Figure 1 India China

Importing from China to India: The Complete Guide

!– wp:image {“align”:”right”,”id”:5597,”width”:304,”height”:149} –>
India China

If you are importing from China to India, you need a guide that will assist you during your importation.

Here is a guide that contains all the information you need when importing your cargo from China.

The information you will find here include the laws and regulations when it comes to importing from China to India.

You will also be able to understand the process of finding a freight forwarder for your shipping.

Without getting into details, let’s get straight into it.

Keep reading.


Importing from China to India

India – China

Chapter 1: Identify Products You’re Importing from China to India

You need to have a specific product that you are going to import from China to India.

The process might be tiresome.

However, there are different ways you can find a product to import.

Here is a look at these methods.

Search for Products Yourself

Searching for a product you want to import by yourself involves you researching the available products.

There are various ways you can achieve this.

For instance, you can travel to China to visit the available industries that you can source your products.

The advantage of traveling gives you the first-hand experience of the industries.

You also get to engage them on a matter such as pricing, quality, quantity and if they meet your demand schedule.

The other option is by attending trade fairs and exhibition.

Such events enable you to interact with various suppliers which from where you can choose those that can serve you.

Popular products importing from China to India

Another option of finding a product to import is by checking on the popular products that importers are importing from China to India.

As an importer, you want goods that sell faster to increase o your profit

Among the popular imports in India from China include:

1. Electronics

You can import nearly any electronic that you can think about from China to India.

Electronics such as mobile phones, laptops and computers, and tv make it to the top electronics that you can import.

Electronics in Shenzhen

Electronic in Shenzhen

Other electronics that you can import include security surveillance systems, business automation system and computer software.

2. Heavy machinery

Machinery is yet another category of imports to India from China.

Among the items you can import in this category include industrial engines, pumps, and machines.

SaintyCo Tablet Press Machines

SaintyCo Table Press Machines

Other machines that you can import include refrigerators and refrigeration equipment.

3. Organic fertilizers

India relies heavily on its agriculture to feed its population.

If you want a niche in the agricultural sector, then you can import organic fertilizers.

Organic fertilizer

Organic fertilizer – Photo courtesy: Gardening Know How

4. Transport equipment

You can have a wide range of transport equipment that you can import from China to India.

Motor vehicles, ships, and aero equipment make it to the list which also includes their spare parts.

Motor vehicle spare parts

Motor vehicle spare parts

5. Medicines and medical equipment

If you want to get involved in the hospitality sector, then you can import medicines and medical equipment.

Blister packing medicine

Blister packing medicine

The medical equipment that you can import from China to India includes PET and CT scanners, X-ray machines and ultrasound machines.

6. Plastics and plastic products

You can import various plastics or its products from China to India.

They include plastic bottles and plastic pipes that you can use in the construction industry.

Plastic products in YiWu

Plastic products in YiWu

7. Consumer products

This category involves the items that are in daily use in India.

They range from a yoga mat, sofa cover, toothbrush, and blankets.

Also, you can import batteries, stationeries, cosmetic items, mobile covers, and table covers.

Chinese furniture

Chinese furniture – Photo courtesy: KHBUZZ

This list is not comprehensive; however, you can check with the government officials for the full list of goods that you can import.

Alternatively, your forwarder needs to be in a position to advise appropriately on this segment.

Hire China Sourcing Agents to Find Imports to India from China

Sourcing agent in China

Lastly, another way of finding a product to import is by hiring a China sourcing agent to do it for you.

Sourcing agent has a vast experience on which goods you can start importing.

They will guide you on available goods, how to find the best supplier for the products as well as the best price in the market.

Most sourcing agents have supplier contacts which can facilitate you acquiring quality goods at an affordable price.

The advantage you have with hiring a sourcing agent is that it frees you from the hassle of getting to identify the goods to import.

Chapter 2: Establish Relationship with Potential Suppliers in China

Finding a supplier for your goods can be difficult especially when you are new in the industry.

Getting a supplier who meets your specification means that you have to maintain that supplier.

Numerous advantages come with having a reliable supplier.

A right supplier can sort issues such as timely delivery, right quality, and even pricing.

Allow me to take you through the process of getting a supplier and establishing a lasting relationship with them.

Business partnership

Business partnership

1) Identify your supplier

The first step is to identify which supplier you want to engage with to supply your cargo.

There are three categories of suppliers you can engage with when it comes to supplying your goods.

They include manufacturers, distributors, and independent craft persons.

There are various online sites that you can identify the supplier that you want to engage to supply your goods.

Alibaba is one of these sites which avails a pool of supplier for different goods at different prices.

Once you have selected your supplier on Alibaba, you can make contact with them and establish if you can transact.

Also, sites such as made-in-china and global source offer a list of suppliers that can supply your goods.

2) Understanding your supplier

To have a lasting relationship with your supplier, you need to understand your supplier.

There are several factors that you can check on to understand your supplier.

You can check how dependable it is when you want to use their services.

If they can deliver as per your schedule, then that is a supplier that you can engage.

Another element you can check on to understand your supplier is how stable they are.

You can understand this by checking on how long your supplier has been in the industry.

A supplier who has been in the industry for a long time means that they are stable and can handle your cargo.

Lastly, you will need a supplier who offers the right price for the goods you need.

A supplier who you can negotiate when it comes to pricing is a right supplier for your goods.

3) Have a lasting relationship with your supplier

Now that you have the right supplier for your goods, you can go ahead and establish a lasting relationship.

This relationship will come in handy if you are in the importation business for the long run.

You can achieve this in various ways.

You can start by contacting them on a regular basis not only to make an order but checking up on them.

The purpose of this is to make them are of you and that you care.

The other way you can achieve this is by making payments on time.

Suppliers like working with clients who keep their end of the bargain.

The likelihood of your supplier transacting with you again is if you pay them as per schedule.

Place your orders on time to give your supplier ample time to deliver.

Rushing your supplier may make them turn down your orders or even refuse to transact with you.

By giving them enough time, you can develop the trust as they will ensure that they meet your standards.

This will make them want to do business with you again.

Also, make it a habit of reporting any damaged goods or faulty items on time.

By doing this, your supplier takes note of how you want your goods to be.

When you make the next orders, your items will be as per your requirements.

