Importing LED Lights from China Manufacturer: Customs Clearance

examination of customs paperwork

Table of Contents

There are various benefits associated with LED lights, including superior lighting results, lower power consumption, and more. Chinese LED light manufacturers offer many types of LED lights like LED strips and LED grow lights. It is important to discuss where one should purchase LED lights and what LED lights wholesale company is the best to get the supply.

We should not be surprised that China makes the best use of both technology and industrial advancements. The light manufacturers in China manage to export millions of tonnes of LED lights to countries across Asia, Europe, and the United States each year. However, finding dependable and genuine LED light suppliers can be difficult.

Many are questioning how is the process of importing LED lights from China. This article shares everything about customs clearance to import from LED light companies in China, like import duty, regulations, and more. Let’s dive right in!

importing led lights from china customs clearance

The Process of Customs Clearance to Import LED Lights from China

The customs clearance process can be easy if you understand the whole process. LED light suppliers should also pay attention to it to help international customers with these problems. From there, light manufacturers can gain buyers’ confidence and satisfy their customers by building long-lasting relationships. 

We’ll discuss what to expect from the clearance process and how to use it to make international shipping easy and more enjoyable. Let’s discover further.

Step 1: Examination of Customs Paperwork

The process of purchasing wholesale light products from China requires completing several formalities. Every importer must prepare all necessary documents for the customs officers or other authorities. However, depending on the place, the document list may differ slightly. The most common documents required example, commercial invoices, Air Waybill (AWB), and Bill of Lading (B/L).

Commercial Invoices

Commercial invoices declare shipments across international borders as a customs declaration. The LED light exporter has to prepare the commercial invoices. Some Chinese LED light manufacturers may be able to avoid paying taxes by completing some requirements.

Bill of Lading (B/L)

A bill of lading (B/L) is a document issued by the shipping company. It outlines a shipment of merchandise, gives title to the goods, and requires the carrier to release the shipping at a specified port. This document can serve as proof of shipment for customs and insurance companies.

Airway Bill (AWB)

Air waybill is an official document issued by an airline or its authorized agents. It helps verify that these airlines or agents have delivered the goods. LED light companies and customers can use the serial numbers on Air Waybills to track the shipment’s progress.

Packing List (P/L)

A packing list (P/L) is a list of all goods shipped that includes packing information. Its purpose is to inform all parties involved about the contents of the baggage. The shipping companies have the responsibility for preparing the packing list.

Product Certificate

The LED light manufacturers also need corresponding product certificates required to import to the importing countries. For instance:

  • Europe countries require CE and ROHS certificates
  • Germany requires GS, TUV, and CB certificates
  • The US requires UL and ETL certificates
  • Saudi Arabia requires SASO certificates
  • Mexico requires NOM certificates
  • Argentina requires S-mark certificates


One of the most commonly used product certificates worldwide is the CE certificate. The CE Certificate validates that the product complies with EU laws and guidelines (usually concerning health and safety). CE certificates are obtained from notified bodies, a list of which is available online. 

Several institutions are authorized to conduct CE assessments. This document is not always required, and the manufacturer sometimes can self-certify his products. But in some cases, an independent quality checking procedure is needed.

examination of customs paperwork

Form E Certificate

Form E certificate also refers to the ASEAN certificate. The FORM E certificate is proof of goods issued by the importing and exporting country, and it is a crucial document for international trade. 

It can only be issued for products subject to tariff concessions under the published Agreement on Trade in Goods and must comply with the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area Rules of Origin. The certificate’s contents are written in English and issued by China LED manufacturers. 

 ASEAN consists of 10 countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Exports of goods to the ASEAN can benefit from preferential tariff treatment, with an average tax rate of up to 5%. Note that allied countries or those with trade agreements will generally have lesser tariffs when importing or exporting.

All of the documents listed above become relevant at this point. A customs officer will review all of the papers. If the documents are found to be in order, the customs clearance process will begin.

Step 2: Assess Import Duties and Taxes

Import fees vary according to the type of goods, their value, and the receiving country-specific import regulations. Customs authority requirements differ from country to country. LED lights suppliers have to visit their local office to inquire about all the import taxes from China. 

You can know how much money you are expected to pay for the products. An example of reference is the import duty for LED lights from China is between 2% and 8% for the USA LED light companies.

Step 3: Payment for Taxes and Duties

There are two ways to pay import taxes: paying directly to the customs agency or paying through your shipping company. The second method requires LED light companies to pay in advance and require payment before the final delivery of the products.

When paying a typical LED Supplier, it is best to use secure payment methods like Paypal. You should choose a suitable payment method, especially if you are new to this business and have yet to develop a good relationship with your supplier. 

However, if you are a seasoned importer who has been importing LED lights for several years, there are other options like bank transfers, LC, or Western Union. In this case, request a list of information from your commercial LED lights manufacturer. For instance, their address, account number, and swift code. Otherwise, you’ll incur money loss during payments if any of these things go wrong.

