How to Import Kids Toys From China

In the global economy, China has consistently been a leading producer and exporter of children’s toys, with its diverse and innovative products capturing the attention of the world. However, importing these exquisite toys from China and introducing them to the international market requires careful planning and the correct execution of business processes. This article will delve into 11 aspects and steps, offering in-depth exploration. If you are considering or in the process of importing children’s toys from China, this blog may serve as a practical guide for you.

  1. Understand Regulations and Standards
  2. Determine Sales Channels
  3. Find Reliable Suppliers
  4. Common International Trade Terms and Payment Methods
  5. Apply for Import License
  6. Understand Tariffs and Taxes
  7. Understand Tariff Assessment
  8. Transportation Modes Selection
  9. Prepare Necessary Documents
  10. Pay Attention to Import Procedures
  11. Addressing Potential Issues
  12. Market Promotion and Sales

1. Understand Regulations and Standards

Before importing, it is crucial to understand the regulations and standards of the target market. Ensure that the products you plan to import comply with local safety and quality standards. Certification and safety standards for imported toys vary by country and region. The following are two common regions with product quality certifications:

North American Market:
All toys imported into the United States must adhere to regulations established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). They are required to undergo the following tests:
ASTM F963 Standard Testing: This is a standard published by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), used to assess the safety of children’s toys. ASTM F963 comprises multiple sections covering various safety aspects, including physical performance, flammability, chemical properties, and more. Products need to meet the requirements of ASTM F963.
CPSIA Certification Testing: The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) mandates that children’s products must comply with a series of regulations, undergo strict testing for lead and phthalates, and limit their content. Manufacturers need to ensure their products meet CPSIA requirements and may need third-party laboratory testing to obtain CPSIA certification

European Union Market:
If toys are exported to the European Union, they must undergo testing according to the Toy Safety Directive standards (EN 71-1, 2, 3), EN 62115 (for battery-operated products), and obtain CE certification:
CE Certification: Toys must obtain CE certification, which is a fundamental requirement for selling products in the European market. The CE mark indicates that the product complies with the essential health and safety requirements of the European Union.
EN 71 Standards: Toys need to conform to the EN 71 series standards, which are part of the European Toy Safety Directive. These standards cover requirements for mechanical and physical performance, flammability, chemical properties, and more. Typically, manufacturers choose to comply with specific parts of EN 71, such as EN 71-1 (mechanical and physical performance), EN 71-2 (flammability), EN 71-3 (migration of harmful elements), and so on.

In addition, there are dedicated certifications for all electronic products:
Electromagnetic Compatibility Certification (EMC Certification): This certification applies to all electronic products and aims to ensure that electronic devices can operate normally in the electromagnetic environment without causing excessive electromagnetic interference, maintaining harmonious coexistence between devices. EMC includes two aspects of requirements: EMC certification involves testing for electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic susceptibility (EMS). On one hand, it ensures that the electromagnetic interference generated by the device during normal operation does not exceed certain limits in the surrounding environment. On the other hand, it indicates that the device has a certain level of resistance to the electromagnetic interference present in the environment, i.e., electromagnetic sensitivity. This testing is typically developed and managed by standard organizations such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

As an importer, how can you ensure that your products have these quality certifications? In general, the Chinese manufacturers you collaborate with will, based on the requirements of the target market and customers, send the products to these Globally Recognized Laboratories listed blow for testing and obtaining the corresponding product quality certifications:

SGS: 
SGS certification refers to the compliance certification services provided by SGS based on standards, regulations, customer requirements, and other conditions. To undergo relevant certifications, methods such as inspection, testing, identification, and certification must be employed. SGS, short for Société Générale de Surveillance S.A., translates to “General Society for Surveillance.” Established in 1878, it is currently the world’s largest and oldest private third-party multinational company engaged in product quality control and technical assessment. Headquartered in Geneva, it has over 1,800 branches, specialized laboratories, and more than 59,000 professional technicians worldwide, conducting product quality inspection, monitoring, and assurance activities in 142 countries.

