help businesses identify potential growth markets would be a great start if we are to regain our place as a powerful global trading partner and increase export sales in this critical year.

The DHL/BCC Trade Confidence Index (TCI) is a measure of the UK’s exporting health. By analysing trends in trading activity and key factors of exporting firms’ performance, the TCI gives a truly comprehensive picture of the UK’s internationally trading business community. The index casts new light on exporters’ levels of confidence and employment intentions, and paints a picture of regional exporting performance. Those wishing to obtain more information on the Index’s methodology and data sources are invited to contact the British Chambers of Commerce.

The TCI generates its results from two data sources:
– Questionnaire responses submitted by over 1,000 exporters, derived from the BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES). The QES is the largest and most representative business survey of its kind. – Data generated from exporting activity that requires supporting documentation.

THE SURVEY Fieldwork for the survey was conducted between 14 November and 5 December 2011. Results are split into the following firm size categories:
– –

0-9 employees (micro firms) 10-49 employees (small firms) 50-249 employees (medium firms) 250+ employees (large firms)


– –

Steve Hughes, Economic Adviser

Sarah Jarvis, design and layout

Unless otherwise stated, results refer to all exporters responding to the survey. Where results are split between the service and manufacturing sectors, this is stated clearly in the text. Results that are not split by firm size are weighted by the contribution of firm size to total exporting turnover. Results are represented by either a balance figure or a pure percentage figure. Balance figures are determined by subtracting the percentage of companies reporting decreases in a factor from the percentage of companies reporting increases. Where a balance figure is positive it represents growth; where it is negative, it represents contraction. EXPORT DOCUMENTATION DATA Many types of exports require supporting and commercial documentation to ensure the timely delivery of goods and timely payment. Chambers of Commerce administer this documentation, and have amassed a significant dataset around UK goods exports as a result. The TCI uses data collected from this process to show both an index of documentation and regional comparisons of exporting activity.

65 Petty France St. James’s Park London SW1H 9EU Tel: 020 7654 5800 Fax: 020 7654 5819 Email: info@britishchambers.org.uk




44 Exporters4are4less4confident4about4their420124prospects.4Nevertheless,4muted4growth4is4expected. 44 Sluggish4investment4and4employment4intentions,4as4well4as4increased4exchange4rate4concerns,4 raise4questions4about4how4quickly4the4economy4can4“rebalance”.4 The last edition of the DHL/BCC Trade Confidence Index (TCI) highlighted the risks and uncertainty which the global economy faced through July to September. In Q4 2011 the economic environment deteriorated even further, with more questions being asked of Europe’s banking industry, and eurozone nations failing to find a solution to their sovereign debt problems. This environment was the backdrop for the Q4 2011 TCI fieldwork period, with responses showing a fall in exporter confidence and a weaker outlook for both domestic and international activity. Sluggish results for indicators show that: 44 the4export4orders4indicator4is4at4its4lowest4level4since4Q3420094(see4Figure4One);4 44 overall,4expectations4to4increase4the4size4of4workforces4are4flat;4and, 44 confidence4that4turnover4will4increase4is4at4its4lowest4level4since4Q242009 Results point to a muted expansion in export activity, rather than a contraction. The indications are that UK exporters are “ticking over”, but recognise the dangers that 2012 present. While much of the negative economic pressure is externally generated, the Government still has a role to play, and although the Chancellor’s announcements in the Autumn Statement provide more money to support exporting initiatives, more can be done. The specific measures that should be adopted are: 44 Ensuring4more4SMEs4are4exposed4to4the4opportunities4of4international4trade4–4through4improved4 access4to4mentored4outbound4missions,4smarter4use4of4inbound4missions4and4greater4financial4 support4for4promotional4activity4and4tradeshow4attendance. 44 Improvements4to4the4capacity4and4incentives4to4trade4–4there4needs4to4be4a4renewed4focus4on4 generic4exporting4skills4within4school4and4Further4Education4business4curricula.4Publicly4funded4 schemes4aimed4at4placing4export-relevant4skill4sets4within4businesses,4such4as4placements4for4 linguists,4should4be4scaled4up4and4be4better4promoted.4
Figure One: Balance of rms reporting an increase in export orders 40 30 20
% Balance


