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Enquiry: Which taxes apply to goods imported into China under general trade terms?


Goods imported into the mainland under general trade terms are subject to import duty and import-related VAT as determined by the prevailing customs regime. In certain cases, an additional import-related consumption tax may also be levied. In all instances, the tax liability falls on both the consignee of the imported goods and any individual deemed to be the owner of a carry-on item.

Overall, China maintains three different import tariff regimes:

1)   Most-Favoured Nation (MFN)

This rate applies to all imported goods originating from World Trade Organisation members covered by an MFN agreement (such as the US and the EU); goods imported from countries / regions that are party to a bilateral trade agreement with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that specifies a reciprocal MFN arrangement; and imported goods originating from a customs territory of China

2)   Conventional

This rate applies to imported goods originating from countries / regions that have signed regional trade agreements with the PRC containing preferential tariff clauses

3)   Preferential

This rate applies to imported goods originating from countries / regions that have signed trade agreements with the PRC containing reciprocal preferential tariff clauses

In instances where two or more tariffs may be deemed to apply, the lowest is seen as prevailing.

In the case of imported goods which are outside the remit of the above tariffs or in instances where the place of origin is unknown, such items will be subject to the “General” tariff rate, which is typically higher than any of the specified concessionary tariffs.
Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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