Intertek: 
Intertek is a company providing global quality and safety solutions. Its services include product testing, quality certification, supply chain audits, risk assessments, and more, covering multiple industries such as consumer goods, chemicals, construction, energy, healthcare, and transportation. Headquartered in London, Intertek has a global network of laboratories and offices, offering products and services that comply with quality and safety standards. Intertek’s services span the entire lifecycle from product development to market launch. The company’s professional team is dedicated to helping clients ensure their products comply with applicable regulations and standards, enhancing product quality, reliability, and safety.

BV: 
BV certification refers to the international organization under (Bureau Veritas), a specialized entity engaged in quality and environmental system certification, as well as other industry standard certifications. BV certification is also known as BVQI, which is the most numerous and reputable authoritative certification organization, actively participating in the development and promotion of ISO9000 standards and a series of industry standards. Bureau Veritas offers a range of services, including quality and performance testing, product certification, supply chain audits, risk assessments, and technical consulting. Its services span various industries, including consumer goods, industrial, energy, construction, and transportation. In the consumer goods industry, BV’s testing and certification services cover electronic products, toys, clothing, cosmetics, and various other products. Through rigorous testing and audits, BV assists businesses in ensuring their products comply with relevant regulations and standards, enhancing product quality and sustainability.

2. Determine Sales Channels

After identifying the necessary testing and quality certifications for the products you plan to import into the target market, clarifying your future sales channels is also a key task in the early stages. Here are a few points to consider in the process of determining sales channels:

Sufficient Market Research:
Firstly, you need to understand the demand and competition for your product in the target market. Analyze the sales trends and price levels of similar products. Don’t forget to study the culture, consumer behavior, and shopping preferences of the target market. These factors will significantly influence whether your import plan will proceed smoothly and whether the imported products will be favored by the local population.

Determine Sales Channels:
After conducting thorough market research, determine your main sales channels based on information about market size, consumer demographics, and purchasing power. Generally, sales channels can be divided into two main directions: online and offline. Online channels include selling on large online platforms or cross-border e-commerce platforms for business-to-customer (B2C) transactions, such as Amazon, Walmart, Toys “R” Us (you need to understand the rules, fee structures, and target customers of each platform). Alternatively, you can create your own brand website for global promotion, engaging in business-to-customer (B2C) retailing on your brand’s website or business-to-business (B2B) transactions by attracting wholesale customers worldwide through website promotion. Offline channels include opening your own brand stores for business-to-customer (B2C) sales or selling products in offline partner stores for business-to-customer (B2C) transactions. Additionally, you can find local or international brand distributors and agents for business-to-business (B2B) transactions.

3. Find Reliable Suppliers

After establishing the groundwork outlined in the first two points, selecting an experienced and reputable supplier is crucial for successful importing. You can find suitable suppliers through online B2B platforms, attending trade shows, conducting online searches, or utilizing business networks. The following lists some methods for finding professional suppliers, but in the actual process of screening reliable suppliers, factors such as the supplier’s overall strength, including production scale, quality control, the professional competence of sales personnel, and service, should all be considered comprehensively.

B2B Platforms:

Alibaba: Alibaba International is one of the world’s largest online B2B platforms, bringing together numerous international suppliers, including toy manufacturers. You can register an account on Alibaba to search and contact potential suppliers, communicating with sellers to understand their product quality and services. Although conducting transactions on the international platform provides robust protection for both buyers and sellers, Alibaba International may charge a portion of the order commission to both parties.

Made in China: “Made in China” is a globally supported trade platform by the Chinese government, aimed at showcasing and promoting products and services manufactured in China. This website provides an international platform for Chinese manufacturers to showcase their products while offering global buyers a convenient and efficient way to find and connect with Chinese suppliers.

Industry Trade Shows and Expos:

Canton Fair: The Canton Fair (China Import and Export Fair) is crucial for toy buyers. As one of the world’s largest comprehensive trade exhibitions, the Canton Fair provides a platform covering a wide range of toy products, attracting numerous international and domestic suppliers and offering buyers numerous collaboration opportunities. The fair is not only a window to understand the latest market trends and innovative designs but also a place to find potential partners. Participating in the Canton Fair helps buyers integrate their supply chains, reduce costs, and gain in-depth insights into the development trends and regulations of the Chinese toy market. Therefore, the Canton Fair provides unique business opportunities for toy buyers, contributing to the prosperity and cooperation in international toy trade.