Chapter 3: Understand Laws and Regulation on Importing from China to India

Laws and regulations are there to govern you when you are shipping from China to India.

Breaking these laws can have serious consequences including jail terms.

Understanding these laws and regulations is therefore essential.

Here we take a look at the laws and regulations governing your importation from China to India.

Keep reading.

I. How to get the Import license in India

Before you start importing from China to India, you need to have a license which will give you the freedom to import.

The process of getting a license might seem hard, but it is a simple process that entails the following.

Import license in India

Import license in India – Photo courtesy: Guraraj Associates

If you are intending on importing to India, the first thing you will be required to have is an Importer Exporter Code (IEC).

IEC refers to a 10-digit number which you can obtain from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

There are several regional offices of the DGFT where you can obtain your IEC.

They have the authority over your business location.

While you are applying for the IEC, you will be required to have the necessary documents and fees which I will explain to you.

The documents you will need when getting the IEC include:

  • The PAN Card of the business entity
  • List of partners in the business, their address, their ID and the PAN card
  • Bank Account statement
  • A banker certificate as prescribed by the law.

When making an online application for the license, you will follow the following steps

You will avail all the documents above in an electronic format when checking the DGFT website portal.

The first thing you will be required to do on the website is to insert you Pan number to create a new account application

The next step will be to register in the right information of yourself and your business.

Once you finish this step, you will have to make payments.

You will then have to upload all the necessary documents which support our application.

Once you have completed, you will be required to print the document and present it to the DGFT offices.

Remember, you will submit the form, to a DGFT that deals specifically with your business.

After you have done this, the system will generate a 10-digit code.

The code is what you will use as your import export license.

II. Know Trade Terms when Importing from China to India

International shipping involves the use of various trade terms that are unique.

If you are a 1st-time importer, these terms might be confusing.

Incoterms 2010

Incoterms 2010

To help you understand these Incoterms 2010, here is a look at the definitions and where to apply them.


Importing under this incoterm gives you control and responsibility over your cargo during the shipping period.

While using this incoterm, your responsibility will include paying for the freight and choosing an insurance cover for your cargo.

You are also responsible for customs clearance at the port of destination and facilitating the movement of your cargo from the port to your warehouse.

On the other hand, your supplier will make sure to avail your goods at the port of origin.

This includes paying for the transportation fee from their warehouse to the port.

They will also pay for loading of the goods to the carrier as well as customs clearance at the port of origin.

The fact that you have total control over your shipment ensures that you get to pick your carrier, negotiate with your forwarder your supplier.


Perhaps this is the commonly used incoterm when it comes to international shipping.

Under this incoterm, you are responsible for the cost of your cargo and customs clearance at the port of destination.

You are also responsible for transporting your cargo to your warehouse.

Your supplier will cater for the availing of your cargo to the port, customs clearance at the port of origin and hiring and paying for the ocean freight.

They will also cater for the port charges at the port of origin as well as providing an insurance cover for your cargo.


Under this incoterm, you are responsible for your cargo in some ways.

First, you are responsible for covering the cost of your cargo and handling customs clearance at the port of origin and port of destination.

You will also pay for the ocean freight as well as taking an insurance cover for your cargo.

The responsibility of your supplier will include delivering your cargo to a named place and providing the documents needed.

The use of this incoterm places the minimum responsibility to your supplier and maximum liability to you.


The user of this incoterm implies that your supplier is responsible for the delivery of your goods to a named place usually the port of destination.

Some of the responsibility of your supplier includes paying for the transportation fee to the port of origin.

They will pay for the customs clearance as well as the freight charges up to the named place.

The responsibility of the cargo transfers to you once the goods are in your possession.

You will be in charge of paying the duties involved as well as arranging transportation to your warehouse.


The use of this incoterm implies that your supplier is responsible for the shipment of your cargo up to the named place in the country of destination.

Your supplier will cater for all the charges including paying taxes and duties and any risk that may happen during shipment.

The use of this incoterm places maximum responsibility on your supplier and minimum responsibility on you.

III. Prohibited Items for Import in India from China

There are some items you cannot import to India.

These items are known as the prohibited items, and the customs will confiscate if you import them.

Prohibited imports to India

Prohibited imports to India

To prevent such a scenario, don’t import the following items

  • Narcotic drugs or psychotropic items
  • Certain aero machines like toy helicopters.
  • Pornographic or obscene materials
  • Counterfeits or pirated goods that infringe on the rules governing intellectual property rights.
  • Wildlife and wildlife products
  • Certain chemicals
  • Antiquities
  • Maps and literature that depicts incorrect information about Indian external boundaries

IV. Import Documents in India

For faster clearance of your cargo by the customs, there are documents you need to have them a hand.

Missing these documents may result in your goods being held by the customs which implies higher cost and longer clearance time.

Therefore, you need to have the following documents at hand when the customs are clearing your goods.

· Bill of Entry

The Bill of Entry is a document that indicates the exact nature, quantity, and value of goods that have landed in India.

You or your forwarder will prepare this document and hand it over to the customs.

Bill of Entry

Bill of entry – Photo courtesy: India Fillings

The customs will use this document as an accounting source document when calculating the tax that you will pay.

· Commercial Invoice

This is yet another document that describes the nature, quantity, and price of the gods you are importing to India from China.

Your supplier must fill this document which will be handed over to the customs.

Commercial invoice

Commercial invoice

You need to be careful when filling these documents since all the information needs to be the same.

· Bill of lading/ Airway Bill

Another document that acts as a source document when the customs are calculating your duties is the Bill of Lading.

Bill of lading

Bill of lading – Photo courtesy: Freight Quote

The carrier of your goods usually a ship or a plane for the case of airway bill will issue you with this document.

· Certificate of Origin

The important if this document is to indicate which country you are importing your cargo from to India.

In this case, since you are importing from China, your certificate will state China.

Certificate of origin

Certificate of Origin

The customs use this document to analyze the trade volume of a country.

The chamber of commerce in China is the one responsible for issuing your cargo with this certificate.

Among the details, you will find on this document is the name and address of your supplier as well as a description of your goods.

· Letter of Credit

When it comes to making payments, a letter of credit plays a vital role.

This document is an undertaking by your commercial bank to pay your supplier on your behalf for the goods you are importing.

