Time Span For Import/Export To China

Time Span For Import/Export To ChinaAnytime you are doing business internationally, it is a rather lengthy process.  The import process time frame varies, but the following is a guideline represents stages of the normal, average time span for import/export to China.

Research And Tender—4 Weeks
This is the first stage of the import/export process.  During this period, there are many actions that need to be taken.

  • You must research, locate, and qualify suitable suppliers for the product you want to import from China.
  • Requests for quotes need to be completed.
  • Research suppliers to find reputable ones you feel fit your needs.
  • Contact the suppliers you think are the best for the product you want imported.
  • After contacting them, you’ll obtain quotes from each supplier.  Evaluate the offers.
  • Narrow down or “shortlist” your suppliers to the few you feel fit your needs best.
  • Then, prepare reports.

Sampling—At Least 3 Weeks
In the import/export trade to China, you will most often be buying from people on the other side of the world that you don’t know.  Anyone can say they make a quality product, but unless you’ve actually seen the product for yourself, you don’t know what the quality will be.  During the sampling phase you:

  • If you have one, send your sample of the way you want the product to be to the supplier
  • Arrange for the factory to make you a sample based on your product specifications.

Purchase Order Negotiations
Negotiation is a huge step. It’s where the commitment is decided. In China, negotiations are totally different from those in the Western world. You should research Chinese customs and know the necessity of building a relationship with them before any agreement is signed. In this step, you must:

  • Set up negotiations with the final supplier. You’ll need to negotiate price, terms, and conditions for your purchase order.
  • If you have a specific brand for your item, you need to arrange this with the manufacturer.
  • After everything else is done, you draft your purchase order. 

Production And Delivery ManagementProduction 4-8 Weeks
Shipping—3 Weeks
Customs—1 Week

You’ve done all the research, taken all the steps to choose a supplier, and negotiated the deal. Now comes the critical steps of production:

  • Place the purchase order. Be sure to do it carefully, and according to your negotiations. Mistakes can be costly.
  • Arrange to pay your supplier according to the terms of your negotiations.
  • Monitor your purchase order progress. Contact your supplier by phone and email on a regular basis to keep control of the production process.
  • Organize for the delivery of your goods. Arrange shipping based on the terms of your contract.
  • Organize all the documentation necessary for customs clearance. Failure to have the necessary forms could cause delays.

Sometimes it may take a while longer, and other times, the process may flow more quickly. The above information is a realistic time guide for you to use when planning to do import/export to China.


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