New York Toy Fair: The New York Toy Fair, organized by the Toy Association, is one of the world’s largest toy exhibitions, attracting thousands of exhibitors and industry professionals annually. It showcases the latest global innovations and trends, including traditional toys, electronic toys, and entertainment products. The fair provides a platform for professionals in the industry to collaborate, exchange ideas, and launch new products, significantly influencing the development of the toy industry.

Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair: Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair is the largest toy industry event in Asia. It attracts thousands of manufacturers, suppliers, and buyers from around the world, showcasing a wide range of toys, including traditional, electronic, and educational products. The fair serves as a platform for industry collaboration, promoting innovation and development in the global toy market. Covering various toy categories, from dolls to outdoor toys, the event offers industry professionals opportunities to gain insights into trends and establish business connections.

Nuremberg International Toy Fair: Located in Europe, the Nuremberg International Toy Fair is one of the largest toy exhibitions in Europe, drawing manufacturers and buyers from Europe and globally. With world-class scale and influence, it is considered a compass for the global toy industry, focusing on innovative and high-quality products

China Toy Expo: Organized by the Shanghai Toy Association, the China Toy Expo is a significant industry event aimed at fostering communication and cooperation between local and international toy enterprises. As the exhibition expands in size, it attracts manufacturers, suppliers, and professional buyers from around the world. The diverse range of exhibits covers traditional, electronic, educational, and model toys, showcasing the diversity of the Chinese toy industry. Emphasizing the development of the toy industry in China and the Asian region, the expo highlights the latest products from well-known domestic and international brands, providing a crucial platform to showcase China’s manufacturing capabilities and innovation. By promoting international trade cooperation, the Shanghai Toy Expo builds valuable cooperative bridges for the industry’s development.

Large Toy Wholesale Markets in China:

If you have the opportunity, you can directly explore the Chinese market to find suitable products. The following markets are worth considering:

Yiwu, Zhejiang: Yiwu in Zhejiang province is renowned as one of the world’s largest commodity markets and is also known for its vast toy production base. In the Yiwu toy market, you can find nearly every type of toy, ranging from traditional to the latest trendy products, with relatively affordable prices. Here, you can also discover one of the world’s largest commodity wholesale markets – Yiwu International Trade City. Located in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, it is one of the world’s largest commodity wholesale markets. The Trade City is enormous, divided into five districts, including daily necessities, handicrafts, electronics, toys, and more. It attracts merchants from both domestic and international markets, giving it a highly internationalized character. With its strategic location, convenient transportation, proximity to the city center and train station, as well as its adjacency to Yiwu Airport, the Trade City provides convenient purchasing conditions for domestic and international buyers. The Trade City features specialized markets such as the toy market, watch and glasses market, hardware and tools market, each with a distinct focus and expertise. The market is highly competitive, with merchants attracting customers through means such as lowering prices, improving quality, and innovative design. Due to its diverse product selection, vast scale, and international characteristics, Yiwu International Trade City has become a crucial center for global commodity wholesale, drawing significant attention from buyers both domestically and internationally.

Zhejiang Wenzhou: Wenzhou, as one of the important manufacturing centers in Zhejiang province, has gathered numerous toy manufacturers. It specializes in wooden toys, plastic toys, and dolls, emphasizing the combination of product design and eco-friendly materials, injecting new elements into the toy market. Yiwu, a city under Wenzhou’s jurisdiction, is known as the “Toy Capital of China for Education.” It currently has over 1,300 educational toy and related production enterprises, offering more than 30,000 varieties of products. Approximately 30,000 educational toys from Yiwu are exported to over 100 countries and regions daily, contributing significantly to global educational toy trade.

Guangdong Shantou: Shantou Chenghai in Guangdong, as one of the leading cities in the Chinese toy industry, is renowned for plastic toy manufacturing. More than 8,000 plastic toy suppliers are concentrated here, providing comprehensive services from creative design to high-quality manufacturing. Although prices may be relatively high, collaborating directly with Shantou toy factories allows buyers to lower costs. The minimum order quantity ranges from 3 to 5 cartons, ensuring flexible purchasing options.

