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Simple Guidelines for Customs Clearance Procedures for Incoming and Outgoing Passengers
From: Shenzhen Customs
Updated: 2018-11-30

For the purposes of facilitating passengers to handle customs clearance procedures and improving customs clearance efficiency, Shenzhen Customs develops simple guidelines for customs clearance procedures according to applicable laws and regulations and abstracts some important provisions of these laws and regulations as follows:

I. Flow chart of customs clearance

Health and quarantine-->Passenger declaration-->Accepting inspection-->Handling procedures-->Leaving the site

II. Health quarantine

The customs shall monitor, check, and control infectious diseases on incoming and outgoing passengers, and monitor, check, and dispose of nuclear and harmful biochemical factors on incoming and outgoing passengers, the luggage, and articles.

(i) Passengers shall voluntarily accept infectious disease screening measures, such as temperature monitoring and medical inspection by the customs and cooperate on the investigation and handling of infectious diseases as required by the customs.

(ii) Incoming and outgoing passengers shall present valid certificates of vaccination against infectious diseases, health certificates or other relevant certificates as required by the customs.

(iii) Passengers shall cooperate on the monitoring and investigation of nuclear radiation and harmful biochemical factors. During customs inspection, passengers shall voluntarily present entry-exit travel documents and identity documents, provide certificates, and cooperate on the inspection and disposal.

III. Passenger declaration

(i) The owners of inward and outward articles shall truthfully declare such articles to the customs and accept customs inspection.

Declaration means a written declaration of the actual luggage and articles carried into and out of the territory by incoming and outgoing passengers to the customs by law for the performance of statutory obligations. Any declaration made by any other means or at any other time and place shall not be deemed as a declaration by the customs. Incoming and outgoing passengers shall go through customs clearance by the declaration channel/declaration desk and submit declaration documents to the customs, truthfully declaring the luggage and articles carried into or out of the territory. Individuals who transport, carry or mail goods and articles into or out of the territory without declaring to the customs by law or falsify declaration shall bear legal responsibilities.

(ii) Passengers carrying the following inward and outward articles shall declare to the customs.

Inward articles:

1. Articles that are obtained overseas by resident passengers for personal use and are worth over 5,000 yuan (included, same below);

2. Articles that are to be left in China by non-resident passengers and are worth over 2,000 yuan;

3. More than 1,500 ml of alcoholic beverages (with the alcohol content of above 12 degrees) or more than 400 cigarettes or more than 100 cigars or more than 500 g of cut tobacco;

4. RMB cash of over 20,000 yuan or foreign currency cash equivalent to over US$ 5000;

5. Animals, plants and products thereof;

6. Microorganisms, biological products, human tissues, blood, and products thereof;

7. Unaccompanied luggage, goods, samples, and advertising products;

8. Skeleton;

9. Other articles that need to be declared to the customs.

Outward articles:

1. Cultural relics, endangered animals and plants and products thereof, biological species resources, gold, silver, and other precious metals;

2. Cameras, video cameras, laptop computers, and other articles that need to be brought into the territory again by resident passengers for personal use and cost more than 5,000 yuan;

3. RMB cash of over 20,000 yuan or foreign currency cash equivalent to over US$ 5000;

4. Microorganisms, biological products, human tissues, blood, and products thereof;

5. Skeleton;

6. Goods, samples, and advertising products;

7. Other articles that need to be declared to the customs.

(iii) Incoming and outgoing passengers shall abide by the laws and regulations of China, and shall voluntarily declare health conditions to the customs and be subject to quarantine inspection in any of the following cases.

1. Passengers suffer from serious mental illness, infectious tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases;

2. Passengers have a headache, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, dyspnea, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle pain, arthralgia, and other symptoms;

3. Passengers come from or pass by countries or regions where infectious diseases take place as set out in the announcement of the customs;

4. Chinese people who have lived abroad for more than one year shall declare health conditions when entering China;

5. Other circumstances that subject to health declaration as required by the customs.

When taking a plane, ship or vehicle, incoming and outgoing passengers shall report the foregoing situation (if any) to the crew members in time. The crew members shall report to the customs and cooperate on quarantine inspection.

Passengers coming from or going to yellow fever epidemic areas shall present a valid certificate of vaccination against the yellow fever to the customs.

IV. Accepting inspection

When passengers go through customs clearance procedures, the luggage will be irradiated by X-ray luggage inspection machine. When the customs inspects the luggage and articles, passengers shall voluntarily present entry-exit travel documents and identity documents, move articles, and unpack and repackage the articles.

(i) The luggage and articles carried into and out of customs territory by individuals shall be limited to a reasonable amount for personal use and shall be subject to customs supervision.

(ii) "20 kinds of commodities" are not subject to tax reduction or exemption.

Television sets, video cameras, video recorders, video players, audio equipment, air conditioners, refrigerators (freezers), washing machines, cameras, copiers, program-controlled telephone exchanges, microcomputers and peripherals, telephones, radio paging systems, fax machines, electronic counters, typewriters and word processors, furniture, lamps and cooking materials.

(iii) Standards for the inspection and release of luggage and articles carried by incoming passengers

1. Articles that are obtained overseas by resident passengers for personal use and are worth less than 5,000 yuan (included) and articles that are to be left in China by non-resident passengers for personal use and are worth less than 2,000 yuan (included) shall be released free of duty. Single articles shall be limited to a reasonable amount for personal use, but tobacco products, alcohol products, and 20 kinds of commodities subject to taxation as stipulated by the state shall be handled separately in accordance with applicable provisions.

2. For articles worth over 5,000 yuan that are carried by resident passengers for personal use as verified by the customs and articles worth over 2,000 yuan that are to be left in China by non-resident passengers for personal use, the customs will levy taxes on the excess part of articles for personal use and will levy taxes on the full amount of indivisible single articles.