10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40
Q3 07 Q4 07 Q1 08 Q2 08 Q3 08 Q4 08 Q1 09 Q2 09 Q3 09 Q4 09 Q1 10 Q2 10 Q3 10 Q4 10 Q1 11 Q2 11 Q3 11 Q4 11




44 Export4 orders4 indicator4 at4 its4 lowest4 level4 since4 Q34 2009;4 Domestic4 orders4 indicator4 at4 its4 lowest4level4since4Q142010.4 44 Confidence4in4increasing4turnover4and4profitability4over4the4next4124months4decreases.4 44 Investment4intentions4still4well4below4pre-recession4levels.4 EXPORT AND DOMESTIC ORDERS The balance of firms reporting an increase in export orders in Q4 2011 was at its lowest level since Q3 2009, falling from +11% to +9%. A more dramatic weakening was recorded for exporters’ domestic activity, which dropped from +10% in Q3 2011, to a near stagnant +1% in Q4 2011. Both suggest that economic activity was slowing as firms entered the new year (see Figure Two).
Figure Two: Balance of rms reporting an increase in domestic and export orders 40 30 20 10 % Balance 0 -10 -20 -30 -40 -50 Q3 07 Q4 07 Q1 08 Q2 08 Q3 08 Q4 08 Q1 09 Q2 09 Q3 09 Q4 09 Q1 10 Q2 10 Q3 10 Q4 10 Q1 11 Q2 11 Q3 11 Q4 11 DOMESTIC EXPORT Recession

When this is broken down into pure percentages, the figures show that 34% of respondents stated that their export orders increased in Q4 (down from 35% in both Q2 and Q3 2011, and down from 39% in Q1). The equivalent figure in Q4 for domestic orders is 31%, lower than all other results in 2011 (Q1, 32%; Q2, 37%; and Q3, 33%). Manufacturing firms saw a marginal uplift in the domestic orders result, from -2% to +2%, but this still indicates stagnation, whilst export orders dropped from +9% to +6%. Service sector firms saw a large fall in the domestic orders result, with the balance dropping 15 points to +1%. By way of contrast, export orders were maintained at +12%, and did not change on the previous quarter. CONFIDENCE Weakening order books have translated into a fall in confidence for the prospects of increasing turnover and profitability. The overall result for confidence in increasing turnover was +31%, a fall of eight points, and the second weakest result since the recession ended. Confidence in increasing profitability also fell eight points to +17%.




Figure Three shows how the percentage of firms that were confident of increasing profitability has developed throughout 2011, with falls in successive quarters occurring from Q2 (where 50% of firms were confident of an increase), to Q3 (48% of firms were confident of an increase), and finally to Q4 (43% of firms were confident of an increase).
Figure Three: Percentage of exporters that believe their profitability will improve in the coming twelve months.

Q1 2011

Q2 2011

Q3 2011

Q4 2011





Confidence results for the manufacturing sector were far less volatile than those within the services sector. Manufacturers reported a slight easing of turnover confidence, from +40% to +37%, and a slight increase in profitability confidence, from +32% to +36%. By way of contrast, services firms saw turnover expectations drop from +40% to +29% and profitability confidence drop from +24% to +5%. INVESTMENT Logically, a weakened economic outlook and lack of confidence in the ability to increase turnover and profitability would impact on investment decisions. The overall results show that for investment in plant and machinery this is indeed the case, with a drop from +15% to +13%, which is a par result post recession, indicating anaemic growth. The percentage of firms reporting that investment plans for plant and machinery have worsened rose to 18% in Q4 from 14% in Q3.
Figure Four: Balance of rms reporting an increase in intentions to invest in plant & machinery and training 30 25 20 15 10 Recession

