Moving to China


Delivery timescales

Prohibited and restricted items

Every country has its own rules and regulations surrounding prohibited and restricted items. It’s important to be aware of these prior to the move to avoid any delays.

We have further information should you require it – please get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.


Moving to the Far East can be a long and arduous process with many different factors to consider and plan. Here are some of the most important things to remember when moving to China.

One of the largest economies in the world, China is a manufacturing hive, shipping goods worldwide. Major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are fast-paced centres for business and house the headquarters of some of the largest financial organisations in the world. However, being also one of the oldest cultures in the world, there are still many traditional villages and farming hotspots where the locals live in much the same way as they have for thousands of years.

If you are planning on living and working in China for a considerable amount of time you will need to apply for a visa – this will allow you to stay in the country for as long as needed. The easiest ways to obtain a visa for studying or working in China is through a recognised place of education or securing employment with an organisation that has a large presence in the country.

If you wish to drive once in China you will need to apply for a Chinese driving licence which can only be obtained from the police. It is also possible to import cars into China, however only cars built for driving on the right hand side of the road (where the driver’s seat is on the left) are permitted on the roads.

There are also a number of restrictions to be aware of when shipping personal effects into China due to its strict regulations and policies. It is illegal or ill-advised to try and import the following items into China; Firearms & ammunition, plants & plant material, food items or other perishable goods, narcotics, alcohol, tobacco, offensive or explicit material.

It can take between 7-11 weeks for a shipment to reach China and all shipments that include appliances, furniture, bedding and other items will accrue a duty fee. In addition, all items must be itemised with their make, model and serial number listed. Video tapes, DVDs and CDs will also be held for additional checks before they are allowed into the country.

Before the shipper is allowed to import their effects into the country, they must first obtain a Chinese Residency card and then apply for an import permit for the items. This must all be accomplished within 6 months of the issue of the permit and there may also be additional documentation required such as Baggage Declaration forms which are obtained from customs.

Our trained experts can help you with everything from packing advice to obtaining the right documentation for importing your goods into China. For help or advice, simply get in touch.E: enquiries@squab.co.uk T: 0845 4680 160

Don’t forget to take a look at our handy checklist as a guide to help with organising your move. There’s additional space for you to add your own notes, as every move is different.


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