Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
Last updated on 06/24/2015
If you have any questions about the following information, please contact Linda Martinich at the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel at 202-482-4058 or click here for e-mail access.
**The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the proper authorities before embarking on any export activities.**
Import Tariffs - China
|Import tariff rates are divided into six categories: general rates, most-favored-nation rates, agreement rates, preferential rates, tariff rate quota rates and provisional rates. As a member of the WTO, imports from the United States are assessed at the most-favored-nation rate. The five Special Economic Zones, open cities, and foreign trade zones within cities offer preferential duty reductions or exemptions. Companies doing business in these areas should consult the relevant regulations. Duties are assessed on the c.i.f. (cost, insurance, freight value) of the imported goods.|
China: tariffs (percent ad valorem) on Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
* Tariff on carded or combed wool fiber is 38%.
Tariff Rate Range (%)
6 - 9
5 - 6 * **
5 - 6 **
|-other vegetable fiber|
5 - 6
6 - 14
|-other vegetable fiber|
10 - 12
10 - 18
10 - 12
|Non Woven Fabric|
8 - 14
14 - 25
|Home Furnishings |
including: bed, bath, kitchen linens, etc.
7 - 17.5
10 - 16
10 - 24
10 - 20
** Tariff rate quotas (TRQs) allow for imports of cotton and wool in limited quantities at reduced duties, ranging from 1 percent to 9 percent. Imports exceeding set quota levels are assessed at a much higher rate of duty.
For more detailed tariff information, see CUSTOMS Info, which offers free access to Global Tariff information for users of Export.Gov. Also, see the WTO Current Situation of Schedules of Members on the World Trade Organization website.
Tariff Rate Quota (TRQs)--China maintains TRQs for imports of raw cotton and wool fiber, and certain other Ag products. Under the TRQ system, China places quantitative restrictions on the amount of these commodities that can enter at a low “in quota” tariff rate. Any imports over that quantity are charged a prohibitively high duty.
TRQs for the next calendar year are allocated to users no later than December 31 of the current year and are valid throughout the next calendar year. Applications must be submitted to entities with the authorization of either The Ministry of Commerce - MOFCOM (for wool and wool tops), or the National Development and Reform Commission - NDRC (for cotton). MOFCOM and NDRC, through the authorized entities, allocate import tariff-rate quotas to applicants.
Additional Import Taxes and Fees--Most imported and domestic goods are subject to a VAT, which is applied on the c.i.f. plus duty value. China’s application of the VAT, which ranges between 13 percent and 17 percent, depending on the product, continues to be uneven. Also, a consumption tax of 2 – 3 percent (varies according to provincial) is applied on the c.i.f. value.
VAT Rebate Program--China retains an active VAT rebate program for exports. On December 31, 2014, the MOF and SAT jointly issued a notice (Cai Shui  No. 150) regarding adjustments to the VAT export tax rebates. The attachment to the notice lists a tax rebate rate of 17% for most textile and apparel products.
Samples/Temporary Entry--Tariff exemptions apply to advertising materials and samples of no commercial value. Goods imported in China for display or demonstration at trade shows and exhibitions are exempt from Customs duty, provided they are re-exported within three months. The time for re-export may be extended with Customs approval. The exhibition organizer must obtain advance approval from Customs, provide certain shipping documents and a list of items to be exhibited, and coordinate with Customs officials. Customs may sometimes request a guarantee in the form of a deposit or letter. China is a member of the ATA Carnet system.
Business firms seeking to bring in exhibits and items for display should consult with customs authorities or the show organizers for regulation on the procedures and to obtain copies of appropriate forms.
ATA Carnet--An ATA Carnet or "Merchandise Passport" is a document that facilitates the temporary importation of products into foreign countries by eliminating tariffs and other import taxes or charges normally required at the time of importation. For more information or to apply for an ATA Carnet, see the United States Council for International Business website.
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Import Documentation/Procedures (China)
|Import Licenses--Details of commodities subject to import licensing are published annually by the MOFCOM in the Catalogue of Goods Subject to Import Licence Administration and the Catalogue of Goods Subject to Automatic Import Licensing Administration. Licences are not transferable. No fees, charges, deposits or advance payments are required for the issuance of licences. |
For more information on local customs rules and regulations:
China General Administration of Customs
Also see China's Laws, Standards, and Customs Regulations on the Export.gov website.
