Import customs procedures for machinery from China

China has long been known as the “world’s factory” supplying a diverse range of goods from household items, fashion to advanced, modern machinery and equipment at competitive prices. The demand for importing machinery from China to Vietnam is increasing, opening up opportunities for Vietnamese businesses. 

However, customs procedures for importing machinery from China can deter many businesses due to their complexity and complications. The article below will help you gain a more overall view of the conditions, fees, taxes as well as import customs procedures for machinery from China.

Common Types of Machinery Imported from China  

China is one of the important and diverse sources of machinery supply in the world. Machinery products from China meet various consumer needs. Below are some commonly imported types of machinery from China: 

  • Agricultural machinery: Serving modern, efficient agricultural production such as harvesters, tractors, grass choppers, water pumps, seed drills, rice huskers, etc. 
  • Construction machinery: Helping to accelerate construction progress such as concrete mixers, excavators, cranes, etc. 
  • Electronic machinery: Meeting diverse needs such as generators, drills, welding machines, etc. 
  • Transportation machinery: Optimizing transportation processes such as forklifts, conveyors, roller conveyors, etc. 
  • Production lines: Enhancing production efficiency such as automated and semi-automated production lines for all scales. 
  • Electronic and refrigeration equipment: Improving quality of life such as air conditioners, coolers, air handling units, ice makers, refrigerators, freezers, etc. 

Imported machinery from China is divided into two main groups: 100% new and used machinery. 100% new goods have the advantage of guaranteed quality but at a higher price and are classified with separate HS codes. Meanwhile, used machinery is cheaper but needs to be thoroughly inspected for quality before import, and is also subject to separate HS codes. 

Conditions for Importing Machinery from China 

According to current regulations, 100% new machinery and equipment from China that are not on the list of prohibited exports or imports can be imported normally. 
However, for certain types of machinery and equipment on the specialized management list of ministries, you need to carry out quality inspection procedures during import. 
To determine whether the imported machinery is on the specialized management list or not, you need to look up the following documents: 

  • Ministry of Information and Communications: Decision 2261/QD-BTTTT dated 28/12/2018. 
  • Ministry of Science and Technology: Decision 3482/QD-BKHCN dated 08/12/2017. 
  • Ministry of Public Security: Circular 08/2019/TT-BCA dated 26/03/2019. 
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development: Circular 14/2018/TT-BNNPTNT dated 29/10/2018. 
  • Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs: Circular 22/2018/TT-BLDTBXH dated 06/12/2018. 
  • Ministry of Transport: Circular 41/2018/TT-BGTVT dated 30/07/2018. 
  • Ministry of Industry and Trade: Consolidated document 13/VBHN-BCT dated 22/02/2018. 

HS Codes and Import Duties for Machinery from China 

HS Codes for Importing Machinery from China 

Accurately determining the HS (Harmonized System) code is an essential step in the export-import customs procedures, providing benefits for the importer. It helps to clearly understand: import customs procedures, applicable policies, import duty rates for each type of goods, and accurate classification of specific machinery groups and types. This allows for accurate duty calculation, proper preparation of customs dossiers and related documents. 

Due to the diversity of machinery groups and types, determining the HS code needs to be based on the following factors: 

  • Nature: Specific functions and uses of the machinery. 
  • Technical specifications: Size, capacity, volume, etc. 
  • Materials: Metal, plastic, electronics, etc. 
  • Degree of completion: Complete machinery or parts/components. 

Accordingly, for machinery and equipment goods, they are currently grouped in two chapters: 84 and 85 in the Tariff Schedule. 

  • Chapter 84: Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof. 
  • Chapter 85: Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles. 

Accurately determining the HS code for imported machinery from China plays an important role in completing customs procedures, calculating duties, and complying with legal regulations. Therefore, importers need to carefully look up the Export-Import Tariff Schedule or seek support from experts to ensure accuracy and legality. 

HS codes for importing machinery from China fall under Chapters 84 and 85 of the Export-Import Tariff Schedule.

Import Duties for Machinery from China 

Regarding tax policies for 100% new machinery and equipment imported from China to Vietnam, two types of taxes must be paid: import duty and value-added tax (VAT). 

  • For import duty: This tax rate will be based on the HS code of each specific type of machinery and equipment. The tax rates vary between machinery groups, typically ranging from 0 – 35% depending on Vietnam’s preferential policies. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully look up the current Preferential Export-Import Tariff Schedule to determine the accurate tax rate for each item. 
  • For value-added tax (VAT): 100% new imported machinery and equipment are subject to VAT at a common rate of 10%. The taxable value for VAT calculation includes the import value at the border, plus import duty (if any), and other costs such as transportation and insurance fees. 

Note: Businesses need to prepare all relevant documents such as contracts, invoices, and bills of lading to support accurate tax calculation. Moreover, if the machinery is eligible for tax preferences under free trade agreements (FTAs), the payable tax rate may be lower. In some localities, imported machinery may also be subject to other import taxes such as environmental protection fees. 

Dossier and Customs Procedures for Importing Machinery from China 

Quality Inspection Dossier for Importing 100% New Machinery from China (Goods Subject to Specialized Inspection)

For 100% new machinery and equipment that are on the specialized management list of ministries, businesses need to carry out additional quality inspection registration procedures before importing. 

