Moving to China

Cadogan Tate ships household goods to all parts of China on a regular basis. The one thing that sets China aside from the majority of major destinations is the extensive customs clearance process. An employee/assignee must have an import permit arranged before shipment takes place. The documents required for this include

  • original passport
  • original work permit (must be valid for one year)
  • original residence permit (must be valid for one year)
  • company customs certificate
  • company business licence
  • company foreign trading association approval certificate

In most cases we recommend that when shipping to China, shipments are packed by our international removals team and returned to our storage depot awaiting approval to ship. This way we can be confident of an accurate inventory that makes your belongings passage through Customs much smoother. Cadogan Tate is a member of FIDI (Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux) and is one of only 500 members of this prestigious organisation and holds the FIDI Accredited International Moving Standard (FAIM).

Cadogan Tate only works with moving companies in China that are also members of FIDI. In conjunction with our appointed agent in China, Cadogan Tate will assist you with the application of the import permit in all the major cities. For some locations, the customer will have to be present at the customs office during the application (this varies for different locations). The import permit for both air and sea shipments must be applied for at the same time to avoid the requirement for two permits, especially as customs reserve the right to levy 100% duties/taxes on the second shipment.

There is quite an extensive list of prohibited / restricted items that cannot be shipped to China, and in particular Shanghai. Your Surveyor will advise you of these during the survey when planning your shipping to China.

Taking a car or motor vehicle

Taking your car to China is not recommended, there are strict restrictions on car imports other than through the manufacturers and main dealers, with very high taxation rates, making it much more economical to buy in China.

How long should you allow for shipping to China?

Cadogan Tate will advise the transit time required for shipping and Customs clearance once the import permit has been arranged. The time and process can vary between locations, making it best to confirm timings at this point. It is also important to note that China has three one-week long holidays where government offices, including Customs, will be closed. These will fall during the Lunar New Year, May and October holidays.

Can you take pets?

Transporting pets is a very specialist area and each requirement is unique and therefore has to be dealt with individually. You can take common household pets such as dogs and cats to China, although requirements differ by region and city. We recommend that you speak with your Surveyor or Move Co-ordinator if you are looking to relocate your pet when moving to China and they will provide you with the relevant information you require.

Your next steps

If you would like a quotation one of our surveyors will arrange a visit to talk you through everything and answer any questions you may have. They will assess your belongings and put together an accurate quotation for moving to China. Once you are happy we will draw up a plan of exactly what is going to happen, organise a convenient moving date and assign you a Move Co-ordinator, who will be there to support you at every stage of your move.

For further information, please email us at, or use the form below to submit your enquiry

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