Letter of credit

Letter of credit – Photo courtesy: Bayt

In exchange, your supplier will hand over the necessary documents.

· Bill of Exchange

An alternative way of making payment when you ship your cargo from China to India.

This refers to an undertaking that you will pay at a later date for the goods your supplier has supplied you.

Bill of exchange

Bill of Exchange – Photo courtesy

A bill of exchange can either be Bill of exchange after sight or Bill of exchange after the date.

A bill of exchange after sight is when the calculation of the payment due date is from the date when you accept the bill.

On the other hand, the bill of exchange after the date is where the calculation of the due date starts from the date the bill is drawn.

V. Calculate Import Duties in India

Here is a look at the import duties and taxes that you will have to pay on your cargo.

The critical thing to note is that the calculation of these duties are on the value of the goods you are importing.

Depending on the type of goods you are importing into India, you will pay the following types of duties.

· Basic customs duty

The basic customs duty applies to all goods that you can import to India. Basic customs duty in India is divided into standard and preferential duty rates.

The standard duty will apply for the goods which you import from China since there is no trade agreement between China and India.

If there were an agreement, preferential duty rates would apply.

· Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) and Compensation Cess

The customs will levy an IGST tax will on nearly all the goods that you import from China with there being a few exceptions including certain petroleum products.

You will also pay an additional Compensation Cess on cargoes such as motor vehicles and tobacco products.

The amount to pay is calculated based on the selling value of the goods.



  • Social Welfare Surcharge

A 10 percent levy charge on your import will go towards the social welfare program.

  • Anti-dumping duty

To avoid importation of substandard goods, you will have to pay an anti-dumping duty on your import.

This duty also protects the growth of local industries.

The list of goods that you pay this duty keeps changing.

Hence you need to check with the customs to determine if you will pay this duty.

  • Safeguard duty

To protect domestic goods from imported goods, you will have to pay a safeguard duty on the products you import.

This duty is practical if the sale of imported goods is below the market price of locally manufactured products.

VI. Ensure Compliance with Bureau of Indian Standards

Importing your cargo implies that it has to adhere to certain standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Bureau of India Standards

Bureau of India Standards

Subjecting your shipment to the Bureau of Indian Standards is voluntary.

However, there are some goods which you must subject them to BIS.

They include the following products.

  • Cement
  • Household electrical goods
  • Batteries
  • Food and related products
  • Oil pressure stoves
  • Automobile accessories
  • Cylinders, Valves, and Regulators
  • Medical Equipment
  • Steel and Stainless-Steel Products
  • Electrical Motors
  • Electrical Transformers
  • Capacitors
  • Chemicals and Fertilizers

The process of ensuring that your product complies with the Bureau of Indian Standards entails the following steps

The first step involves you giving the samples of the product you are importing to a laboratory that has the approval of the BIS.

This laboratory will test your samples by the standards that are in place.

After the test results are out, you can now go ahead and apply for the BIS certificates.

You can do this by filling the form VI and attaching the lab test report with the relevant documents.

After completing, the officers will counter check the documents and issue you with the certificate after 30 days.

Chapter 4: Agree on Payment Terms when Importing from China to India

Once you have cargo has been shipped to you, you will have to pay for them before receiving the necessary documents.

You will use these documents when clearing your cargo at the customs.

Therefore, you need to agree with your supplier on the payment terms for your goods.

Here is a look at the frequently used payment terms that you can use when importing your cargo from China to India.

a) Telegraphic Transfer

Though not in everyday use nowadays, Telegraphic Transfers enables you to transfer funds from your account to your supplier.

There is specific information that you will need to compete a telegraphic transfer.

This includes the account and bank details of your supplier.

As a mode of payment, your supplier will receive the cash between three to four days of you making the transaction.

Sample page for telegraphic transfer

Sample page for telegraphic transfer – Photo courtesy: HSBC

There are limitations for using this mode of payment both for the supplier and you the importer.

If you transfer cash early, there is a risk that you might not get your goods or get cheap goods.

On the supplier’s part, if they send the goods before payment, they run a risk of not getting paid.

b) PayPal

An online payment system that lets you send money to your supplier.

The only information you need to do this is there PayPal address.



The use of this method is secure to both end users.

However, if you are a new importer, you need to limit the use of this mode to a small volume of goods.

c) Letter of Credit

A letter of credit is the conventional way of making payment in international trade.

The use of this method is secure to both you and your supplier.

Letter of credit

Letter of credit – Photo courtesy: Advanced On Trade

There are many advantages to using a letter of credit for your import transaction.

First, you have a guarantee that your supplier will honor their part of the deal in supplying your goods.

Your supplier, on the other hand, can supply you the goods with the knowledge that if you default in payments, your bank will pay them.

Chapter 5: Hire Freight Forwarder from China to India

You will have to engage the services of a freight forwarder to handle your shipping from China to India.

There are many forwarders available but having a reliable forwarder can save you a lot of problems.

The problem, however, is finding that trustworthy forwarder.

The following steps will help you in hiring a freight forwarder who can handle your cargo from China to India.

· Conduct a background check on the company

Before engaging a forwarder, ensure that you have the relevant information about the company.

This information includes the physical address of the company and the facilities they have to offer your cargo.

Facilities such as warehouses play an essential role in ensuring the safety of your cargo.

There are freight forwarders who provide these services at a fee while there are others that offer them at a cost.

· Check on experience

Forwarding industry in itself is a massive industry.

You are therefore likely to find a fording company that lacks the expertise to handle your cargo.



Services such as RORO and REEFER can come in handy when you are shipping special cargoes such as vehicles and perishable goods.

You need to inquire about such services before engaging a forwarding company.

On the same note, a forwarding company that has been in the forwarding industry for a long time is likely to handle your goods professionally.

The reason for this is that they have handled various problems during this period and have the necessary solutions to the issues.

· International membership and licenses

A forwarding company that is a member of an international body such as FIAT will be an ideal forwarding company.

You see, such a company has a reputation to uphold by being a member of such an organization.

They will professionally handle your cargo and even communicate during the entire shipping period.

On a local front, a forwarding company needs to be registered by the relevant authorities and given the licenses to operate.

Always insist on this before engaging a forwarding company.

Remember, in international trade; the probability fraudsters are high.

