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International Shipping to China from the U.S.A. , Canada and Puerto Rico

Shipping to China

UBox Worldwide ships to the following cities in China

  • Foshan
  • Shanghai
  • Nanjing
  • Ningbo
  • Qingdao
  • Xingang
  • Dalian
  • Hong Kong
  • Suzhou
  • Xiamen
  • Beijing

Moving to China - How Ocean Shipping Works

Whether you are moving to China for work, or are a returning citizen, we make shipping to port cities in China easy and worry free. Our service is warehouse to warehouse. This means that you deliver to one of our 26 drop off warehouses in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico and pick up at the local warehouse in your destination city. This method of shipping saves you money. Pick up at your residence and door delivery can sometimes be arranged at additional costs. UBox Worldwide ships to China via consolidated ocean containers. This means your shipment will be placed into a container with other cargo which lowers the cost of shipping. This method of shipping is called "Less than Container Load" shipping or "LCL" for short.

Calculating Rates and Associated Costs

Shipping Rates to China start at $8 USD per cubic foot with a minimum of $282.

Rates vary by origin and destination cities. The example above is the rate from Los Angeles warehouse to the Shanghai warehouse. Sea Freight has a minimum charge per shipment. This means you must pay the minimum rate for anything that measures less than 35.3 cubic feet. Weight is not a factor in ocean shipping, but we do would need an accurate weight and measurement, if you would like a truck pick up quote.


For an example, 36 cubic feet is equal to 12 boxes that are 18" x 18" x 16". 35.3 cubic feet = 1 cubic meter

How to Get a Rate Quote for Ocean Shipping

Ocean shipping rates are based on the cubic volume of the shipment because you are paying for the space your shipment takes up in the container. So, to get an accurate rate quote you will need to know the L" x W" x H" of each box. Multiply the L" x W" x H" and divide by 1728 to get the cubic foot volume of each box and add the sums together for the total cubic volume.

Or use our instant rate quote calculator and it will do the work for you.

Types of Cargo Accepted

All cargo must be boxed, created or palletized and must be packaged properly in order to be accepted for shipping. We handle personal effects and commercial cargo. Personal effects are usually considered to be owned by the person that is both the shipper and the consignee. If you will not be present in China when your shipment arrives, we suggest shipping c/o the person you designate to pick up the shipment on your behalf. There is usually no duty accessed on personal effects, but it varies by country and individual circumstance, so please check with your local consulate or customs office.


The most cost effective way to ship is to ship loose boxes. This means that each individual box is measured and handled separately. The safest way to ship is to palletize and shrinkwrap your entire shipment. Your boxes will be placed on a heat treated wooden pallet and wrapped in plastic. Palletizing will increase your ocean freight costs anywhere from 30 - 100%, because the entire shipping package including the pallet is measured from the bottom to the highest point. It is best to make sure that all of your boxes are the same size and fit evenly on a 48" x 40" pallet in order to keep the cost down.


Marine cargo insurance is available at a cost of $2 per $100 of the packing list value with a minimum $75 . We have had a major change in risk coverage recently .We have been able to obtain "all risk" coverage, meaning coverage for breakage and all other perils provided that your goods are fully packaged and protected . The insurance coverage will fully inspect this requirement before honoring a claim. A word of caution here...there are other websites stating that steamship carriers offer free insurance up to $500 per package. Sorry, it isn't so. What they are mistakenly referring to, are the limitations of liability afforded carriers under international maritime law which is $500 per package/freight unit. This means that if the carrier is negligent for a loss, then they are obligated to pay only $500 per unit although the value of the unit may be $10000. Keyword being "negligence". There are many losses that are not considered negligent, whereby the carrier is not responsible. These include Acts of God, Heavy Weather, Tsunamis, Stranding, General Average Strikes, Acts of War, improper packaging for export, etc. Bottom line, no matter what you read, there is no free insurance.

Destination Charges

Ocean rates are based upon the cubic space in the ocean container that the cargo occupies with the cost varying, depending upon the country and city destination. Our rate covers warehouse receiving, tallying, loading into container, documentation and ocean transport. These costs are included in your box rate. There will be local destination/delivery charges upon warehouse release per custom of the port. These charges are customarily collected from the consignee at the delivery port but can sometimes be prepaid. It is also important to understand that customs clearance, duties and taxes, if any, are the obligation of the receiving consignee; however, in most countries it is possible to clear customs yourself and normally duty is not levied on your own used personal effects. We cannot be held responsible for customs entry, but our delivery agent can offer this service at additional cost should you choose. Lastly, minimum charges are standard in the ocean transport industry and warehousing facilities. We attempt to keep these as low as possible and they are indicated in the country rates.

