How to import from China

China is, today, one of the largest supplier markets in the world. A relevant share of Brazilian importing companies has in the Asian country their hub for supplying the necessary inputs for the performance of their regular activities.

However, foreign trade and all its particularities make many importers afraid to make their international purchases in this very important market. In today’s text we will unveil the secrets behind importing from China with practical tips that will contribute to the success of your international expansion in the Chinese giant.

Trade partnership between Brazil and China

China is now Brazil’s biggest economic partner: the main destination for Brazilian exports and the main source of imports made in the country.

Brazil imported US$87.696 billion from China in 2021. This value represented 31.28% of the entire volume of imports carried out in the country during the mentioned period.

First steps to import from China

International trading operations involve a relevant volume of legal, logistical, and economic details to be observed, so before starting any international purchase it is important to have prior preparation and a well-structured plan so that there are no surprises along the way.

RADAR Registration 

Any company that carries out foreign trade operations in Brazil uses the SISCOMEX Portal to register and declare all aspects related to imports.

To access such portal, your company must be enabled with the Brazilian Federal Revenue’s RADAR system.

This qualification is essential to carry out your formal import, so pay close attention to this step.

A foreign trade advisory company and even some accounting offices carry out this type of qualification at a cost ranging between R$500.00 and R$2,000.00, depending on the total amount your company expects to import.

Tax classification

To get a real sense of the tax costs and licenses required in your operation, it is important to know which tax classification fits the product you want to import.

In Brazil, tax classification follows an international standard valid in the MERCOSUR, economic bloc of which Brazil is a member.

Each product that passes through Brazilian customs has a specific MCN (MERCOSUR Common Nomenclature) that defines all fiscal, tax, and administrative information to be observed in accordance with its legal basis.

As we are talking about an import operation from China, although there is a very large variety of items that are imported from this destination, if a prior tax analysis is carried out it is possible to easily find the appropriate MCN for the desired product.

Choosing Chinese suppliers

Knowing well the product you want to import, prospecting for suppliers is more efficient. To find the right Chinese supplier every detail matter, however, given the large flow of international business handled there, Chinese companies are used to being approached daily for consultations and evaluation of new suppliers.

Some important tips when finding Chinese suppliers:

  • Use virtual international business platforms where suppliers are registered and use to trade daily such as WeChat, Alibaba, TinyDeal, Dealextreme.
  • If possible, search data from Brazilian companies that already export from these suppliers and check the imported volumes, which is important to understand the supplier’s credibility level.
  • Ask for product samples for better analysis.
  • Face the prospection of suppliers as the beginning of a possible lasting business relationship, this avoids mismatching expectations and guarantees better conditions in future transactions.

International Trading

Once you know the ideal supplier for your product, the negotiation phase begins, where values, volumes, payment terms, and risk responsibilities are discussed. It is important that you study the Incoterms®2020, which are the international trading terms by which the responsibilities of each party involved in the transaction are determined.

Know that, in many cases, a bad negotiation about the division of responsibilities can make the necessary services to bring your cargo from China to Brazil more expensive than the amount paid for the product itself.

Always seek to opt for Incoterms®2020 in which the responsibilities for customs clearance, international freight, and insurance are well divided. If you don’t feel safe at first, choose terms in which the Chinese exporter undertakes to deliver the product and every other release, even if they charge more for it.

International logistics

China has the largest port complex in the world and the airport with the largest cargo flow as well, so the logistics necessary for the success of your import demand a lot of attention and experience.

If your company is responsible for contracting international freight, prefer a company specialized in international freight to carry out all the necessary intermediation between the exporter, logistics operator, terminals, and carriers involved in the entire operation.

International freight normally represents 30% of all costs involved in an import, so dedicate all possible attention to this topic.

Customs releases and other licenses

A critical point for the success of the importation is the clearance process with the Brazilian Customs. Aware of which MCN is most suitable for the item you want to import, now it is necessary to hire a customs broker who will provide all the customs documentary clearance before the Federal Revenue.

In addition to the clearance procedures, it is necessary to make sure whether the product you are importing demands extraordinary inspection by a Brazilian agency.

For example, products of animal or plant origin are inspected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAPA), and products from chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries are inspected by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).

Ask your customs broker about the licenses your company needs to be able to import this product and provide everything necessary to avoid having your cargo detained in a place controlled by the Brazilian Government.

The most important tip when importing is certainly to count on the help of those who know about this type of business. Avoid worries and count on our team to make your import from China a real success!