(iv) For passengers who travel to and from Hong Kong and Macao for several times in a short time, the customs shall release necessary articles for the journey only ("several times in a short time" means entry or exit for more than once within 15 days).

1. The limit for foreign currency cash carried by passengers entering or exiting the territory for several times in a short time is equivalent to no more than US$ 1,000. The limit for foreign currency cash carried out by passengers entering or exiting the territory for several times the same day (more than once the same day) is equivalent to no more than US$ 500.

2. Passengers traveling to and from Hong Kong and Macao for several times the same day or in a short time may bring in up to 40 cigarettes (two packs, once a day only) or 5 cigars or 40g of cut tobacco free of duty and cannot bring in alcohol free of duty.

(v) The customs shall not release the following articles:

1. Not for personal use;

2. Out of the reasonable quantity range;

3. Beyond the varieties, specifications, quantity limit, and value limits of articles prescribed by the customs;

4. Failing to go through the customs formalities;

5. Failing to pay taxes according to regulations;

6. Other articles that cannot be released according to regulations.

(vi) Articles beyond the limits of personal use and reasonable quantity shall be deemed as goods.

V. Prohibited and restricted articles

(i) Articles prohibited from entry and exit

Articles prohibited from entry:

1. Weapons, simulation weapons, ammunition, and explosives;

2. Forged currency and forged securities;

3. Prints, films, photographs, records, movies, audio tapes, video tapes, laser discs, computer storage media, and other articles harmful to China's politics, economy, culture and morals;

4. Potent poisons;

5. Opium, morphine, heroin, marijuana, and other addictive drugs and psychotropic substances;

6. Animals, plants and products thereof with dangerous germs, pests, and other harmful organisms;

7. Food, medicine or other articles that are harmful to the health of human and livestock, come from epidemic areas, or may spread diseases;

8. Animals and animal products:

Live animals (except dogs and cats), including all mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects and other invertebrates, and animals genetic materials.

(Raw or cooked) meat (including visceral) and its products; aquatic animal products.

Animal-derived milk and milk products, including raw milk, fresh milk, yogurt, animal-derived cream, butter, cheese, and other dairy products.

Eggs and egg products, including fresh eggs, preserved eggs, salted eggs, egg liquid, eggshells, mayonnaise, and other egg-derived products.

Cubilose (except canned cubilose).

Fat and grease, hide and skin, hairs, hooves, bones, horns, and products thereof.

Animal-derived feedstuffs (including meat powder, bone meal, fish meal, whey powder, blood meal, and other single feedstuff), animal-derived Chinese medicinal materials, and animal-derived fertilizers.

9. Plants and plant products:

Fresh fruits ,vegetables.

Tobacco leaves (excluding cut tobacco).

Seeds (seedlings), nursery stocks, and other propagating plant materials.

Organic cultivation medium.

10. Other articles subject to quarantine

microbial strains, viruses strains and other animal and plant pathogens, pests and other harmful organisms, cells, organs and tissues, blood and blood products, and other biological materials.

Animal carcasses, animal specimens, and animal-derived wastes.

Soil.

Genetically modified biological materials.

Other animals, plants, and their products, and other quarantine subjects prohibited from entering China.

11. One person is allowed to carry only one dog or cat with animal quarantine certificate and vaccination certificate issued by the competent authorities of the exporting country or region.

Articles prohibited from exit:

1. Articles listed in the items 1-7 above as prohibited from entry;

2. Manuscripts, prints, films, photographs, records, movies, audio tapes, video tapes, laser discs, computer storage media, and other articles that contain national secrets;

3. Precious cultural relics and other literary forms prohibited from exit;

4. Endangered and rare animals and plants (inclusive of specimens) and their seeds and breeding materials.

(ii) Articles restricted from entry and exit

Articles restricted from entry:

1. Radio transceivers and communication security machines;

2. Tobacco and alcohol;

3. Endangered and rare animals and plants (inclusive of specimens) and their seeds and breeding materials.

4. National currency;

5. Microorganisms, biological products, human tissues, blood, and products thereof;

6. Other articles restricted from entry by the customs.

Articles restricted from exit:

1. Precious metals, such as gold and silver, and products thereof;

2. National currency;

3. Foreign currency and securities;

4. Radio transceivers and communication security machines;

5. Precious traditional Chinese medicine;

6. General cultural relics;

7. Microorganisms, biological products, human tissues, blood, and products thereof;

8. Other articles restricted from exit by the customs.

(iii) Inward and outward special articles used by individuals to prevent or treat diseases, such as biological products, blood, and blood products.

1. Special articles for personal use with the total quantity of no more than a course of treatment as specified in the prescription or instructions may be exempted from health quarantine approval. Passengers carrying special articles into or out of the territory shall voluntarily present relevant hospital certificates and the prescription or instructions to the customs.

2. For special articles not for personal use with the total quantity of more than a course of treatment as specified in the prescription or instructions, the passengers shall apply for health quarantine approval in advance and obtain the Health Quarantine Approval Form for Inward/Outward Special Articles. With the approval form, such articles shall be released when entering or exiting the territory.

VI. Other tips

(i) Matters not covered in the guidelines shall be subject to applicable laws and regulations.

(ii) Mobile phones, cameras, video cameras, and video equipment shall not be used in the customs control area at entry and exit ports.

(iii) If you have any objection to any administrative act of the customs, you may apply for administrative reconsideration by law; if you refuse to accept the reconsideration decision, you may file a lawsuit to the court.

(Note: The text above is a translation of the Chinese version for reference only. In case of any discrepancy between the two versions, the original published Chinese version shall prevail.)