Click here for an Instant Rate Quote


China Customs Rules and Regulations

NOTE - Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The customs information provided is as a courtesy only. UBox Worldwide is not liable for any costs, damage, delays, duties, taxes or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance, errors or omissions. Shippers and Consignees should always check full requirements with the local embassy or consulate. Any questions regarding the information provided below, should be directed to the Chinese Consulate or Customs Office.

China Customs Regulations (Returning Citizens)

  1. Customer MUST arrive in China before shipment arrival, In order to complete Import Formalities.
  2. All non-diplomatic household goods shipments are subject to import duties.
  3. Only one air and one sea shipments may be imported within 6 months of customer's arrival date.
  4. It is not necessary for returning Chinese citizens to apply Import Permit. Customs Clearance normally take 2-3 weeks which include customs physical inspection as well as the quarantine inspection. Shipments are subject to 100% quarantine inspection and physical inspection.
  5. In general, the returning Chinese are not allowed to import furniture to China. However, exception could be granted depending on the length of time the Chinese citizen has resided overseas. China Customs Bureau may at their own discretion allow a "reasonable" quantity of furniture to be imported to China. Please check before packing.
  6. All wooden packing material must follow the "International Standards for phytosanitary Measures No.15 (ISPM No.15). The new rule requires all wood packaging material (WPM) associated with consignments to China should be treated and labeled with IPPC mark by the manufacturers. Any non-compliance WPM will be treated, destroyed or returned with the consignments together under supervision of China Inspection and Quarantine.
  7. The import of any luxury or high-value items into Beijing must be declared to Customs and the owner of the goods must have documented proof of value (i.e. receipt): For returning citizens any item lower than RMB 1,000 (approximately US $146).
  8. It is recommended that each antique included in the shipment is photographed.
  9. All electrical items must be clearly indicated on the inventory, including model, serial number and size.
  10. Import duties for alcoholic beverages are extremely high and beverages are not recommended for inclusion in the shipment.


Note 1: The following policy applied for Returning Chinese to import a sea shipment from SHANGHAI.

  1. Returning Chinese with at least one year validity foreign visa continuously stayed there for one year, then no problem to import his used personal effects by LCL or FCL shipment.
  2. Returning Chinese with short term entry visa and later long term (at least one year) working permit as per destination country immigration policy, stayed there for one year in continuous period, they are also allowed to import their used personal effects by LCL or FCL shipment.
  3. Returning Chinese with accumulated one year validity foreign visa, i.e. initially 3 months valid visa, followed by another 9 months, then they only allowed to import a max 2cbm LCL shipment with clothes, beddings, shoes etc. but without furniture or electrical items inside, even they stayed there for one year in continuous period.

Note 2: The following requirements applied for shipments at the seaports in GUANGZHOU and SHENZHEN.

  1. The apartment lease permit is required since 2014.
  2. Televisions or Computer Monitors must list the screen size on the packing list - Do not list "Computer Equipment/Accessory" on the packing list.
  3. All electrical appliances must identify the brand on the packing list.
  4. Authorities will only permit a "reasonable" quantity of food stuff for personal use - Brand and quantity is required on the packing list for the import of wine/alcohol and milk powder (Both are subject to 50% import tax at local market value)
  5. Golf clubs are not recommended as each individual golf club will be taxed at US$60 per club.
  6. If the shipment includes children's books or toys, a copy of the passport and residence permit of the children is required for clearance.


Attention: The returning Chinese citizen refers to those who hold a mainland Chinese passport. If you are a Chinese citizen who has permanent residency or green-card of a foreign country, you are considered as a foreigner and therefore you are subjected to the eligibility of a foreign citizen.

  1. Original Passport
  2. The stay/work visa of the foreign country where you have resided for more than 365days
  3. Detailed inventory in English (describing general carton contents - PBO "packed by owner" and "misc." are not acceptable.
  4. Ocean Bill of Lading / Air Way Bill
  5. Baggage declaration form, if applicable (2 copies, matching identically
  6. Company letter (Attached sample)
  7. Customs Declaration Form For Sea Shipment
  8. List of electronic items


  1. Every shipment is subject to Customs import duty (except for diplomat shipments) regardless of nationality and whether the items are new or used.
  2. The Import Duty amount is calculated based on Customs Assessed Valued, solely at the discretion of the local Customs Bureau and quite differs from city to city. (Attached Estimated Duty list in English and Chinese for your easy reference)
  3. As a general guideline, while all clothes, shoes and kitchenware can be imported duty free for first time importers. Alcohol and tobacco products, electrical appliances, furniture, lighting fixtures, food stuff and luxury items like golf clubs and cosmetic products are subject to import duty.
  4. Second or subsequent applications of the Import Permit will attract import duty on all items.
  5. Electrical appliances (duties of 20%)
  6. Duty rates apply to the items listed as follows:
    1. Golf clubs         30%
    2. Furniture           15%
    3. Lamps              30%


Note - Rules on restricted items can differ from city to city and can change frequently. If you have any of these items listed below, it is the best to check with our agent in China for the latest allowances. This information should be used as a guideline only.

