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Sourcing From China to India: 2023 Updated Guidelines

Aug 16.2023

The e-commerce industry in India has been on the rise for several years and is growing rapidly. Hence, importing goods from China to India is a great option for businesses.

However, since importing from China to India is a very lengthy and potentially complicated process, certain regulations need to be followed. So let us understand "How to Import Products from China to India".


Table of Contents


1. Identify the Imported Goods

What products are you planning to import from China to India?

Importing can be easy, however, it is difficult to determine what kind of goods to import from China to India. Many of our clients already have their category or product in mind before they start importing from China to India, and for those who haven't, you can do it in a number of ways:

  • Travel to China and do the basics yourself
  • Research products online
  • Attend trade shows and exhibitions

You can also get your own unique products made by Best Chinese Factory. Pro tip: Anything that can be easily sold through an existing network is an ideal place to start. The first product will be the hardest to identify, and once you gain hands-on experience, it will have to be easier to fine-tune your selection.


2. Compliance with Regulatory Rules

The first procedure for importing from China to India is dealing with the regulations that allow you to start. Such requirements include licenses or permits.

1. Do business registration

The legal entity status of your company. For businesses engaged in import and export business, it is very important that their registration status is always valid.

If your company is registered with any of these, it can import and export goods.

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Limited liability partnership
  • Partnership
  • Private Enterprise
  • Single person company


2. Apply for tax registration

The second step in sourcing from China to India is to complete your business registration with the Indian Income Tax Department.

You need to have a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), which is a unique identifier assigned to account holders by the government.

You will also apply a Value Added Tax (VAT)/Central Sales Tax (CST) number. This is important because it is not only for imports from China, but you will also need this number to sell anything significant in India.

Some states may even require you to post some security deposits to ensure your business is operating according to regulations.


3. Apply for IEC code registration

After receiving your GST Ordinance, you can apply for a license to import or export goods at the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade.

Licenses will be received as IEC codes. You must have a current account with any Indian bank in India to apply for the code.

Below is a list of documents that you will be required to provide when applying for an IEC code:

  • banker certificate
  • Bank Statement
  • Identity documents and proof of address of all directors
  • Company PAN card


IEC registration requirements

Importing from China to India requires several qualifications and documents in order to register an import and export code. Let's take a look at them:

Two recent passport photos of the applicant: This requirement applies when the applicant is an individual rather than a corporate entity.

Copy of personal or corporate PAN card: The Income Tax Department issues a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card and any Indian citizen can apply for one online. PAN costs only Rs. Rs. 93 for domestic correspondence and Rs. 864 for foreign correspondence, excluding goods and services charges. Documents can be obtained within 48 hours.

Valid Government-Issued Identification: Valid identification is required when applying to the IEC to limit cases of fraud. The proof of identity accepted by DGFT is Driving License, Voter ID Card, Aadhar Card or International Passport.

Copies of canceled checks or checking bank account verification for individuals or businesses: According to FEMA regulations, this is a step in limiting foreign exchange fraud. A copy of the current bank account can easily be obtained from the bank account upon request.

Proof of Residence or Place of Business: To apply for the IEC, you will need to verify your personal residence or place of business address. Some documents and even bills can be used to do this. These are copies of lease agreements, sales or lease deeds and utility bills (electricity, telephone landline and mobile postpaid bills).

Application letter: An application letter on company letterhead with the subject "Request for Issue of New IEC Certification".

Return envelope: Return envelope for delivery of IEC certificates by registered post and RS.25 stamp for delivery of IEC certificates by registered post.


A step-by-step guide on how to obtain an IEC number

The Ministry of Commerce, through the Director General of Foreign Trade, now allows online submission, processing and publication of IEC applications. Several service providers have also found a place in the IEC registry, and they charge their customers in India.

However, the process of obtaining an IEC is now easier than ever as potential importers and exporters can apply for an IEC number from the convenience of their home or workplace.

Let's go step by step.

Step 1. Visit the official DGFT page (dgft.gov.in): The page is compatible with most browsers; all you need is a device connected to the Internet.

Step 2. On the home page, click on "Apply for IEC" at the bottom of the section titled "Register your IEC": After clicking the "Apply for IEC" icon, a new page will load.