% Balance

5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 Q3 07 Q4 07 Q1 08 Q2 08 Q3 08 Q4 08 Q1 09 Q2 09 Q3 09 Q4 09 Q1 10 Q2 10 Q3 10 Q4 10 Q1 11 Q2 11 Q3 11 Q4 11 Training Plant & Machinery

The investment in training balance, however, rose from +8% to +12%. This result occurred as a result of large firms (those with over 250 employees) from both sectors showing a big rise in the intention to increase investment in training. EXCHANGE RATES One final point to note on the overall results is that exchange rate concerns have risen to their highest level since Q4 2010, with 37% of respondents reporting that exchange rates were more of a concern than three months previously. When looking at the path of exchange rates over the previous six months, this result does not come as a surprise. When the fieldwork for the Q4 TCI was conducted, sterling was almost 2 per cent higher against the euro than it was in the fieldwork period for Q3.




44 Expectations4to4increase4workforces4in4the4first4three4months4of420124are4weak,4with4large4firms4 showing4a4persistent4reluctance4to4increase4overall4staff4numbers.4

RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOYMENT All the signs are that 2012 will be a difficult year for the global economy. With weaker order books, and limited investment intentions; firms’ attitudes towards their workforce will be affected. Figure Five shows the balances for businesses expecting to increase their workforce, for firms with 0-9 employees and 250+ employees.
Figure Five: Balance of rms reporting an expectation to increase employment over the next three months (by employee size) 30 20 10 % Balance 0 Recession

-10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60 Q3 07 Q4 07 Q1 08 Q2 08 Q3 08 Q4 08 Q1 09 Q2 09 Q3 09 Q4 09 Q1 10 Q2 10 Q3 10 Q4 10 Q1 11 Q2 11 Q3 11 Q4 11 0-9 Employees 250+ Employees

The graphic shows that smaller firms sizes experienced a much shallower dip during the recession, than that of the firms with 250+ employees. While expectations for smaller firms are still positive, they are below levels seen in 2010. For large firms, the expectations for future employment have weakened significantly, and have been largely negative. Nevertheless, the further up the firm size scale, the more likely that a business is to recruit. Figure Six quite clearly shows this, with 80% of firms with 250+ employees trying to recruit, compared to 28% of firms with 0-9 employees.
Figure Six: % of rms trying to recruit (by employee size) 90 80 70 % Of Firms 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 to 9 Employees 10 to 49 Employees 50 to 249 Employees 250+ Employees




44 Documentation4 data4 shows4 growth4 when4 comparing4 20114 with4 2010,4 but4 recent4 activity4 is4 more4muted,4with4falls4on4the4quarter.4 NATIONAL DOCUMENTATION VOLUMES The quarter-on-quarter data shows a drop in the number of export documents being issued, with a 1.48% fall in volumes. However, there was a rise from the equivalent quarter in 2010, showing a 3.67% increase in Q4 2011.

Index number 2007 = 100 Most recent quarter on a year earlier Most recent quarter on previous quarter

Volume index of export documentation




Figure seven shows the regional breakdown of export documentation volumes and the percentage change in volumes both on the quarter and 2011 from 2010. There is a broad pattern of decline quarter on quarter, but a broad pattern of increases when comparing the percentage rise of 2011 over 2010. This is a further indication that exporting activity does seem to be increasing looking at longer-term comparisons, but the economic environment is impacting on the more recent attempts of British firms to sell goods abroad.
Figure Seven: % change 2011 on 2010 and quarter-on-quarter (Q4 on Q3) 35 30 25 20 Year on Year Qtr on Qtr

