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Receiving overseas parcels

Chinese Customs allows items to be mailed from abroad to foreigners living in China.

The amount is based on personal use to limit trafficking activities.

Personal use refers to something that will be used by the person and that it will not be sold or rented.

For items entering and exiting Chinese territory, the Customs has the right to inspect and levy tax.

For personal items coming from or heading toward Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan areas, the cap is 800 yuan (US$131), of which 400 yuan can be exempted from tax.

For other non-domestic destinations, the value cap is 1,000 yuan and only 50 yuan can be exempted from tax.

Twenty items, including TV sets, are on the non-exempt list. A delivery tax is required for any item exceeding the value cap. As for the tax of 50 yuan or below, it will be exempted by the Customs.

If an item is fully for personal use but exceeds the price cap, the Customs may make exceptions.

The price cap refers to the cost of insurance and Freight (CIF) but usually the Customs uses an official price list to determine values and price caps and doesn’t take the delivery fee into consideration.

If the CIF is three times higher than the item’s real price, the tax can be calculated differently provided a Chinese section-level official gives approval at the scene.

If an incoming parcel exceeds the price cap, the Customs will inform the receiver to go to a designated place to pay the tax or issue a tax bill to let the post office collect the tax on its behalf.

Packages that are deemed to exceed the personal use amount can be returned to its point of origin.

If a package requires inspection, testing or commodity examination, the Customs will follow national rules.

The list of banned items includes weapons, ammunition, counterfeit bank notes, securities, harmful presswork, films, photos or computer storage media and other items, poisons, narcotic drugs, psychotropic drugs, dangerous germs, pests or other harmful creatures or products, food, medicine or other items that can harm human and animal health, along with items that can cause an epidemic or come from epidemic areas.

(Translated by Shen Li)

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