The quality inspection registration dossier includes: 

  • Sales Contract 
  • Packing List 
  • Commercial Invoice 
  • Bill of Lading (B/L) 
  • Quality certificates 
  • Introductions, descriptions, technical documents as required by inspection standards 
  • Quality inspection registration form 
  • Certified copy of quality certificate, other relevant technical documents 

After preparing the complete quality inspection dossier, you can proceed with normal import customs procedures for 100% new machinery and equipment. 

Customs Dossier and Import Customs Procedures for Machinery 

The process of importing machinery and equipment into Vietnam requires a complete and accurate customs dossier. Preparing this dossier is an important step to ensure that the shipment can be cleared smoothly and quickly. The import customs dossier for machinery and equipment includes: 

  • Import Customs Declaration (NK): Printed from the customs declaration software as prescribed. 
  • Commercial Invoice: Original, issued by the exporting seller, showing complete information about the goods, CIF value, payment terms, etc. 
  • Bill of Lading: Original or copy, indicating information about the vessel, voyage, loading/unloading ports, sender, recipient, goods, etc. 
  • Certificate of Origin: Original (if any) to enjoy import duty preferences. 
  • Packing List: Detailed description of packages, quantities, weights, dimensions, etc. 
  • List and description of ex-factory goods, catalogs (if any). 
  • Quality inspection and conformity results (for goods subject to quality inspection as prescribed). 

After receiving the dossier and customs declaration, the Customs authority will process and check for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with legal regulations. 

Based on the inspection results, the Customs authority will route the customs declaration into one of three channels: 

  • Green Channel: Dossier and goods are legal, can be cleared immediately. 
  • Yellow Channel: Goods cannot be cleared yet, physical dossier inspection is required. 
  • Red Channel: Goods cannot be cleared yet, both dossier and physical inspection of goods are required. 
  • After the shipment is eligible for clearance, you will pay customs fees and related taxes. Finally, you can transfer the goods according to the instructions of the Customs authority. 

Notes on Importing Machinery from China 

Importing machinery from China can bring many benefits to businesses, but also carries potential risks if the proper procedures are not followed. To ensure safety and efficiency, businesses should pay attention to the following points: 

Quality and Technical Standards 

Thoroughly inspecting the quality of machinery is essential. Require suppliers to provide complete documentation proving quality and origin. Self-inspect or hire a reputable company to ensure the machinery meets technical standards in Vietnam. Identify the mandatory quality standards and regulations applicable to the type of imported machinery to avoid violations. 

Customs Value and Import Duties 

Accurately determine the customs value based on the actual purchase price, plus related costs. Consult customs experts to calculate duties most accurately. Look up the correct import duty rates for the HS codes of each type of machinery. 

Customs Procedures 

Prepare a complete customs dossier as prescribed, including contracts, invoices, bills of lading, and import permits (if any). Accurately declare information about the type of goods, quantity, value, and HS codes to avoid errors and shorten clearance times. Use the declaration services of a reputable company to ensure compliance. 

Document Inspection 

Carefully check the accuracy and completeness of relevant documents such as contracts, quality certificates, and invoices. Promptly detect and correct any errors to avoid risks during customs clearance and payment. 

Transportation and Storage 

Select a reputable freight forwarder with experience handling machinery to ensure safety and on-time delivery. Properly store the machinery during transportation and warehousing to prevent damage. 

Machinery Registration and Inspection 

After importing, register the machinery with the relevant authorities as prescribed. For specialized machinery, inspection is required to ensure technical safety before use. 

SSR Logistics – Provider of Import Customs Clearance Services for Machinery from China 

With many years of experience in the logistics industry and a team of professionally trained staff well-versed in laws and regulations on importing machinery, we ensure to provide you with the most professional and accurate services. Moreover, we always strive our best to find the optimal solutions to shorten the time needed for completing customs procedures, helping you save time and costs. SSR Logistics is committed to delivering perfect services to you. 

Full Package of Import Customs Clearance Services for 100% New Machinery from China

Services provided by SSR Logistics: 

  • Consulting on import customs procedures for machinery from China. 
  • Preparing complete and accurate customs dossiers. 
  • Electronic customs declaration. 
  • Resolving issues arising during customs clearance. 
  • Consulting on import duties and related fees. 
  • Freight forwarding services from China to Vietnam. 

Through this article, SSR Logistics hopes that valued customers have gained an overall view of the conditions, procedures, and customs processes involved in importing machinery and equipment from China. For more articles, please visit our Logistics Knowledge section.    

SSR looks forward to becoming your reliable logistics partner, providing optimal solutions for your importing and exporting business. Should you have any question regarding our services, please feel free to contact us for specific advice.   

With our experienced team, extensive network and flexible shipping & customs solutions, SSR Logistics is confident to deliver excellent services to our clients.  

Businesses that need customs and import-export consulting China – Vietnam, please contact SSR Logistics via Hotline (+84) 911 988 484 or leave your information here for specific advice. 

With a modern warehouse system and experienced transportation staff, SSR Logistics provides a variety of additional services such as: customs clearance, warehouse leasing, domestic transportation, international transportation by sea and air, and international express delivery

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