Prevent this by ensuring you are dealing with the right company.

· Office network

Having a forwarding company that will handle your cargo both in China and India will make your shipping easier.

This is because they understand the customs requirement in both countries which facilitates your shipping.

· Meeting your deadlines

The forwarding company that you pick needs to ensure that the shipping of your cargo is per your schedule.

Remember, you don’t want to keep your clients waiting due to the lack of goods.

The best way to find a forwarder is by searching for a forwarder in China.

The reason for this is that most forwarders in China have a global network which will ensure easy shipment of your cargo.

Also, the availability of cheap labor ensures that you minimize your shipping cost.

Don’t forget that you need forwarders who are conversant with the customs.

Most forwarders are conversant with the customs clearance procedures in China and India which ensures smooth clearance process.

And by the way, I have some useful tips for you here: 7 Tips for Finding a Freight Forwarder in China.

Chapter 6: How to Ship Products from China to India

As an importer, understanding the available means of shipping your cargo can be of help in deciding the best option.

You can ship your cargo either via air or ocean when you are importing your cargo from China to India.

To help in coming up with the best shipping for your cargo, here is a look at the details of the ocean and air shipping from China to India.

Note: If you want to get the cheapest rate shipping from China to India, you can contact Bansar and get our best shipping rate China to India.

Ask for the Best Shipping Rate China to India

Keep reading.

· Ocean Freight to India from China

Ocean freight from China to India is ideal if you are shipping a large volume of cargo.

The advantage you have is that it will cost you less if you compare with using air freight.

He flipside of using this method is that it takes longer for your cargo to arrive from China.

You can navigate this by aligning your schedule with that of your shipping.

Ocean freight from China to India entails the following.

· China to India Shipping Time

Here is a look at the shipping time your cargo will take when shipping to different ports of origin and destination.

 Port of MumbaiChennai portJawaharlal Nehru portMundra PortEnnore port
Port of Shanghai21 days19 days22 days24 days19 days
Port of Shenzhen19 days15 days19 days20 days15 days
Port of Ningbo22 days19 days22 days24 days19 days
Port of Qingdao24 days20 days24 days25 days20 days
Port of Guangzhou19 days16 days19 days20 days16 days

· China to India Sea Route Map

The following are the main routes that your cargo will follow when shipping from China to India.

From Shanghai to Mumbai

From Shanghai to Mumbai

· Port of Shanghai to Port of Mumbai

The starting port for this route is the port of Shanghai and follows the following points.

China sea, Hangzhou Bay, Strait of Malacca, Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.

From the Bay of Bengal, your shipment will dock at the port of Mumbai after passing through the Indian ocean.

· Port of Shenzhen to Chennai port

Starting from the port of Shenzhen, your cargo will head to China Sea then to Strait of Malacca, Andaman Sea, and the Bay of Bengal.

From there, it heads to the Indian ocean before finally docking at Chennai port.

· Port of Ningbo to Jawaharlal Nehru Port

Shipping via this route starts at Ningbo seaport heading to China Sea, Strait of Malacca, Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

From there, your shipment docks at Jawaharlal port after passing through the Indian Ocean.

· Port of Qingdao to Mundra port

From the port of Qingdao, your shipment heads to the China Sea, Hangzhou bay Strait of Malacca before passing Bay of Bengal.

From here, your cargo proceeds to the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea before docking at Mundra port.

· Port of Guangzhou to Ennore port

This route begins at the port of Shanghai proceeding to the Strait of Malacca then to the Andaman Sea before landing at the Bay of Bengal.

there it heads to the Indian ocean before docking at Ennore port.

· Main Sea Ports in India

The following are the main seaports in India that you can use to ship your cargo from China to India.

Main sea ports in India

Main seaports in India – Photo courtesy: AGRI EXCHANGE

· Mumbai Port

Mumbai port is the largest port in India and is also known as Bombay port.

Operations in his port that is located in West coast of India began in 1873.

You can conveniently ship dry cargo and mineral oils through this port whose cargo statistics in 2018 stood at 62.82 million tons.

· Chennai Port

You can locate the second largest port in India to the South Eastern part of India.

Built in the year 1881, you can import petroleum and general cargo through this port.

Other imports that you can ship via this port includes automotive, industrial cargo, fertilizers, and minerals.

You can conveniently use this port if you are importing to South India from China.

· Jawaharlal Nehru Port

Also known as Nhava Sheva, Jawaharlal Nehru port is the largest container port in India that you can find the eastern part of Mumbai.

You can access the port through the Thane Creek.

The top imports in this port include chemicals, plastics, industrial and electrical machinery, minerals and non-ferrous metals.

The annual cargo handling at this port stands at 4.47 million TEUs.

· Mundra Port

The largest private port in India that is located around Kutch district on the north shores of the Gulf of Kutch.

Adani Group owns it.

The annual cargo handling at this port stood at 113.72 million TEUs as of 2017.

You can ship any cargo via this port including container cargo, dry bulk cargo, automobiles, break bulk and liquid cargo.

The infrastructure that connects the port for the easy shipment of your cargo includes rail, air, road, and pipeline if you are importing oil.

· Ennore Port

You can locate this port in Chennai district along the Coromandel Coast and is owned and operated by Kamarajar Port Limited.

The port opened up in 2001 with the main import through this port being liquid cargo, dry cargo, and minerals.

Container Shipping Companies from China to India

You can use one of these container shipping companies to ship your cargo from China to India.



· Mediterranean Shipping Company

You can locate the headquarters of this largest privately-owned company in Geneva.

You can conveniently ship using one of its 480 container vessels from China to India.

· China Ocean Shipping Company

China Ocean Shipping Company is ideal if you are importing bulk cargo from China to India the company began operations in 1961 and has its headquarters in Beijing, China.

Among its fleet include 6 of the top 10 largest container ships each with a capacity of handling 19000 20 ft containers.

· Evergreen Marine

The location of the headquarters of this company is in Taoyuan city though it has several offices spread around the world.

Evergreen Marine has a total of 190 shipping vessels that you can use to ship your cargo.

· Hapag- Lloyd

Hapag- Lloyd started operations in 1848 making it one of the oldest shipping company that you can use to ship your cargo.

