Why do we import goods from China

Importing Products From China: Cheaper Price, Maximum Profit?

Important tips if you want to import and sell products from China

As soon as you find products from China that you want to resell via your own website and thus import, you have to deal with topics such as quality, patent rights, import regulations, customs matters and sales tax. In addition, you should consider how you can most efficiently structure communication with the Chinese manufacturer and how returns can most likely be handled reliably.

Obtain information from the manufacturer

The very first step is that you gather as much information as possible about the manufacturer of an interesting product. Here you can use the Internet research, take a close look at the company's website (and have it translated if necessary) and also try to find out something about the responsible authorities in China. Ideally, you have private contacts in China and can use them to find out about the reliability of the respective company.

The product quality

Before you order a China import, it is absolutely necessary that you convince yourself of the quality of the goods. Of course, this works best if you inspect the products yourself on site. To do this, however, you have to travel to China and be able to speak to the manufacturer. If you have no language skills in Chinese and your business partner cannot speak English, an interpreter is the best solution. He is also able to give you tips on behavior and interaction.

If you do not have the means for such a trip, you can of course also contact us by email or live chat. If you are not there, definitely have a few copies of the product sent to you as a sample. So you still have the opportunity to convince yourself of the quality and at the same time get information about the delivery times from China.

One of the most important aspects is that of trademark and patent law. As long as you are interested in a product developed in China, you are relatively safe. The situation is different if the product as a whole or in parts is suspected of being a fake. Caution is advised here, as the infringement of trademark rights or patents can result in high penalties.

Import from China to Germany: import regulations and customs matters

An exciting topic are the import and customs regulations for products that are imported into Germany from countries outside the European Union. Here there are among others. the following legal regulations or restrictions must be observed:

  • Import of clothing and textiles requires an import permit
  • Medicines and narcotics are subject to strict regulations and controls
  • Chemicals require special permits for import
  • Any cash carried with you with a total value of EUR 10,000 or more must be registered in writing
  • Products made from animals (e.g. leather, animal fur) must not be made from endangered species
  • The import of media is strictly monitored (keyword youth risk)
  • The import of weapons is subject to strict legal requirements
  • Torture tools are prohibited from trading

So that you do not import any prohibited products from China, you should inquire at customs which goods may be subject to a general ban or restrictions. From a legal point of view, you are always on the safe side.

Importing products from China: Sales tax and customs duties apply

If you bring a little something from China as a holiday maker, you don't have to pay any import sales tax up to an amount of 26 euros. If the value of the vacation reminder you have brought with you exceeds this amount, 7 percent (e.g. for books) or 19 percent sales tax is due.

As a self-employed person, you can be exempt from sales tax with the so-called small business regulation according to ยง19 UStG (sales tax law). However, this only applies up to an annual turnover of 22,000 euros. But if you make money with an online shop and offer products, you will likely generate more sales. It would therefore be an advantage to waive this relief. You can get the import sales tax, with which the products from China are charged, back from the tax office with the help of the sales tax return.

The customs duties are different from the sales tax. These fees are charged on certain products and are incurred from a value of over 150 euros. Books, digital cameras and USB sticks are free of customs duties. For DVDs or CDs the duty is 3.5 percent and for textiles or clothing there is a 12 percent duty. Here, too, you should inform yourself in detail in order to be able to better plan the costs.

Returns of defective products from China

If you, as a retailer in Germany, cooperate with a manufacturer, returns are relatively easy. But if customers complain about a product from China, the return, the replacement or even the reimbursement of the purchase price can prove to be a little more difficult. This is especially the case if you send the Chinese products via dropshipping, because then the goods will be sent directly from the Chinese manufacturer to your customer. Since the return to China is difficult and associated with relatively high costs, dissatisfied customers will mainly turn to you as the operator of the online shop. For this situation you need the best possible organizational arrangement with your Chinese partner.

Importing products from China: a conclusion

More and more online shop operators are using dropshipping options, for example to avoid high storage and shipping costs. As you have seen, however, there are a few pitfalls that you should deal with intensively. If you want to import products from China, in addition to observing the legal provisions applicable in Germany (and also in China), the closest possible contact to the Chinese manufacturer of a product is important. The better you know him and classify him as trustworthy, the fewer problems you will probably have with him later.

You should not underestimate the customs and tax text regulations in Germany. If you work as an online retailer, your bookkeeping must stand up to every test, otherwise in the worst case you will have a lawsuit for tax evasion on your neck. You also have to keep trademark law in the back of your mind when doing business with Chinese manufacturers. This is necessary because, in addition to the countless manufacturers with a clean slate, there are unfortunately always black sheep. If there are lawsuits, you are usually the one to suffer, as the Chinese company is located in a different country and is often not legally or only difficult to prosecute.

But if you heed the tips given here, you can import products from China and sell them very successfully in your own online shop.