Guangdong Dongguan: Dongguan plays a pivotal role in the Chinese toy industry, primarily meeting international market demands through OEM. Dongguan toy factories offer a diverse range of plush and stuffed toys, catering to various customer needs from classic dolls to innovative designs. It is an ideal destination for toy buyers seeking innovation and high quality.

Jiangsu Yangzhou: Yangzhou has a strong advantage in the field of stuffed toys. Presently, the plush toy industry in Yangzhou is flourishing, with over 400 plush toy manufacturing enterprises and more than 30,000 varieties in production and circulation. With over 150,000 individuals engaged in design, production, and sales, Yangzhou accounts for half of the plush toy supply in China and one-third globally. The annual invoiced sales are nearly 1 billion yuan, providing employment for nearly ten thousand people. Yangzhou’s Wuting Long Toy City, at the center, along with a 3-kilometer radius, is highly concentrated in plush toy e-commerce, making it the largest professional toy e-commerce distribution center in the East China region.

Hebei Xingtai: Xingtai, as a key manufacturing hub in Hebei province, has long held a significant position in the toy industry. It offers a wide range of toys, from traditional children’s toys to creative and technological products. Pingxiang County in Xingtai has cultivated over 100,000 talents in the field of e-commerce, serving its pillar industry – the manufacturing of children’s ride on toys, including ride on cars, scooters, and bicycles.

Trading Companies and Agents:
Collaborating with trading companies and agents provides significant advantages for foreign clients. This includes an in-depth understanding of the local market, covering aspects such as market demands, regulations, and culture, aiding in more precise product positioning and promotion. Additionally, the partners usually possess comprehensive supply chain management capabilities, coordinating product procurement, production, and logistics to enhance overall operational efficiency and alleviate the client’s management burden. Having a rich business network, including collaborations with manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, offers foreign clients a more convenient pathway for business expansion. Language and cultural advantages are also major benefits, helping clients overcome language barriers and facilitate smoother business communication and negotiations. However, there are potential drawbacks to consider in collaboration, such as increased costs, decreased control over product management, potential conflicts of interest, and diminished independence, necessitating careful consideration when selecting partners.

Social Media and Professional Forums:

Overseas clients searching for suppliers through social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other media channels have notable advantages but also corresponding disadvantages. Through these platforms, clients can easily access rich supplier information, including product displays, company updates, and customer reviews, aiding in a comprehensive understanding of a potential supplier’s strength and reputation. Moreover, the interactivity and real-time nature of social media provide clients with the opportunity to directly interact with suppliers, allowing for timely issue resolution and customized information retrieval. However, on the downside, there may be challenges regarding the authenticity and credibility of the information, requiring clients to carefully screen and ensure the accuracy and reliability of the obtained information. Additionally, social media channels may not cover certain industries and products comprehensively, making it advisable to use a combination of media channels to find suppliers.

4. Common International Trade Terms and Payment Methods

Understanding commonly used terms and payment methods in international trade is also a crucial factor in your importing business. The following are some common terms and payment methods:

EXW (Ex Works): EXW refers to the seller delivering the goods at a location specified by the buyer, such as the customer’s agent warehouse address. The seller’s sole responsibility is to have the goods ready for the buyer to pick up, and the buyer is responsible for all transportation, insurance, and import clearance costs. Under this trade term, the seller has minimal responsibility, and the buyer assumes all transportation and related expenses. In the EXW term, it is advisable for the seller to have agents and warehouses in China to assist with receiving, container booking, customs clearance, and other processes.

FOB (Free On Board): FOB indicates that the seller is responsible for delivering the produced goods to a specified port in the seller’s country. The seller is responsible for all inland and port-related fees during transportation from the factory to the port and must also pay for loading the goods onto the ship. The buyer, on the other hand, is responsible for sea freight, cargo insurance, and a series of fees after arrival at the port, such as customs clearance. In FOB trade, the freight forwarder is mostly designated by the customer, but in some special cases, it can be designated by the seller.

CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight): CIF includes cost, insurance, and freight. CIF terms mean that the seller is responsible for transportation, insurance, and freight until the goods arrive at the destination port. Once the goods arrive at the destination port, the responsibility transfers to the buyer, who will bear additional expenses such as unloading, customs clearance, and transportation to the final destination. CIF is usually applicable to sea freight, and the buyer needs to pay the costs, including freight, insurance, and the actual cost of the goods.

