How can I find out what the Tariffs on Specific Imports from China?

When you enter the World Trade Organization (WTO), there are some measures one has to comply to and China has taken those measures ever since they entered the WTO last December 2001. The commitments they made are: the lowering of their tariffs, reducing non-tariffs barriers, Expanding market access for foreign firms and improving transparency.

Though China has made some progressive reforms in certain areas, there is still a variety of non-tariff trade barriers that remains which impedes the access of importers to the China Market.

The import tariff rates of China are based on Harmonized System of Classification Codes. There are two columns of tariffs and the General Rates, according to the MFN Rates or Most Favored Nation. The MFN Rates apply to countries that have fulfilled trade treaties or a reciprocal agreement for a preferential treatment with China, or more broadly speaking are member countries of the WTO. General Rate is applied to countries that have do not have a reciprocal agreement with China.

Import Tariffs Rate also varies according to the type of product, components, and the intended use of the products. Import Tariff rates are mostly ad valorem meaning the rates are based on the value of the product. China now use a policy of tariff exemption on some imported products like imported machineries and equipment that are used for scientific research and technology development and also in the area of investments in key high-tech industries.

In China, imports are divided into three categories, the contraband goods which include firearms, poison and toxic chemicals; restricted goods that require an import license or quota and the permitted goods which most imports are categorized.

The Government of China also issues public notices to inform of actual or impending policy changes and categories of goods, the thing is most of these notices are not translated into English. You can find information on policy notices in English in the website of China’s Ministry of Commerce. ( In China, there is an Import License System on the importation of specific restricted goods this is to monitor the content or volume of that product.

The wide range of TRQ’s or Tariff Rate Quotas in China is based on the two-tiered tariff system. Global access is granted for a specific import quota at a low rate and the excess are charged at a higher rate. With that, Chinese tariff rate quotas are placed on some agricultural products which creates a non-tariff barrier to trade for many countries that exports these kinds of products. If you need more information on China’s Customs and Trade, check the PricewaterhouseCoopers Asia Pacific—Customs and Trade Webpage for news (

If you would like to learn more on importing from China we have a free 30 day video training on how to contact factories, source products directly with suppliers in China and much more – everything you need to import from China (without a middleman). Simple visit our site:



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