Step 3. Fill out your Know Your Customer (KYC) information and pass the ReCaptcha test: This page requires information about the type of business you are applying for (importer/exporter, technical authorities, bank officials...) and other individuals Details. A PAN number and password are also required. At the bottom of the page, there is a "Send OTP" option. Click it to submit your form and generate a one-time password (OTP).

Step 4. Enter the generated OTP in the text box provided: This will automatically direct you to the online application page to fill in the entity details.

Step 5. Complete application entity details including branch details and director/partner details: These require you to provide more specific information about your business and business partners and directors.

Step 6. Upload scanned copies of the required documents: The required documents have been listed earlier, all you need to do now is select the file type (PDF or JPEG) and click the "Upload" icon.

Step 7. Fee Payment: You can continue to pay the IEC registration fee for RS. Pay 500 with debit and credit cards or via online banking.

Step 8. Preview and print the application: Preview the application to make sure there are no errors, and you can also print it for further review or for commercial purposes. After thoroughly verifying your application information, click "Continue."

Step 9. Submit the application: Submit and generate an IEC certificate. Processing and publication of IEC codes takes 10-15 days. However, if your application is not accepted, the DGFT office will notify you by mail within 2 days with the corresponding reasons for the refusal.

Now that your registration process is complete, we will now discuss how to find suppliers to import from China. We recommend you to contact a reputed Chinese sourcing agency company such as CooloSourcing.


3. Find Suppliers in China

There is no magic formula for finding manufacturers in China. There is a way to do this, but it's not an easy and straightforward way.

Following the right process will most likely take you from "no supplier" to "right supplier". It's best if you do your homework, provide the right information, and collect the right data at the same time.

Generally, there are mainly the following channels to find Chinese manufacturers to import from China to India:

Find a B2B website

You can find Chinese manufacturers on most Chinese online sites.


Free Online Catalog

There are still many excellent Chinese manufacturers that do not appear on the B2B website. These fine manufacturers have a great reputation for manufacturing, it's a pity they don't know how to promote marketing effectively.

A great place to find a manufacturer for your brand is the free online supplier directory. These directories act as manufacturers directories with profiles of hundreds or thousands of manufacturers, wholesalers and suppliers. Below, we list some of the most popular online directories with domestic and foreign suppliers:


Online Shopping from China to India

But as far as I know, there are few Chinese websites that are banned in India, such as Alibaba and Aliexpress, which are considered to be the two most popular websites in India when shopping from China. There are some websites that you can personally use to order some products that are not available in India. Here are some sites:

There are several more online shopping sites available from China to India, but I think these 5 are enough to explore most Chinese products and get your favourites. Just want to suggest that before visiting the above 5 sites try to know if the product is available in the Indian market as the above 5 sites are cross border shopping sites and the shipping cost can be 10 times the local shipping and customs charges cost comparison will also be included .


Visit local trade shows in your area

There are still many excellent Chinese wholesalers that do not appear on the B2B website. These fine manufacturers have a great reputation for manufacturing, it's a pity they don't know how to promote marketing effectively. So, how to quickly find a factory in China?

Trade shows are great places to meet and network with people in your industry. Talk to them about their journey as a beginner and learn. They will give you great advice that you can apply to grow your business. You can learn more about money management and how to run your business.

In China, there is even a fairly large-scale tire procurement exhibition every year. Buyers should consider their priorities and make purchasing decisions accordingly.

Tradeshow Location Period Products
Automechanika Shanghai November Automotive
CIFF Guangzhou March/April Home/office Furniture
CIPS Guangzhou/Shanghai November Pet products
HKTDC Lighting Fair Hong-Kong April Lighting products
Canton Fair Guangzhou Oct/April Depending on each phase; 3 phases
Global Fair Guangzhou Oct/April Depending on each specific show: Lighting, Electronic, Textile and Gifts
HKTDC Hong-Kong Oct/April Depending on each specific show: Home, Electronic, Textile and Gifts
ECF Shanghai March All kinds of consumer goods

Visit China Wholesale Market

If you have a specific commodity supplier in mind, just check the list below and head to a city or two in China to find the manufacturer you want to work with.