  1. Books (magazine, booklet also counted and regarded as books )
    1. Air - Maximum 50 books
    2. Sea - Maximum 50 books
  2. CDs, VCDs, DVDs, LDs, and videotapes may total no more than 100 items to import duty free; items are subject to inspection and will be returned approximately 4 weeks after clearance is completed. More than 20 pieces is dutiable for returning Chinese citizens. These items are subject to a Customs inspection of approximately 2-3 weeks.
  3. Alcohol & Wine
    1. Not allowed to be imported to North China like Beijing and Dalian, not recommended to be imported to South China, but can be imported to Shanghai and South China.
    2. Air - Strictly Prohibited
    3. Sea - Maximum 2 bottles
  4. Dried Food including vitamins and medicine
    1. Air - Strictly Prohibited
    2. Sea - Maximum 10kgs (in which powdered milk can not exceed 6kgs)
  5. Musical Instrument & Bicycles
    1. Reasonable quantity depending on the number of family members.
    2. If over than 2pcs, a copy of the passport and residence permit of the family members is required for clearance
  6. Books (a letter of explanation must be included and detail where the books were purchased, the total number, the book titles and value of each, the subject matter etc., e.g., work, study.  More than 10 books are dutiable (returning Chinese).
  7. Antiques should be registered to avoid issues upon re-export in the future due to the strict regulations on Chinese Customs regarding the export of antiques.
  9. Firearms, Ammunition, Weapons & Explosives ( Included Strapped-down Gun, dagger)
  10. Bow
  11. Motor Vehicles
  12. TV Satellite Dish
  13. Telecommunication equipment, including cordless phones
  14. Over size office items, such as large photocopier machines and printers which are not considered for personal use
  15. Drugs
  16. Perishable food items (items containing the essence or extract from eggs are subject to confiscation or destruction)
  17. Pornographic materials
  18. Politically subversive materials
  19. Medicines and other items from epidemic stricken areas
  20. POE / AOE Chengdu: billiard and pool tables
  21. Fax / photocopy machines
  22. Grand and baby grand pianos (contact agent for specific information)
  23. Alcohol (Beijing)


  1. Animals and Animal Products
    1. Live animals (except cats and dogs), including all mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects and other invertebrates, and animal genetic materials;
    2. Raw and processed meat (including viscera) and its products, aquatic animal products;
    3. Animal-derived milk and milk products, including raw milk, fresh milk, yogurt, animal-derived cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products;
    4. Eggs and egg products, including fresh egg, preserved egg, salted egg, liquid egg, egg shell, mayonnaise and other egg products;
    5. Cubilose (except canned cubilose);
    6. Fat and grease, hides, hairs, hooves, bones and horns and their products;
    7. Animal-derived feedstuffs (including meat meal, bone meal, fish meal, whey powder, blood meal and other single feedstuff), animal-derived Chinese medicinal materials, and animal-derived fertilizer.
  2. Plants and Plant Products
    1. Fresh fruits, vegetables;
    2. Tobacco leaves (except cut tobacco);
    3. Seed (seedlings), nursery stocks and other propagating plant material;
    4. Organic cultivation media or vitamin and medicine

Other Quarantine Objects

Microbial Strains, virus strains and other animal and plant pathogens, pests and other harmful organisms, cells, organs and tissues, blood and blood products and other biological materials;

Animal corpse, animal specimens and animal-derived waste;


Genetically modified biomaterials;

Other animals, plants and their products and other quarantine objects prohibited from entering China.

Poisons or illegal drugs, neuropathy Medicine, daily medicine and Vitamin.

Printed/recorded material deemed detrimental to the political, economic, cultural, or moral atmosphere in China (including all pornographic materials)

Maps (where the Chinese border is not in accordance with Chinese law)

Equipment /tools associated with gambling (such as poker cards, chips, jackpot machine etc.)

Endangered and rare animals and their products such as ivory

Counterfeit currencies

Unhealthy animals

Motorcycles, mowing machine with large engine

Diving Equipment

Pet Food

Grand Piano is not allowed to import to Shanghai

It's not allowed to import medicine, liquid items, cosmetics, soap, candles and more than one identical electrical appliance in an airfreight shipment.

Any other items that are determined by the local Customs Bureau to be of non-personal or non-family use. These items may be seized if found in the shipment.

For more information about prohibited items for quarantine concern, you can visit the website at Other restrictions on entry items, please refer to General Administration of customs



Example Box Sizes


18" X 18" X 16" (3 cu. feet)
for linens, toys, clothes, etc.


18" x 18" x 24" (4.5 cu. feet)
for electronics blankets, pillows, lampshades etc.