Step 4: Customs Clearance for Shipments

Customs clearance is the necessary procedure of obtaining permission from a government agency to either move goods out of a country (export) or bring goods into the country (import). Your international shipment must clear customs before it can deliver to the customer. 

Once all duties have already been paid, your shipment will clear customs. Then, your chosen transportation company transports the shipment from customs to its final destination. Customs rarely hold shipments. When they do, it is usually due to wrong paperwork.

customs clearance

Items Required For China Customs Clearance

Before exporting to China, it is crucial to ensure that your products comply with local Chinese regulations and standards. This act is required before you can clear customs and sell your lighting products to local consumers. 

If you do not have sufficient certificates and documents, customs may seize your goods, fine you heavily, or kick you out of the Chinese market. 

  1. Product Certificates 

It must be issued to ensure smooth customs clearance. This product certificate can be called China Compulsory Certification (CCC). It is a compulsory safety mark for domestically manufactured and imported products listed in the CCC product catalog. Certificates issued based on their inspection and testing are accepted.

  1. HS Codes

The World Customs Organization creates HS codes (WCO). The Harmonized System (HS) is an international naming and numbering system. They use a standardized two- to six-digit nomenclature to designate product categories and items. 

The first two digits of the HS code indicate the product category. The following four to six digits indicate the product’s subcategories. Every five years, the WCO has the authority to amend these codes.

  1. GB Standards

GB is an abbreviation for Guobiao, which means “National Standards” in Chinese. The standards are used for a wide range of products. The majority of them are derived from the ISO standards we used in the West. 

Since your products already meet ISO standards used in the West, there is a good chance you will have fewer problems meeting local GB standards. You must request your LED lights wholesale distributors to produce labels with the information below, which is according to the GB labeling standard:

  • Location of manufacturing
  • Expiry date
  • Ingredients
  • Storage instructions
  1. Import Licenses

Import licenses, also known as non-automatic import licenses, maintain control over imported goods and import quotas. Your Chinese LED light manufacturers should handle the application for an import license. 

When the form is submitted, it should be signed and stamped by a legal representative. You should also include your organization code certificate with the application.

  1. Other Documents

Sometimes, a packing list is required for importing LED lights. In general, a customs packing list itemizes all of the items in your shipment. This list is sent with your shipment when it leaves the port to assist transportation companies in keeping track of every item in your shipment. The shipping company usually prepares the packing list.

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Import Taxes When Importing LED Lights from China

When it comes to importing products from China, you should understand import duties, port charges, VAT, and other taxes. It is crucial, especially now that trade tensions are at an all-time high. Yet, each country or market has its import duty rates and customs valuation methods. 

  1. Tariffs

Import tariffs are set based on freight costs in some nations and markets, such as the EU and the United Kingdom. As a result, an increase in freight costs leads to an increase in import duty. Sometimes, additional tariffs are required during customs clearance. Note that allied countries or those with trade agreements will generally have lesser tariffs when importing or exporting. 

  1. Import Taxes

Import duty is a tax levied by a country’s customs authorities on imports and some exports. Import taxes can be paid in two ways. First, you can pay the customs agency directly. Secondly, pay it via your shipping company, which will pay in advance and need payment before the ultimate delivery of the product.

  1. Customs Valuation

Customs require payments for any applicable taxes and duties. If your shipment exceeds the tax threshold, the customs officer will check to see if duty and taxes have been paid. Furthermore, certain LED lights may be subject to fees regardless of their value.

customs valuation


  1. Do I need to pay import duties from China?

Yes, LED light companies that import goods from China will face import duties. China evaluates import duties on the cost of the goods and the destination port. Knowing the cost can help to plan your budget.

  1. What exactly is custom clearance?

Customs clearance is the process of moving goods through customs for them to enter the country. The procedures include creating and submitting documentation required to aid in the export or import of goods into the country. There is also information about shipments with imports and exports within this process. Several parties like Chinese LED light manufacturers and international customers are involved in the process.

  1. How long does it take to clear customs?

Customs clearance usually takes less than 24 hours. It takes about 20 minutes after your customs broker has made your customs entry and sent the data. However, if your paperwork is incomplete, it may take several days for your shipment to clear customs.

  1. Can I handle customs clearance on my own?

Yes. All import duties and taxes must be paid in advance, either when selecting your cross-border shipping service or separately. Before you can self-clear, you must wait for the goods to arrive at the warehouse. But, some goods, especially LED lights, are required to clear by agents for a small fee.

importing led lights from china 1


Shipping across borders requires a few additional steps. That is why finding competent, reliable, trustworthy, and affordable LED light manufacturers in China is vital. They will assist in an easier and faster customs clearance process. You must also understand what to consider when buying LED lights from China.

We have been the leading expert in the LED lighting industry for over 20 years. Our clients are delighted with our extensive shipping experience, which helped save much money on damage-related expenses in the long run.

If you are looking for an experienced LED lights China supplier, get in touch with us today.

Contact US

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No.111,Baiyun Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou City, Guangdong, China.

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