% change

15 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 London S East

N West Scotland



W Mids

E Mids

S West

N East


N Ireland




44 Inflation4remains4a4big4concern4for4exporting4businesses4-4although4there4are4signs4these4pressures4 are4easing.4 The topic of rising prices has rarely been out of the news over the last year. The cost of energy, fuel, and raw materials has contributed to financial pressures on businesses and consumers alike. This environment has provided a test for the credibility of the Bank of England, the body responsible for maintaining low and stable inflation. The Bank’s Governor, Mervyn King, has stuck to the mantra that inflationary pressures were externally generated and temporary, and that increasing interest rates would have limited effectiveness in combating rising prices. The view of the Bank has been that inflation would fall back to its two per cent target in the medium term. The Q4 TCI shows how rising prices are still a big concern for exporters, but there are very tentative signs of those inflationary pressures easing (supporting recent producer price inflation figures). Figure Eight shows that firms still regard inflation as the factor of most concern compared with three months previously. This is followed by taxation and then exchange rates.
Figure Eight: % of rms reporting a factor as more of a concern than three months ago 50 Q4 2011 40 % Of Firms Q3 2011





Interest rates

Exchange rates

Business rates

In ation



However, there is a bigger picture, as the sector breakdown below presents. MANUFACTURING For manufacturers, the proportion of firms reporting inflation as a concern fell from 42% to 40% (and was a lesser concern than both taxation and exchange rates). The proportion of firms reporting that raw materials were adding pressure to raise prices also fell, from 81% to 75%, the lowest since Q3 2010. SERVICES In the service sector, the proportion of firms reporting inflation as a concern was at its highest since Q1 2010. However, this was entirely driven by large firms (those with 250+ staff), with all other firm sizes reporting that it was a decreasing concern.


It seems impossible to discuss or describe any aspect of China without reaching for an adjective such as largest, fastest or biggest. It has, to take just a few examples, the world’s largest population (around 1.3 billion). It has the world’s fastest growing economy and is the biggest exporter. It is also the world’s largest consumer of energy and is home to twenty of the thirty most polluted cities on earth. At the same time it is the world’s largest generator of wind energy. Today it seems as though everything is ‘made in China’. Whilst that is not strictly true, it has certainly founded its success on being able to produce (or assemble) certain types of product - such as toys, computers, electrical items and clothing – quicker, cheaper and in larger quantities than anyone else. Many western companies, particularly those who use China as a manufacturing centre and import the finished items, have of course benefited enormously from this. But while China’s manufacturing and exporting capabilities are usually the main talking point, it should also be considered that China is the world’s second largest importer. A modern, automated Chinese factory often includes shiny new machines that are European made and the increasingly affluent Chinese middle classes inevitably have a desire for western products and services. China is now the second biggest consumer of luxury goods, second only to Japan. And even though the Chinese authorities are looking to reduce the country’s reliance on exports and increase its low domestic demand – to start selling to itself, in other words - China will remain a massively attractive and important market for UK exporters and importers alike.
Sources: National Geographic, CIA, BBC

China: Country Profile
Capital Population Currency Time Zones Beijing

1.3 billion (Source: CIA - estimate July 2011)
Renminbi Yuan (RMB or CNY) 5 Zones: GMT+5.5, GMT+6, GMT+7, GMT+8, GMT+8.5

Gateways into the country: 8 Number of Service Centres: 47 DHL Delivery Zone: 8 Delivery: DHL Express operates in partnership with Sinotrans (China National Foreign Trade Transportation (Group) Corporation). DHL-Sinotrans has operated since 1986 and is recognised as the market leader within the Chinese Express and Logistics industry. Invoicing: Exports and Imports are billed in Pounds Sterling in the UK.

Transit Times
The time taken to clear Customs is affected by the dutiable value of the shipment. Clearance by the Chinese Customs authorities can be a slow process and therefore additional time is allowed in the guide transit times below. UK to China - Example Transit Times Beijing Documents: 2-3 days Dutiable Shipments: 4-8 days Shanghai Documents: 2-3 days Dutiable Shipments: 4-6 days Wuhan Documents: 3 days Dutiable Shipments: 5-6 days Chengdu Documents: 3 days Dutiable: 5-6 days Shenzhen Documents: 3 days Dutiable Shipments: 5-6 days Guangzhou Documents: 3 days Dutiable Shipments: 5-6 days Hong Kong Macau Documents: 2 days Dutiable Shipments: 2 days Documents: 2 days Dutiable Shipments: 2-3 days