You can ship in one of the 175 modern container ships that this company owns including the biggest shipping vessels.

These big ships have a capacity of handling 13000 TEUs.

FCL Shipping from China to India

FCL shipping from China to India allows you to import a large volume of cargo at a relatively cheaper cost.

By using this method for your shipping, you gain exclusive container use for your cargo.

FCL allows you to load only your cargo in a container, secure it and have it shipped to your port of destination.

FCL vs LCL Shipping

FCL vs LCL Shipping

Using this method allows you to ship your cargo only in a container even if you are not able to fill the container.

However, you will have to pay for the cost of hiring a whole container.

There are several charges that you will encounter when using this method.

They include currency adjustment factor, basic freight price, and bunker adjustment factor.

LCL Shipping from China to India

If you are importing small volume of cargo, then the cheapest way for you to do so is through LCL shipment.

This mode of shipment involves you contacting your forwarder to book space on a shipping container.

Several other importers who are heading in the same direction as you will also book space on the same container.

After the consolidation of the cargoes and filling a container, your forwarder will arrange for shipment of your cargo.

Unlike shipping under FCL, LCL will only require you to pay for space your cargo will occupy.

The only limitation you have with this mode is that you lose control of your cargo and the shipment might take longer.

Air Freight to India from China

If you are planning on shipping high valuable cargo or cargo that you require urgently, then air freight needs to be your choice.

Although the shipping cost of air freight is slightly higher when you compare with ocean freight, your cargo arrives faster.

The higher shipping cost is because the basis of the calculation is weight rather than volume as is the case for ocean freight.

Air India Cargo

Air India Cargo

You can have different delivery options for your cargo when using air freight.

You can have consolidated freight, charter service or direct services.

With that in mind, let me explain to you the details involved in shipping your cargo from China to India via air.

Have a look.

Major Airports in India

The major airports that you can use to ship your cargo from China to India include the following:

Main Airports in India

Main airports in India – Photo courtesy: Maps of India

· Delhi- Indira Gandhi international airport

You can locate this airport in the southwest New Delhi and is the busiest airport in India regarding cargo handling.

The operations of this port are under the Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL).

The cargo complex at the airport consists of two terminals namely brownfield and greenfield cargo terminals.

Available infrastructure that you can use to access the airport includes rail and road.

The available rail network connects the airport o New Delhi railway station and Palam railway station.

The use of road connects the airport to Delhi Gurgaon Expressway.

· Chennai International Airport

This airport is ideal if you are importing to the southern part of India.

The operations of this port began in 1910and is owned and operated by the Airport Authority of India.

You can access the airport via a road which connects the airport to Grand Southern Trunk Road.

You can also access the airport via rail through the Tirusulam railway station that connects the airport to the suburban railway network.

The cargo statistics at the airport stands at 417,787 million TEUs as of 2017.

· Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport

The second busiest airport in India is ideal if you are importing to Mumbai metropolitan area which the airport serves.

The airport started operating in 1942 and is owned and operated by Mumbai international airport limited.

You can locate the air cargo complex of the airport in the west on the international passenger terminal.

The airport was able to handle a total of 530,000 metric tons.

Among the facilities for cargo handling in this airport includes a center for perishable cargo and strong rooms for valuable cargo.

There are also storage areas for dangerous goods and cargo screening machines.

A well-integrated infrastructure of rail and road exists to offer you access to the airport.

· Kempegowda International Airport

You can locate this airport in the state of Karnataka near the village of Devanahalli.

The airport is important if you are importing your cargo to Bengaluru and its environs.

The airport opened in 2008under the management of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL).

The cargo section of the airport has three cargo terminals.

Menzies Aviation Bobba Pvt Ltd operates the first terminal and has a cargo handling capacity of 150,000 tons of cargo.

This terminal has a section for handling pharmaceuticals.

The second terminal is operated by Air India SATS (AISATS) with a capacity of handling a total of 200,000 tons of cargo.

Construction of a cooling port in this terminal to handle perishable cargo.

DHL and Blue Dart Aviation operate the last terminal.

Road connects the airport to the city of Bangalore via the national highway 44 while there are plans to link the airport with a rail network.

· Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport

You can locate the airport in Kolkata, West Bengal, India and is convenient if you are importing to Kolkata metropolitan region.

The infrastructure connecting the airport include a railway system that connects the airport to Kolkata Suburban Railway system

Cargo Planes from China to India

The main cargo planes that you can use to ship your cargo from China to India include:

Cathy Pacific

Cathy Pacific

· Cathay Pacific

The headquarters of this cargo airline is in Hong Kong International airport.

You can use this airline that has a total of 148 planes and 60 years of experience to ship your cargo from China to India.

· China Airlines

This is another cargo plane that you can use to ship your cargo from China to India that has its headquarters in Taipei in Taoyuan International airport.

With a total of 91 planes, you can conveniently ship your cargo via this airline.

The advantage you have with this airline is that it operates weekly flights to most o Asian countries.

· Cargolux

Cargolux has 28 dedicated cargo planes that you can use to ship your cargo from China to India.

With 50 years in the industry, you can trust this airline to ship your cargo.

· China Cargo Airlines

You can locate the headquarters of this airline in Shanghai at Hongqiao international airport.

You can choose one of its nine cargo planes to ship your cargo from China to India.

The airline started operations in 1988

· Lufthansa Cargo

You can also use Lufthansa Cargo with its headquarters in Frankfurt Airport to ship your cargo from China to India.

A subsidiary of Lufthansa, the airline has a total of 17 cargo planes that you can use to ship your cargo from China to India.

Courier Shipping from China to India

Courier shipping is the fastest way in which you can import your cargo from China to India.

Your shipment is likely to take a few days when you compare to the normal air shipping.

Courier shipping

Courier shipping

However, shipping via this mode will cost you more when you compare to the other modes of shipping.

The disadvantage you have when using this method is that you have a limit as to the volume of cargo you can import.

Also, there are certain types of cargoes you cannot import using a courier.

As such you need t to confirm with your forwarder before settling on using courier shipping.

Ideally, if you want to ship expensive items or urgent cargoes, then this is the best mode that you can use.

Door to door Shipping from China to India

Door to Door shipping allows for the importation of your cargo direct from your supplier’s premise to your warehouse.