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid): DDP is the opposite of EXW and requires the seller to bear almost all costs and risks, including transportation, insurance, duties, and import clearance. The seller delivers the goods to the destination specified by the buyer, completes all import procedures, and the buyer only needs to wait to receive the goods at the destination. This is a very comprehensive trade term, with relatively minimal responsibility for the buyer. However, since DDP means that the seller has to bear more responsibility and costs, including import duties, taxes, customs procedures in the destination country, this may lead to an increase in product prices, thereby increasing the buyer’s purchasing costs.

5. Apply for Import License

Depending on the requirements of the target country, it may be necessary to apply for an import license. This typically involves communication with the local government or relevant authorities. A qualified and legal import license serves as the entry ticket for your import plan. The following are the general steps for applying for an import license:

a. Identify Local Requirements:
Before initiating the import license application, thoroughly understand whether your product requires an import license in the target country. This information is usually available on the trade department’s official website or other government platforms. Review regulations and requirements in the target country to determine if your product is subject to special regulations or requires specific permits. If you plan to sell in multiple countries, also familiarize yourself with the import policies of each destination.

b. Contact Local Trade Authorities:
Once the requirements of the target country are determined, the next step is to contact local trade authorities or relevant agencies in the target country. This could be the trade department, customs office, or similar entities. You can establish contact through the following means:
– Official Website: Search for and browse the official website of the trade department in the target country, where detailed information and guidance on applying for an import license are usually provided.
– Email/Phone: Use the provided contact information to send emails or make phone calls, inquiring about the procedures, documents, and requirements for importing licenses.

c. Obtain Application Forms and Prepare Documents:
After contacting the trade authorities in the target country, you may need to fill out specific application forms, often available for download on official websites. Simultaneously, prepare the following documents:
– Product Information: Detailed description, purpose, specifications, etc., of the product.
– Certification Documents: Documents certifying product quality, safety, and compliance with the standards of the target country.
– Company Documents: Your company’s registration certificate, business license, and other relevant documents.- Import Contract: If you have signed an import contract with a Chinese supplier, relevant documents may be required.

d. Fill Out and Submit Application Forms: 
According to the provided application forms from the target country, carefully fill in all required fields. Ensure that you provide accurate and complete information and attach the necessary documents as requested. Once the application forms are completed and all required documents are prepared, submit the application according to the requirements of the trade authorities in the target country. This may involve online submission, mailing, or delivering documents in person.

e. Track Application Progress: 
After submitting the application, track its progress and promptly respond to any requests for additional documents or information. Maintain communication with the local trade authorities to ensure a smooth processing of the application.

6. Understand Tariffs and Taxes

You also need to research the tariff policies and tax regulations of the target country to consider these additional costs in your budget. First, you need to understand:

“What are tariffs?”
Tariffs are import taxes levied by the importing country’s government, usually calculated based on the value of the imported goods. This is a tax implemented by the target country to protect its domestic industries, control the inflow of goods, and increase domestic revenue.

“Why are tariff policies and tax regulations important?”
Tariffs and taxes are essential components of trade that cannot be overlooked. Understanding the relevant policies of the target country helps estimate the import costs of your products, plan financial budgets in advance, and ensure competitiveness in the target market. Additionally, accurate knowledge of tax regulations helps mitigate potential legal and financial risks.

Here is an overview of the process you might go through in understanding tariffs and taxes:

a. Research the target country’s tariff policies:
You can check the official website of the customs department or trade department of the target country to obtain the latest information on tariff policies. Ensure you understand the tariff rates applicable to your product category. Tariff rates often vary based on factors such as the product category and country of origin.

b. Confirm product classification: 
Ensure you correctly understand the customs code and classification of your product in the target country. Proper classification is crucial for determining the applicable tariff rate.

c. Consider tax-free policies and preferential conditions: 
Understand whether the target country has any tax-free policies or trade agreements applicable to your product. Some countries may have signed trade agreements with others, reducing or exempting tariffs.

d. Explore possible additional charges: 
In addition to tariffs, consider other taxes that the target country may impose on imported goods, such as value-added tax (VAT) or consumption tax. Ensure these additional costs are included in your budget to avoid unexpected expenses.

e. Understand rebate policies:
Some countries may have import rebate policies, allowing you to receive a partial refund of paid tariffs and taxes when importing certain products. Research the relevant policies of the target country to maximize your economic benefits.