Hong Kong

China Fact Sheet


To avoid delays when sending to and from China, you should ensure that your documentation always contains the following information: 1. All Importers/Exporters in China must be registered with Customs. Make sure that your customer/supplier’s Customs Registration number (CR Number) is stated on your Customs declaration forms and ideally on your Pro-Forma/Commercial Invoice. 2. All non-document shipments require a complete and full description of the contents, plus the relevant Harmonised System Code (HS Code) on the Customs declaration form and ideally on your Pro-Forma/Commercial invoice. HS Codes are standardised commodity codes that accurately and precisely describe the contents of the shipment. HS codes can be determined at Business Link – UK Trade Tariff 3. All Commercial Invoices must be typed. 4. With the exception of personal effects, all shipments must be sent to a company. The destination postcode, consignee (receiver) contact name and phone number must be stated. 5. Power of Attorney (POA) to allow DHL to act on your customer or supplier’s behalf needs to be provided by the consignee (recipient/supplier) to DHL in China.

DHL’s standard list of prohibited items also applies.
• Animal skins • Antiques • Asbestos • Biological Substance Cat B, UN3373 • Dangerous goods, hazardous or combustible materials • Firearms, parts of • Furs • Gambling devices • Ivory • Jewellery • Military equipment • Perishables • Personal mail (unless sent as non-document to a foreign student, tourist or chief representative who can present a non-Chinese passport) • Pornography • Precious metals and stones • Radar equipment

If you intend to send any of the items listed below, please contact DHL Customer Services to confirm the restriction in place by the Chinese authorities.
• Alcoholic beverages • Communications equipment • Compact disc • Computer components and parts • Cosmetics • Diplomatic mail • Diskettes • Drugs: non-prescription • Drugs: prescription • Foodstuffs • Grain samples • Mobile phones, accessories and components • Parts, machine and electronic • Personal effects • Plants • Seeds • Ship spares • Tapes: computer • Tapes: video cassettes • Telecommunication equipment • Tobacco • Used machinery, electrical products and clothing

If the duty amount is less than CNY50.00, the shipment is deemed as deminimis (so duty will not be charged)

HONG KONG AND MACAU Hong Kong and Macau are Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of China where taxes are not applied to any goods except alcohol and tobacco products, in effect giving a duty free status to the majority of goods. Different prohibited and restricted goods regulations apply; please contact DHL Customer Services for details.

China Fact Sheet


Document shipments are not subject to duty and clear Customs upon arrival. Please note that Personal Mail cannot be sent as a document, see ‘Prohibited Items’.

1. DHL Waybill 2. Commercial or Pro-Forma Invoice (for all non-document shipments) • Invoice number, date and place of issue • Name and address of the seller/consignor (shipper) with full contact details and EORI / VAT number • Name and address of the consignee (receiver), with full contact details and Customs Registration Number (CR Number) • Country of origin (of goods) • Terms of delivery and payment (INCO terms) • Exact description of goods, with reference to HS Tariff Code • Marks, numbers and types of packages • Quantity of goods • Unit prices and amounts, including nett and gross weight • Total value of goods • Currency • Export license number for UK regulations, if applicable, or state ‘No License Required’ • Import license number, if applicable for China • Signed – and stamped if applicable 3. Evidence of Value It’s good practice to include evidence of the shipment’s value to help prevent a dispute over the declared value. Acceptable evidence includes: • Manufacturer’s International Price List or Internet Price List • Purchase Order from customer • Product literature • Manual and Catalogue, write ups or Technical Literature for laboratory or electronic equipment 4. Packing List (signed) This is mandatory for all general shipments valued over CNY5,000.00, consisting of more than 2 pieces and weighing over 100kg 5. Any applicable Import License/Permit 6. Power of Attorney (POA) – Letter of Authority This must be given by the consignee (recipient) to DHL in China to act on their behalf, and clear the shipment through Customs. It must be an original copy. Once on file this can be retained for future shipments. Advice on shipping to China, license requirements and specific information can be found at:

Personal Effects
Can be sent from individual to individual only, up to a value of CNY800.00 from Hong Kong / Taiwan / Macau and CNY1,000.00 from other destinations. Personal ID or a copy of the consignee’s (recipient’s) passport along with a letter of explanation should be provided. Personal Effects Declaration Form should be completed. For unaccompanied baggage, Stamped Baggage Declaration Form must be completed.