By using this method, you will wait at your premises as your forwarder handles the shipment for you.

Door to door shipping

Door to door shipping

Some of the responsibilities of your forwarder include organizing for transportation of your cargo.

That is from your supplier to the port of origin and from the port of destination to your premises.

They are also in charge of negotiating for a carrier for your cargo as well as customs clearance at both ports.

The advantage of using this method is that it gives you time to expand your business such as looking for new clients.

Chapter 7: Calculate Shipping Cost from China to India

Cost plays a significant role when it comes to shipping your cargo from China to India.

As an importer, knowing the shipping cost will help you in planning early.

Here is a breakdown of the shipping cost you will encounter while shipping from China to India.

Have a look.

Container Shipping Rates from China to India

Let’s have a look at the container shipping cost of your cargo from China to different ports in India.

· Shipping a 20 ft container will cost the following

 Port of MumbaiChennai portJawaharlal Nehru PortMundra PortEnnore port
Port of Shanghai$575$516$575$600$516
Port of Shenzhen$516$500$516$550$500
Port of Ningbo$575$516$575$600$516
Port of Qingdao$600$550$600$600$550
Port of Guangzhou$516$500$516$550$500

· Shipping a 40 ft container will cost the following

 Port of MumbaiChennai portJawaharlal Nehru PortMundra PortEnnore port
Port of Shanghai$1150$1100$1150$1200$1100
Port of Shenzhen$1100$1095$1100$1150$1095
Port of Ningbo$1150$1100$1150$1200$1100
Port of Qingdao$1200$1150$1200$1200$1150
Port of Guangzhou$1100$1095$1100$1150$1095

Chapter 8: How Import Small Quantities from China to India

If you are a new importer, you wouldn’t want to risk importing a large volume of your cargo.

The best way to start importing is by importing small quantities.

However, importing small quantities can be hectic especially for the newbies.

Here is a look at how to go about when importing small quantities of cargo from China to India.

Shoes on sale in Yiwu

Shoes on sale in YiWu

1) Define a small quantity business

Perhaps the starting point needs to be a definition of what is a small business.

Ideally, an importer who imports goods worth less than 500,000 per year is considered a small business.

Since most suppliers in China require that you make a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of $500 per order, then having this amount on average is fine.

The advantage you have with such an amount is that your shipment volume is between 4 to 5 CBM which you can ship via LCL.

If it happens that the volume is less than this, you will likely pay a higher amount for shipping than the value of your cargo.

2) Understand the product to import

The next step is getting to know which product you are going to buy.

You need to consider several factors when choosing your product.

First, you need to decide which cargo to import between the size product and the value product.

A large size product means that it will occupy a large shipping space which will increase your shipping cost.

As for advice, you can go for small size products which are of high value.

Items such as mobile phones and small electronics are ideal for you to import.

The next consideration you need to make is to have a unique product.

Contrary to the belief that when starting your importation business, you need to import everyday items, importing unique items can be advantageous.

An excellent example of such products includes branded tissue papers or even photocopy papers.

3) Check for suppliers

Once you have an idea of the product to import, you are now ready to source for suppliers who can supply your goods.

There are different ways you can find a supplier.

Sites such as AliExpress and Alibaba offers you an opportunity to source for your suppliers.

4) Ship your products

After securing a supplier for your product, you can go ahead and secure a way of shipping from China to India.

You can use international express to ship your cargo if it is less than 300Kgs.

If it is above that, air freight is convenient to ship your cargo.

When it comes to shipping, you can minimize your shipping cost by consolidating your cargo before shipping.

If you are a first-time importer, you need to be careful of scammers.

Even though they are rare, taking consideration of such will ensure that you deal with certified suppliers.

Chapter 9: How to Import from Alibaba to India

One of the platforms that give you an opportunity to engage with different suppliers from China is Alibaba.

Let me take you through the process of finding a supplier and importing your cargo using Alibaba.

Alibaba India

Alibaba India

1. Identify your product

To have a starting point when it comes to importing from China to India, you need to have a product that you want to import.

As we have discussed earlier, there are various techniques you can use to identify a product that you can import.

Identification enables you to plan on the shipping cost as well as sourcing for possible suppliers on Alibaba.

2. Identify reliable suppliers

Alibaba offers a platform where you can engage various suppliers for your cargo.

These suppliers differ regarding quantity and price they supply on the same item.

As you are going through the suppliers, you can take note of suppliers who match your needs.

3. Consider your budget

As you will notice with Alibaba, many suppliers can offer the same commodity at different prices and different quantities.

What you need to consider is how much you will spend on your import.

When you are doing the estimates, you need to factor in the shipping cost as well as the customs clearance cost.

All these costs ensure that you have your product at your address from China.

4. Engage your potential suppliers

Since you have a list of potential suppliers, you can go ahead and engage them on the various aspects that pertain your shipment.

Such areas include the minimum quantity that they supply and the price per Item.

Also, you can inquire on their permits and licenses to ensure you are engaging a legit supplier.

The last thing you want is to engage a fraudster.

You can also check if the supplier can work with your schedule.

This is important if you have cases of short time demand.

Lastly, check on the payment options that they use.

A reliable payment option is one that needs to ensure security on your part and that of your supplier.

5. Negotiation

By now you must have narrowed down to the supplier you will engage with for your shipping.

The next step involves negotiating on various aspects of your shipment.

This includes the price of your product, the minimum number to supply and the production time of the product.

Negotiation ensures that you have favorable buying terms for your product.

6. Choosing the port of origin and destination

Once you have agreed on the price and your product is ready for shipment, you can select the appropriate port.

That includes the port of origin in China and the port of Destination in India.

A forwarder can come in handy to ship your cargo when it comes to facilitating the shipping of your goods

7. Collection of your product

Once your shipment arrives at your port of destination, you can go ahead and collect your products at the port.

There are processes that you will have to go through before picking your cargo.

They include product inspection and paying the necessary taxes and duties.

8. Making payments

However, whichever payment option you choose, it needs to be secure on your part such that you only pay for the goods you ordered.

Lastly, you will have to pay for your product, the method, and process of making the payments depend on the contract you have with your supplier.

How much Tax will pay to Import from China to India?

All imports from China have a 10% rate on the value of all goods.

The Tax will vary depending on the number of goods imported.