During this process, seeking professional assistance, such as consulting with customs brokers, trade lawyers, or accountants, can ensure your understanding is accurate while minimizing tax risks. Finally, remember to regularly verify the latest policies and information, as tariff policies and tax regulations may change. Ensure you regularly update your knowledge to promptly address any changes.

7. Understand Tariff Assessment

Before your products arrive in the target country, understand the assessment and calculation methods of tariffs. This helps you accurately predict costs. The calculation of tariffs may vary by country, but generally, it is based on the Harmonized System (HS) code of the imported product and the declared value of the product. The HS code is a unified commodity classification system designed to provide a standardized classification for global trade.

In addition to accessing the customs department website or trade bureau of the target country to obtain detailed information on tariff policies and rates for assessing tariffs, you can also use tariff calculation tools. Currently, there are online tools and software available to help you estimate tariff costs based on the product’s HS code and declared value. Alternatively, consider consulting with professional customs brokers, importers, or trade lawyers for detailed tariff assessments and advice. Seeking advice from professionals can significantly streamline this aspect of your work.

8. Transportation Modes Selection

In terms of transportation, it is necessary to determine the most suitable mode for your products, taking into account factors such as the nature of the goods, time constraints, and costs. This may include maritime shipping, airfreight, or land transportation. Additionally, selecting reliable logistics partners can greatly assist your long-term import and export business. The following are currently the main logistics transportation modes available for your consideration:

Maritime Shipping: 
Maritime shipping is an economical, high-capacity, and environmentally friendly transportation method suitable for bulk, large-volume, and heavy products. However, it has a longer transportation time and is not suitable for time-sensitive, small-batch, or high-value goods.

Airfreight: 
Airfreight is the fastest and most flexible transportation method, suitable for time-sensitive, small-batch, and high-value goods. However, it comes with relatively higher costs and is not suitable for large-volume cargo.

Land Transportation:
Land transportation offers speed and broad applicability in international freight, especially for domestic transportation and urban distribution. However, its feasibility for international transportation across continents is lower, and it is influenced by traffic factors.

9. Prepare Necessary Documents

Ensure that you have all the required documents, such as invoices, packing lists, cargo manifests, bills of lading, etc. This will help you smoothly pass through customs inspections. However, in actual operation, the specific documents required may vary depending on different payment methods and trade terms. The following are commonly used documents in international freight, for your reference:

International Sales Contract: The contract is a legal document between the buyer and seller, specifying the rights and responsibilities of both parties, clarifying the terms and conditions of the transaction. As a legal document, the contract ensures the legality of the transaction and serves as the basis for both parties to fulfill their contractual obligations. It details key information such as products, prices, and delivery conditions. A formal contract is required for all international trade transactions, whether it involves product sales or purchases.

Invoice: An invoice is a detailed bill provided by the seller to the buyer, listing information about the goods or services, quantity, price, and other relevant details. The invoice serves as the basis for trade settlements and is a crucial document required for customs clearance. It helps determine the value of the goods, calculate customs duties, and other fees. Invoices are usually attached to the goods and are essential for customs declaration and paying duties for cross-border trade.

Packing List: The packing list is a document created when goods are shipped, providing detailed information about the quantity, weight, packaging methods, etc. This document helps ensure the safety and accuracy of goods during transportation and serves as a basis for customs verification and supervision. The packing list is prepared by freight forwarders or logistics companies before shipping and is sent along with the goods.

Cargo Manifest: The cargo manifest is a document that lists the entire shipment, providing a detailed description of each item, including quantity, description, and value. The cargo manifest assists customs in classifying, valuing, and regulating the goods, ensuring compliance. It is typically submitted to customs along with other documents as a necessary document for customs clearance.

Bill of Lading: The bill of lading is a document serving as proof of ownership of the goods, recording information such as the quantity of goods, destination, consignee, etc. It is a crucial document in international freight transportation, used to demonstrate the transfer of ownership and as a basis for goods retrieval and payment. The bill of lading is usually provided by freight forwarders or shipping companies and is essential, especially for ocean shipping.