Wholesale Product Categories China Wholesale Markets
Bags 1. Baoding Baigou Bags & Cases Trading Market
2. Guihua Gang Leather Bags Market
3. Yiwu International Trade City, District 2
4. Nantai Suitcases & Bags Wholesale Market
Bridal Clothes 1. Huqiu Bridal City
Commodity 1. Yiwu International Trade City
2. Wuai Small Commodity wholesale market
Ceramics 1. Shiwan Shagang Ceramics Wholesale Market
2. Jingdezhen Ceramics Market
Clothes 1. Hangzhou evergreen clothing market
2. Guangzhou Shahe Clothing Market
3. Hangpai Boutique Costume Market
4. Xinhangpai Leisure Fushicheng
5. Guangzhou Baima clothing market
6. Guangzhou Thirteen Hongs of Canton
7. Huangyuan Clothing Market
8. Baohua Baima Costume Wholesale City
Electronic 1. Huaqiang Bei Electronic World
2. Yiwu International Trade City, District 2
Furniture 1. Yiwu Furniture Market
Glasses 1. China Danyang Glasses City
2. Duqiao Zhejiang Glasses City
3. Yiwu International Trade City, District 3
Hardware 1. China Technology Hardware City
2. Shanghai Hardware City
3. Yiwu International Trade City, District 2
4. Yiwu Material Market
Jewelry 1. Shuibei International Jewellery Exchange Center
Leather 1. Haining China Leather City
Down Leather 1. Gaoyou Down Feather Economic Development Zone
Machinery & Accessories 1. Linyi Car & Motorcycle Fittings Town
2. Yiwu International Production Material Market
Shoes 1. Guangzhou Metropolis Shoes City
2. Yiwu International Trade City, District 4
Silk 1. Hangzhou Chinese Silk City
2. Eastern Silk Market China
3. China Textile Town
Socks 1. Datang Stocking Industry Market
2. Yiwu International Trade City, District 4
Stationery 1. Guangzhou Chaoyang stationery market
Toys 1. Wanling plaza
2. Shantou Chenghai Plastic City
3. Linyi Yongxing International Toy Profession Wholesale City
4. Jiuzhou Stationery Toy Wholesale Market
Textile 1. China Textile Town

Also, the general concern of most people is the quality of imports from China to India. In fact, Chinese manufacturers can provide high-quality products as long as you find a trustworthy wholesaler with reasonable quality control.


4. Calculate the landed Cost of Your Shipment

So far, you will have completed the selection of products, freight forwarders and suppliers. Add in the cost of the product, shipping and duties, and you have the cost of landing. If the result is higher than your wish or expectation, you can look for any other supplier or freight forwarder to reduce the cost.



Pay import duty from China to India

Anticipate delays so that you can arrange appropriate measures in advance, as many unforeseen delays can occur, such as exceptional:

Customs checks (which always happen), delays on the supplier's side, and even in recent cases, shipping or flight closures due to any natural or national emergency, etc.

Once everything is sorted out, make sure you remain compliant at all stages and file taxes and returns on time to continue your import/export business.

If you want to avoid these complicated customs clearance and tax declaration process, you can choose to ship from China to India by DDP sea freight service.


5. Confirm the Order and Deliver the Goods

Once the costing has been determined and you are happy to place an order, you need to make sure to scrutinize every detail regarding product specifications and quality requirements. The advice also lets manufacturers know that, if applicable, they will only accept shipments if they pass an inspection or testing laboratory. Make sure all the details are written in the contract that the supplier should sign for you. After the goods are ready, you can hire a special shipping company to check the quality and quantity before shipment. Whether you ship by air or sea, they can get your goods where they need to go. Pro tip: If your cargo is lost or damaged at some point during its import from China to India, cargo insurance is very cheap compared to the cost involved and saves you trouble.


6. Customs Clearance and Delivery to Your Warehouse

Once the goods arrive at the port of India, customs clearance procedures for imported goods:

  • Entry Form - Declaration
  • Evaluate
  • EDI evaluation
  • cargo inspection
  • Greenway facility
  • pay taxes
  • Amendment of Entry Form (if required)


7. Ready to Start an Online Business?

If you are a beginner or a start-up company, then I suggest you choose a professional Chinese sourcing agency company, we recommend CooloSourcing, he can bring you a lot of convenience.

In short, they manage everything you need to do your job. This includes:

  • Purchase products
  • compare manufacturers
  • Negotiate price and quantity
  • Provide accurate product quotations
  • Arranging contracts and purchasing with manufacturers
  • QC
  • Shipping, port charges and insurance
  • Customs clearance at your doorstep

Their services are designed to eliminate any risks throughout the import process.

If you need to source from China but are not familiar with the process, Contact them now and they will reply within 24 hours.

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