Who handles Customs Clearance when Importing from China to India?

India customs authority at all airports are in charge of clearance during importation.

It undergoes a physical check-up of goods that is mandatory and done by the clearance officials.

How can I start Import Business from China to India?

Here is you need to do:

  • First, you get familiar with the import rights
  • Identify the goods you want to import
  • Make sure the goods you want to import are allowed into your country
  • Calculate the cost of the goods to be imported and the transportation cost
  • Find a supplier in China (from the website) and place an order
  • Prepare for cargo transport (Pay for the charges involved)
  • Track your cargo as you wait for its arrival

Lastly, obtain your shipment.

Why is Import Duty High in India?

India’s government encourages local industries to trade, hence causing a high tax on importing goods.

India has a policy called (ISI) Import Substitution Industrialization, a trade policy that supports home-grown industries in manufacturing and production.

However, some products will have higher tax compared to others for example, mobile phones, accessories, chargers, furniture and candy.

How does Ban on Chinese Apps in India Affect Imports from China?

The ban on Chinese Apps affects the importation of goods from China because the Chinese can put bugs in the software.

Whenever you use various sites on your phone, like games, you send many messages to these sites, and China can easily track this information causing harm to the nation and individual.

The Chinese may have a negative influence on the imports to India due to the high technology hence interfering with the economy of China.

Banning the Chinese Apps may put the country into a kind of tension as trade will be majorly affected.

The ban on Chinese Apps may be a huge blow to the economy of China because China’s economy backbone is from imports.

The ban on Chinese Apps will be make it impossible for traders to enter into a contract with China hence a drop in the revenue.

What do India Import most from China?

The most imported items from China are

  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Mobile Phones
  • Parts of Computers
  • Milk Products
  • Fertilizers
  • Iron and Steel
  • Cars and Motorcycle Parts
  • Medical Equipment
  • Nuclear Machines

How do you Import from AliExpress to India?

AliExpress is one of the biggest online shopping place.

  • You can download the AliExpress app and create an account
  • Search for the product and select the required item
  • Review the seller rating (check at the bottom of the page)
  • Check the delivery details
  • Once done, make an order of the product needed
  • Add the product to your cart
  • Select your method of payment
  • Finally, go to cart and proceed to buy the product

When you are importing bulk products, a trade license is needed.

You need to have a registered shop that has been established which will act as your store.

An export-import license will be necessary.

You then need to check the goods on the customs clearance agent that will facilitate the process.

Finally, wait for your goods to be shipped.



How do Restricted, Canalized, and Prohibited Imports from China to India Compare?

Prohibited products cannot be imported into the country under any circumstance.

China has a list of products that are prohibited from being imported.

The products that: –

  • Arms
  • Explosive materials
  • Illicit drugs
  • Animals that are sickly
  • Any disease related articles
  • Used or old garments
  • Local currency
  • Food that is coloured
  • Food that is harmful to human health
  • Family planning pills

China uses technology to verify the commodities imported into the country; they prefer products with high value.

It has a catalogue that lists all the commodities and products prohibited.

When importing certain products like wood, it must contain an IPPC mark (a mark that is obtained from the supervisors of wood packages).

The quality supervision officers approve the products before importation.

However, prohibited products cannot enter China.

India has a list of products that are banned from importing due to the conditions of the country.

These goods are a threat to the usage of man or consumption.

India has a list of products that is prohibited from importation; they are: –

  • Drugs with nicotine substances
  • Pornographic materials
  • Pirated and counterfeit products
  • Materials with a high content of aero models
  • Indian coins
  • Maps with incorrect information about Indian boundaries
  • Harmful chemicals
  • Wildlife products such as body parts, skeleton, live birds, and beef

When goods arrive at the Indian port, the clearance procedure begins to verify the kind of goods imported; if any prohibited goods are recovered, the owner of the cargo is punished.

Restricted goods are commodities that are not permitted for importation unless after obtaining a license from the relevant authority.

Examples of restricted commodities: –

  • Live animals and birds
  • A few animals like camels, horses
  • Excessive currency
  • Soil and sand
  • Seeds and fruits
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Gold, silver
  • Ornaments
  • Telephone accessories
  • Unprocessed skins and hides
  • Devices linked to family planning
  • Products derived from the human body like blood plasma
  • Vintage products like weapons
  • Medicine and drugs
  • Species of plants and animals
  • Goods for commercial purposes

Canalized goods are commodities that can be transported by unique ways for instance the use of river canals to import and transport commodities.

In China, goods are transported via a river known as Jing –Hang Grand Canal.

The river is Jing- Hang Grand Canal is the longest river, and it passes through various districts and provinces within China.

China’s government has recently improved the canals to enhance canalized goods transportation as it supplies China’s adequate revenue.

The challenge with this mode of transportation is the fear of floods during the transportation of canalized goods.

To date, China enhances canalized goods as it improves the economic growth and development of the country.

The following are a number of canalized items in China: –

  • Petroleum products
  • Vegetable oils
  • Agricultural products
  • Pharmaceutical products

The India government officials are the only that benefit from canalized goods.

It is however, subject to the Indian official cabinet approval in relation to the number of goods and timing.

India canalized goods need license to be imported.

The following are canalized commodities in India: –

  • Products with petroleum content
  • Pharmaceutical items
  • Oils
  • Grains
  • Some vegetables
  • Agricultural products

Which types of Duties does the Indian Government Charge for Imports from China?


 Recently, India entered into a 16 –country free trade agreement with China to eliminate up to 80% of products imported.

All the countries which are part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will encounter lesser tariff rates.

Imports from countries like Australia, and New Zealand will face a cut of 86%

Indian customs duties are the following: –

Anti – Dumping Duty Imposed on various Commodities that are Imported from other Countries Across the Globe

 It is a type of exporting method where goods of a lower price than the market value are considered.

Exporters may get goods at a price lower than the usual one

The anti-dumping duty is imposed on commodities that are mostly in excess.

The world Trade Organization permitted India to impose anti-dumping duty on all products from China.

These duty ensures moderate and fair prices to all goods imported creating a conducive trade between foreigners and the locals.

The importing country controls procedural investigation and announces anti- dumping duty for the imported goods.