Certificate of Origin (COC): The Certificate of Origin is a document used to verify the origin of the goods, providing information about the country of production or manufacture. Its main purpose is to determine the origin of the goods for trade statistics and, in some cases, to apply for tariff preferences. However, it does not guarantee tariff preferences and serves as a general proof of origin.

Form A: Form A is a preferential certificate of origin designed for countries participating in trade agreements that provide most-favored-nation treatment. It is used to prove the origin of the goods, facilitating tariff reduction or exemption. Issued by the exporting country, Form A is crucial for claiming preferential tariff treatment under specific trade agreements.

Form E: Form E is a preferential certificate of origin specifically applicable to trade within the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. It is used to prove the origin of the goods and obtain tariff preferences within the framework of the free trade agreement between China and ASEAN countries. Unlike the D certificate used in the ASEAN Free Trade Area, the E certificate reflects the conditions of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.

P.S.: The following are several commonly used payment methods in international trade: TT, L/C, D/P.

Telegraphic Transfer (TT): TT is a payment method where funds are transferred electronically. In this case, the buyer initiates a telegraphic transfer through the bank to directly transfer the payment to the seller’s designated bank account. Although the bank charges a small commission, this is a fast and secure payment method, especially suitable for small transactions, particularly when there is a high level of trust between the parties. However, the main drawback of TT is the relatively high restrictions on both the buyer and the seller. For the seller, once the goods leave their country, they lose control over the goods. For the buyer, they must pay the payment before the goods leave the seller’s country, which may increase the risk.

Documents Against Payment (D/P): D/P is a common method of payment upon the presentation of documents. After providing relevant documents (such as bills of lading, invoices, etc.) to the buyer, the seller can request payment. Once the buyer pays, the seller formally transfers the documents to the buyer. D/P is suitable for cases where there is a high level of trust between the trading parties and for small transactions where payment and document delivery occur almost simultaneously. However, for some buyers, a disadvantage of D/P is that payment and document delivery occur almost simultaneously, which may increase the urgency of payment, as they must pay immediately upon receiving the documents.

Letter of Credit (L/C): A letter of credit is a payment guarantee tool issued by the buyer’s bank to guarantee payment to the seller under certain conditions. After delivering the goods and providing relevant documents, the seller can request payment from the buyer’s bank. This payment method is suitable for large transactions or those involving cross-border trade, providing additional security for both parties. However, opening a letter of credit usually involves some costs, including bank charges, confirmation fees, etc. This makes the cost of L/C relatively high. Moreover, the use of L/C typically requires the provision of a large number of documents, involving relatively cumbersome procedures. This may lead to a longer transaction cycle.

10. Pay Attention to Import Procedures

You must carefully follow the import procedures of the target country to ensure compliance with the correct steps in customs declaration and clearance processes.

During the customs declaration process:
– Verify that you have prepared all necessary documents, including commercial invoices, packing lists, certificates of origin, transport documents, etc. Ensure that these documents comply with the requirements of the target country and customs.
– Consider hiring a professional customs broker. Customs brokers are typically familiar with customs procedures and can assist you in completing relevant documents and ensuring compliance with regulations.
– Submit the customs declaration. This is a document that details the information about the goods, including value, quantity, and other key data. The customs declaration is usually submitted by a customs broker.
– Based on the information in the customs documents, pay duties, value-added tax, and other possible fees. These fees are usually determined based on the type of goods, value, and international trade agreements.
– Customs may inspect the goods to ensure the accuracy of the customs declaration. Inspections may be random or based on risk assessments.
– Obtain customs clearance. Once all fees are paid, and inspections are passed, customs will issue a clearance notice, allowing the goods to leave the area under customs jurisdiction.