Samples and Advertising
For samples, the word ‘SAMPLE’ must be stated on each individual Waybill, Commercial invoice and any other documentation. Shipments valued under CNY5,000 where the duty is under CNY50.00 are exempt from charges. For shipments valued under CNY5,000 but with a duty value above CNY50.00 licenses are not required, but duty will be charged.

General Shipments
Import licenses are required for shipments valued over CNY5,000.00. A general trade shipment with payment terms shown on the commercial invoice may be accepted. For shipments of all values in this category, duty is applicable. DHL or your Customs broker will complete the relevant Customs declarations based on the classification of your goods.

Exporting – Duties and Taxes Payable
• Import VAT: Standard rate for importing into China is 17%. A lower rate of 13% applies to goods such as books, newspapers and other goods as decided by the State Council. Small scale taxpayers are charged a special rate of 6% for certain goods. • Import Duties: The rate of duty depends on the type of goods shipped, and to a lesser extent the country of origin. The Applied Tariff database facility on the European Commission’s Market Access website can be used to confirm the applicable duty, which is calculated based on the CIF value (Cost of goods + insurance + freight/shipping charges)

Business Link – Trading with China UK Trade and Investment – China

China Fact Sheet


To commercially import into the UK, the importer must be in possession of an Economic Operator Registration Number (EORI), issued by HM Revenue and Customs. Guidance and application forms can be found here:

HM Revenue & Customs – EORI Scheme
General guidance regarding importing into the UK, including restricted items can be found here:

Business Link – Import and Export Procedures Importing – Duties and Taxes Payable
The applicable duty rates can be found here: Business Link – UK Trade Tariff Most goods being imported into the UK from China are subject to the full rate of Customs duty, and the applicable VAT rate. In addition, many products manufactured in China are subject to anti-dumping measures and so may require the payment of high additional duties.

To Import from China, the following documentation is usually required for Customs clearance in China: 1. DHL Waybill 2. Commercial Invoice The minimal information required is: • Name and address of the seller including contact details • Name and address of the consignee (receiver), including contact details, with EORI or VAT registration number wherever possible • Name and address of the buyer / importer, if other than the consignee, with EORI or VAT registration number wherever possible • Place and date of issue • Invoice number • Country of origin • Terms of delivery and payment (INCOTERMS) • Marks and numbers, number and type of packages, • Exact description of goods, with reference to HS tariff Code • Quantity of goods • Unit prices and amounts, including net and gross weight • Import licence number, if applicable • Signed - and stamped if applicable Please note that some non-hazardous chemicals may require additional certification from the Chinese authorities in order for Customs clearance to be given. 3. Power of Attorney (POA) - Letter of Authority This must be given by the sender to DHL in China to act on their behalf and clear the shipment through Customs. It must be an original copy. Once on file this can be retained for future shipments.

Please contact your Account Manager Contact Customer Services on 0844 248 0844 Go to www.dhl.co.uk Customs Support online The UK Trade Tariff can be used to confirm commodity codes, termed Harmonised System (HS) codes. HS codes provide a standardised goods description. Business Link – UK Trade Tariff Business Link has information on how to confirm if your goods require an Export License, and how to obtain any relevant licenses. Business Link – Do You Need an Export or Import Licence? Support with shipping to China, license requirements and specific advice can be found at: UK Trade and Investment – China Business Link – Getting Ready to Export to Individual Countries For applicable duty rates when importing into the UK: Business Link – UK Trade Tariff For information on International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS): Business Link – INCOTERMS
Valid from: 08/2011 | Version: 01