The committee observed the following: –

  • The central government of India has imposed a number of duties to products such as the anti –dumping duty which they feel are misclassified.

The anti- dumping duties imposed on some products imported from China are exploiting the revenue of collection.

The Chinese claim that the anti–dumping duties imposed on some imported products ought to be reviewed.

  • The central government of China is hesitant to enforce duties more so, anti- dumping duty that will have effective measures when importing

The anti- dumping measures is not in favour of China goods and is overrated

The Chinese government want an anti –dumping duty to control all the prices on all commodities to be of a reasonable or normal value.

  • The committee advised the Officials of Anti –Dumping duty enforce the following: –
  • Enforce measures to control the challenge of lax implementation of anti –dumping duties on imports

Whenever a law is created to protect all custom duties imposed on the import and export products;

The anti- dumping duty, the traders will have a standardized value which will protect them from any kind of exploitation.

  • Make the duties reasonable for imports and in accordance to the current cost of production.

The custom duties imposed on all imported and exported goods should be in accordance to the current market value of goods.

The central government of India in line with the revenue officials, and the custom duty officials should harmonize the rates and tariffs imposed on different products.

Basic Customs Duty

It charges all goods imported into India under the customs duty act.

The basic custom may vary depending on the percentage of value on goods.

The Indian government has the mandate to exempt some basic custom duty to specific commodities.

Safeguard Duty

It is duty designed to provide protection to domestic goods.

The Indian government created the safeguard duty that ensures all goods imported are safe and will not cause any harm to both human and the environment.

Protective Duty

 It is yet to be administered in India.

It is proposed under the tariff commission which will protect goods imported from any tariffs that may lead to their exploitation.

National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD)

It is a duty imposed on tobacco and cigarettes.

The tax varies from 9% to 50%. the duty also imposes 1% importation of motor vehicles and any two wheels’ device.

There are several kinds of NCCD duty imposed on different commodities.

The rates are a percentage of the total value of the goods.


It is tax imposed on specific kind of beverage such as coffee, mica, tobacco and cocoa that is not manufactured.

The cess custom duty is passed to agents in charge of the administration of the concerned commodities.

Education Cess on Custom Duty

It charges a 2% percentage tax on all imported goods of the duty of customs, however, it does not include safeguard duty, countervailing duty and anti- dumping duty.

Auxiliary Custom Duty

It levies all goods imported with a 50% rate of the total value of the goods.

The auxiliary custom duty is subject to vary depending on specific types of goods.

Countervailing Duty

It is a type of duty that acts when a country pays a subsidy to its exporters, for transporting goods from India to any other country. More so, India to china.

The government of India can impose the countervailing duty to any goods to be imported as it is in line with the Customs Duty Act of India.

Export Duty

All goods that are exported from India are chargeable to export duty.

 The custom duty has a catalogue that lists all the charges to be imposed on all commodities when exported.

Besides, export duty changes from time to time as the government of India keeps amending the tariffs.

The export duty is in line with rules of the custom duty act of the Central government of India.

Why should you work Directly with the Manufacturer when Import Wholesale Products from China to India?

When importing from China, it is advised to work directly with the manufacturer because of the following reasons: –

  • You save on costs and maximize profits
  • Increases profits
  • Reduces communication gap between the producer and consumer
  • Reduces risks of losing the products
  • Enhances customer relations
  • Flexible as it reduces the middlemen who do business on behalf of the company
  • Increases insight on the knowledge of the product
  • Easy to find a high quality provider
  • Enhances overall production of goods
  • You can gather adequate first-hand information about products
  • You can easily negotiate on MOQ, price customization, labelling
  • Builds confidence
  • Enhances a trusted working relationship

How does Drop Shipping from China to India Work?

Drop shipping


Drop shipping is a business that the products sold are based in another country yet suppliers originate from a different country.

 For example, a product that is in the USA may be distributed by suppliers based in China.

When drop shipping from China to India, you need to locate a dropship supplier from the website and verify its legitimacy. 

You then contact the supplier and select the type of products that you want.

When you have selected the type of products from the dropship website, the order is forwarded to the supplier’s website, which then proceeds with shipment to the client.

You need to calculate the cost of the commodity and the drop shipping cost.

The drop shipping takes a minimum of 12 days to 14 days.

However, some instances may take longer due to the shipment procedure.

You need to adhere to the rules and regulations under the income tax policy of India.

For a successful drop shipping, you need to obtain an IEC code. (Import Export Code)

Does India use the Harmonized Tariff System for Imports from China?

The government of India has a centralized Tax that is protected by the Department of Revenue.

The harmonized tariff is 13.8 %, estimated by the World Trade Organization.

What are the Product Labelling Requirements when Importing from China to India?

A Product Labelling Requirements is a display in a commodity.

The label provides information about a commodity on its packaging or container or the commodity itself.

Besides, labelling makes the commodity unique.

The purpose of Product labelling is ideally for marketing. It gives the consumer more information about the commodity.

The Product labelling is done in varied categories depending on the size, materials and shapes.

There are three types of Product Labelling: –

  • Brand (markets the product)
  • Descriptive (gives more information about the product)
  • Grade (the quality of the product)

Product Labelling is mandatory to all products especially foods, because it helps the buyer know whether the food purchased is good for consumption.

All the products labelled must be in the Chinese language.

In accordance to the state administrator for quality supervision of Chinese and Inspection officer, all food items such as canned food, cheese, nuts and candy must be verified before being imported.

All products imported get a compulsory certification called (CCC) before sale.

This verifies that the commodity is viable for use and exportation.

Products which do not meet the requirements of Chinese importation face penalties at the airport

The following are the Product Labelling Requirements

  • The name and address of the importer
  • Table of the product content
  • The name of the product
  • Quantity of the product
  • The date of manufacturing
  • The code number of the product
  • The retail price
  • The storage requirements
  • Production license
  • Other relevant information in accordance to the standard laws


Importing from China to India is quite easy.

All you need to understand is the shipping process as well as the shipping terms that you will encounter during your shipping.

I have broken down this process for you so that you can be able to understand.

To facilitate your shipping, you will need a reliable forwarder.

You can find one by contacting us.

Through our professional handling capacity, we will deliver your cargo securely from China to India.

Contact us today experience a dynamic way of importing your cargo from China to India.

Update cookies preferences