During the clearance process:
– Provide clearance documents: Such as bills of lading, commercial invoices, packing lists, etc., for customs brokers and customs officials to verify information about the goods.
– Apply for clearance: Clearance agents or importers will submit clearance documents to customs, applying for permission to allow the goods to enter the destination country.
– Pay clearance fees: According to the regulations of the destination country, pay possible clearance fees, which may include handling fees, service fees, etc.
– Clearance inspection: Customs in the destination country may conduct clearance inspections to ensure the integrity of the goods and verify that the information matches the documents.
– Pay duties and taxes: If necessary, importers may need to pay duties and other taxes in the destination country.
– Retrieve the goods: Once clearance is successful, the goods can be retrieved. This may involve picking up the goods from the port, airport, or other container stations, depending on the mode of transportation used for the goods.

11. Addressing Potential Issues

Finally, be prepared to deal with potential issues such as damaged goods, delays, or other transportation problems. Establish effective communication channels with both suppliers and logistics companies.

Goods Damages:
After the transportation company delivers the goods, they arrive at your warehouse. Possible scenarios for goods damage include the goods might have been damaged when the supplier shipped them, or damage could have occurred during transportation due to mishandling:

In such situations, promptly contact both the supplier and the freight forwarder to identify the cause. Some suppliers provide initial confirmation before shipping, including photos of the bulk goods, videos and photos of the entire shipment process, and container loading photos. These can be helpful in pinpointing the cause. The key is to engage in friendly negotiations, clarify the root cause, and ensure that each party takes responsibility as needed.

Quality Issues: If quality issues arise upon receiving the products, such as non-compliance with testing standards, inferior materials, or substandard production processes, take the following steps:|
– Compare the received products with the previously received samples to check for consistency.
– Document the products with quality issues through photos or videos and share them with the supplier.
– Conduct third-party laboratory tests to generate authoritative reports.
– Request the supplier to provide a resolution.

Counterfeit or Inferior Products: In addressing this issue, you can refer to the solutions outlined in the B scenario. However, it’s crucial to confirm whether the samples you received earlier are also affected. If they are, and you have previously confirmed the samples to be acceptable, both the supplier and you will need to bear the respective responsibilities and losses.

12. Market Promotion and Sales

Once your goods arrive in the target country, you can begin market promotion and sales activities. Understand the consumer demands in the target market and implement appropriate marketing strategies. Presumably, you have already undertaken some necessary marketing efforts before the goods arrived. Let’s discuss this aspect. The choice of marketing promotion methods often correlates significantly with your sales model.

If you are selling online, such as on independent websites, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or other platforms, you can:
Request product images and videos from suppliers for promotional materials. If not available, you can shoot relevant promotional photos and videos after receiving the goods. Conduct online advertising and promotions; spread the word through groups, offline events, giveaways, etc.

If you are a wholesaler, you can:
– Request product images and videos from suppliers for promotional materials. If not available, you can shoot relevant promotional photos and videos after receiving the goods. Set wholesale prices for different quantity ranges.
– Send promotional photos and videos to your existing distribution team for promotion.
– Take samples to major offline retail stores, showcasing them to the distribution team. Of course, you can also use AI store visits and product experiences for promotion.

If you are a brand owner, and you are likely familiar with marketing, you can:
– Shoot promotional photos and videos in line with your brand style.
– Promote through multiple online and offline channels.
– Negotiate long-term cooperation projects with malls and supermarkets.
– Organize offline events such as new product experience sessions.

Please note that this is a general guide, and specific steps may vary depending on the target country. Throughout the entire import process, collaborating with professional importers, lawyers, and logistics experts can make the process smoother.

 

Yiwu Zhihuixing Toys Co., Ltd., (ZHXTOYS) with over 30 years of experience in the field of children’s ride on toys and equipped with 68 professional injection molding machines, is committed to providing customers from all over the world with higher quality and more creative riding toys. We have a professional R&D design team with over 20 years of experience, continuously developing and innovating products based on global market feedback. In addition to manufacturing strength, we also have a dedicated sales and service team, dedicated to providing the best support and service to domestic and international customers. To date, our products have reached global markets, exported to 43 countries, bringing smiles to children. If you are interested in importing high-quality ride on cars from China, please feel free to contact us by visiting our official website: www.zhxtoys.com or directly through email: [email protected] to initiate a business inquiry. Also, don’t forget to leave your contact information and any valuable suggestions below the blog! Looking forward to engaging in more discussions with you! Thank you for choosing Zhihuixing Toys Co., Ltd., (ZHXTOYS) and we look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with you!

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