What is the Import/Export enterprise code of a Chinese company?
What: Chinese companies engaged in importing or exporting goods must hold a variety of certificates and licenses, including the China Import and Export License.
Why: Understanding and ensuring that the Chinese company has the proper import or export license are important steps in your due diligence work, and can help you avoid common missteps when engaging in import or export activities.
Chinese companies exporting products require three different types of documentation. Here’s a quick primer:
The China Foreign Trade Registration Certificate permits a Chinese company to engage in foreign trade.
The China Customs Registration Certificate is required if a company wants to handle its own customs declarations by itself (instead of employing the services of a customs broker).
The Chinese Import/Export License follows and is required for each goods consignments a Chinese company wishes to trade.
China Import/Export Licenses decoded
The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) issues the import or export license and has a classification system that dictates one of the three required licenses: permitted, restricted, or prohibited goods.
Permitted Goods: Goods in this category receive an “automatically licensed” designation, meaning that the MOFCOM grants it on application. It carries six months of validity and can have up to six consignments of goods on it.
Restricted Goods: This category of goods is controlled through license approval or yearly quota and covers second hand mechanical and electrical goods, substances that contribute to ozone layer depletion, various crops and natural raw materials. Companies can exceed the quote but pay a larger tariff.
Prohibited Goods: Dangerous waste products and toxic chemicals fall into this category and are exclusively banned. Chinese companies may never trade these goods.
As with most official Chinese business documents, it’s important to verify the legitimacy and veracity of a company’s import or export license to ensure that it is authorized to trade the goods for which it is responsible. While many small and medium-sized businesses seeking to do business in China can conduct a search and carry out due diligence, that process can prove challenging for the uninitiated. We offer some tips and tricks to get you started in our article Certifying Chinese Documents’ Authenticity.
Additional questions? Nuna Network provides a range of validation, verification, and due diligence products and services that can help you determine the authenticity of a range of the many documents, aspects, and considerations that are a part of establishing a business relationship with a Chinese company.
Want to write for Nuna Network? Apply to create a guest post.