Author Topic: Customs declarations for consigned parts sent to Chinese PCB assembly shop  (Read 2249 times)

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Offline j_omegaTopic starter

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I am looking for advice from someone who has experience with shipping consigned parts to a Chinese PCB assembly shop.

My experience with Chinese customs is that they will require an invoice to be included with the shipment. However, since these are cosigned parts, I do not have an invoice to document the sale of the components to the PCB manufacturer. What sort of documentation will I need to include to make Chinese customs happy?
 

Offline loki42

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Have you got the invoice for when you bought them?  That's what I would include.
 

Offline j_omegaTopic starter

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Have you got the invoice for when you bought them?  That's what I would include.

I considered doing that. My concern is that I would have to submit a large number of receipts across several years. Many of these receipts include line-items when are not included in the shipment. It seems like this would create more confusion.
 

Offline Kean

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You'd need to discuss with the PCB assembly house to ensure they can import stuff without duty for re-export.  This is one of the benefits of the Shenzhen Free Trade Zone, but has time limits and probably involves a bunch of paperwork.

Also, in my experience the really critical thing is having all the HS Tariff codes documented - else things get stuck in customs for ages.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Have you got the invoice for when you bought them?  That's what I would include.

I considered doing that. My concern is that I would have to submit a large number of receipts across several years. Many of these receipts include line-items when are not included in the shipment. It seems like this would create more confusion.
Aren't you the one that needs the create the invoice for the parts sale? Not include where you bought it.
What you need is an commercial invoice. These may not be very accurate... they are often depreciated... you know, to reduce fees.
 
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Offline Kean

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Aren't you the one that needs the create the invoice for the parts sale? Not include where you bought it.
What you need is an commercial invoice. These may not be very accurate... they are often depreciated... you know, to reduce fees.

Exactly.  My understanding has been that a commercial invoice is prepared by the company sending the goods.  It doesn't matter who the original source was, nor who is paying for or owns them.  In many cases of stuff coming out of China I see the commercial invoice has been prepared by a third party shipper, not the actual seller I dealt with.  In the commercial invoice you need to list all items in the shipment, along with their nominal value, country of origin, and tariff codes.  Maybe RoHS status as well.  You may find those details in the original supplier paperwork, at least if they came from an overseas supplier.

To avoid paying exorbitant fees or duties on import and re-export you need to ensure the importer is registered in a free trade zone (or otherwise has a bonded warehouse) and does the correct paperwork, including submitting electronic versions.  So discuss the process with them - I'm sure they have done it before and seen the common problems.

You also need to ensure you are complying with all legal requirements - such as restrictions on hazardous substances (lithium, asbestos, etc), export agreements (ITAR, EAR, etc), and so on.
 
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Offline jonpaul

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Took years to learn all the traps and issues with customs/freight clearance.
Your shipment can be held indefinitely, or until you pay an extortionate fee/tarriff.
I would advise to Avoid ChiCom entirely.

It s wiser to NOT trust Chinese with your parts nor depend on the ChiCom  to clear your shipment customs.

Use a local assy house if possible

 Jon

Jean-Paul  the Internet Dinosaur
 
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Offline j_omegaTopic starter

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Aren't you the one that needs the create the invoice for the parts sale? Not include where you bought it.
What you need is an commercial invoice. These may not be very accurate... they are often depreciated... you know, to reduce fees.

Exactly.  My understanding has been that a commercial invoice is prepared by the company sending the goods.  It doesn't matter who the original source was, nor who is paying for or owns them.  In many cases of stuff coming out of China I see the commercial invoice has been prepared by a third party shipper, not the actual seller I dealt with.  In the commercial invoice you need to list all items in the shipment, along with their nominal value, country of origin, and tariff codes.  Maybe RoHS status as well.  You may find those details in the original supplier paperwork, at least if they came from an overseas supplier.

To avoid paying exorbitant fees or duties on import and re-export you need to ensure the importer is registered in a free trade zone (or otherwise has a bonded warehouse) and does the correct paperwork, including submitting electronic versions.  So discuss the process with them - I'm sure they have done it before and seen the common problems.

You also need to ensure you are complying with all legal requirements - such as restrictions on hazardous substances (lithium, asbestos, etc), export agreements (ITAR, EAR, etc), and so on.

Thank you. This is the information that I was looking for.
 

Offline onsenwombat

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I'm no exporter/forwarder/purchaser or anything such, so take this for whatever it's worth. Sending components to China is a pain in the arse, and there's always the element of surprise things go sideways. I've done that few times, mind you, with the quite generous assistance of the manufacturing house, and you don't want to go there unless it's your last resort.
Depending on the components, and not just whether it contains hazardous materials, there's import licenses required from the recipient side. The invoice stuff etc. has been covered at least to the degree I can help with.

In short, if the very manufacturer you'd have to build the boards won't assist you, I'd just tell you to forget them and look for another house/country.
 

Offline Kean

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I'm no exporter/forwarder/purchaser or anything such, so take this for whatever it's worth. Sending components to China is a pain in the arse, and there's always the element of surprise things go sideways. I've done that few times, mind you, with the quite generous assistance of the manufacturing house, and you don't want to go there unless it's your last resort.
Depending on the components, and not just whether it contains hazardous materials, there's import licenses required from the recipient side. The invoice stuff etc. has been covered at least to the degree I can help with.

In short, if the very manufacturer you'd have to build the boards won't assist you, I'd just tell you to forget them and look for another house/country.

I 100% agree.  I've only had to do it myself a few times, but I do deal with Chinese CMs and test labs on behalf of clients and there is often delays and paperwork issues with importing stuff into China for assembly/testing.  Thankfully, I usually only have to organise details like part descriptions and tariff codes.
 

Offline j_omegaTopic starter

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Follow up on the original question:

As I originally stated, Chinese customs requested an invoice from the board assembly house. The assembler in-turn reached out to me for the invoice. I very carefully prepared an invoice that included the HS Tariff codes and matched my shipping manifest. After a few days, I was informed that the package was rejected and returned because the invoice did not match the shipping manifest. After more discussion with the assembler, I found that  Chinese customs had valued my ~$600 worth of parts as about $3 and had missed about a dozen line items. I'm not sure what happened, but there wasn't much that I could do about it. The package is theoretically on it's way back. I'm hoping that it still has all of the parts inside, but I am skeptical.
 

Offline Kean

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Wow, that sucks.  I've had queries but never a downright rejection/return.
 

Offline tycz

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j_omega,

I send parts to a Chinese factory several times a year. Here's what I recommend.

Send with a well known international courier (DHL, UPS, Fedex), never use the postal service. You are selling goods to your 'customer' in China - include a commercial invoice. This contains description, country of origin, price, quantity, and HS tariff code. Price can be anything. Quantity doesn't have to match the quantity of goods in the package, but try to not be more than an order of magnitude off. Adjust the price/quantity so the total value ends up being about USD 50/kg. Never include more than five line items. If you have more, just put the first five and leave the rest off the paperwork.

The receiver pays something like 17% tax on the value declared. I usually didn't bother to put HS tariff numbers until about a year ago when the courier/customs changed the recipient some ridiculous extra fees on one shipment. Now I put the code 8542.39 on every item and haven't had any trouble since.   

 


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