For more detailed information on China's Harmonized Tariff Schedule and comprehensive information on Chinese Customs regulations, see the "Customs Import and Export Tariff of the People's Republic of China" complied by the China's Customs Administration's Import and Export Tariff Regulation division. The most recent bilingual publications include Harmonized Schedule coding, customs control conditions and regulations, export drawback regulations, and customs duties. It is available in book form and on CD-ROM from:
Economic Science Press (Jingji Kexue Chubanshe)
Tel: 86-10-8599-7162 or 86-10-8599-7935
A comprehensive guide to China‘s customs regulations, the Customs Clearance Handbook (2012), compiled by the General Administration of Customs, contains the tariff schedule and national customs rules and regulations, and can be purchased at bookshops in China, or be ordered from the China Customs Press Online Bookstore.
|For information on common export documents, such as transportation documents, export compliance documents, certificates of origin, certificates for shipments of specific goods, temporary shipment documents, and other export-related documents, see the Export.gov webpage on Common Export Documents. |
For more information on import procedures and documentation requirements, see the Country Commercial Guides (CCG) in the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library (enter your country of interest in the "country" field, and enter "Country Commercial Guide (CCG)" in the "Report Type" field. Some market research reports are available only to U.S. companies and U.S. students/researchers that are registered with Export.gov.
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Import Restrictions (China)
|The "Catalogue of Commodities Which are Restricted or Prohibited from Importing for Use in the Processing Trade" identifies the following "prohibited commodities": used garments; used publications with licentious content; radioactive or harmful industrial waste; junk cars, used automobiles or components; seeds, seedlings, fertilizers, feed, additives, or antibiotics used in the cultivation or breeding of any export commodity. The catalogue lists seven general types of "restricted commodities": raw materials for plastics, polyester sections, raw materials for chemical fibers, cotton, cotton yarn, cotton cloth, and some steel products. |
This list has been updated yearly since 1999, with the last one published in 2010: Ministry of Commerce, General Administration of Customs Announcement No. 63 of 2010 be added to the processing trade ban catalog merchandise. However, these reports only show updates and do not reflect the final list. U.S. firms should contact the China General Administration of Customs for guidance regarding the import of any of these products. ”
For additional information on import restrictions, see China's Laws, Standards, and Customs Regulations on the Export.gov website.
|U.S. Export Restrictions:|
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, and international narcotics traffickers and their agents in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. The OFAC website includes summaries of sanctions programs for various countries and the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDNs) list of entities and individuals with whom U.S. persons may not conduct business and whose property must be blocked if under the control of a U.S. person.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of most commercial items. BIS maintains the Denied Persons List, which consists of individuals, and companies that have been denied export and re-export privileges by BIS, and the Entity List, which consists of foreign end users who pose an unacceptable risk of diverting U.S. exports and the technology they contain to alternate destinations for the development of weapons of mass destruction
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Standards - China
|Textile, apparel and footwear products put up for sale in China are subject to certain quality and safety requirements, identified as mandatory national (GB) standards. |
Textile and apparel products must comply with GB 18401-2010 “National General Safety Technical Code for Textile Products”, which includes apparel, decorative and home textiles. GB 18401 contains the principal requirements, test methods, and test rules according to product classification (i.e., baby clothing and products, textiles that have direct contact with skin, and textiles that do not have direct contact with skin). Mandatory tests under GB 18401 include:
• formaldehyde content
• pH value
• color fastness to water, perspiration (acid & alkaline), rubbing
• color fastness to saliva on baby products
• determination of odor
• azo dyes
There are a number of other textile/apparel/footwear product-specific standards, in which compliance is mandatory:
• GB 5296.4-2012: Labeling of "instructions for use" for textile & apparel products
• GB 8965.1-2009: Flame-retardant protective clothing requirements
• GB 18383-2007: General technical requirements for products with filling materials
• GB 20400-2006: Restriction on hazardous substances in leather and fur
• GB 21550-2008: Restriction on hazardous substances in artificial leather of polyvinyl chloride-PVC
(e.g., formaldehyde and azo dyes)
• GB 25038-2010: Health and safety specification for rubber footwear
• GB 25036-2010: Children's canvas and rubber footwear requirements
In addition to the mandatory standards, the correct and appropriate recommended (or voluntary) standards should also be applied. Recommended standards are indicated by a "T" added after the code (e.g., GB/T). Although these standards are recommended, once declared, they are considered as mandatory under Chinese law.
Professional (industry) standards apply when no national GB standard exists. Professional standards are sector-specific technical or quality requirements. For example, the code “FZ” is used for textile sector standards and the code “QB” for light industry, which includes leather, fur and feather products.
In China, there are hundreds of specific standards for different types of apparel and footwear. The standards cover all production requirements, ranging from inspection, workmanship production guidelines and testing requirements for product performance. There are also quality grades for each product standard: qualified grade; first grade; and high-class grade.
Examples of some recommended standards include:
• GB/T 2664: Men's suits and coats
• GB/T 2665: Women's suits and coats
• GB/T 2666: Trousers
• GB/T 2660: Shirts and blouses
• GB/T 14272: Down garments
• FZ/T 81003: Children's clothing and students' wear
• FZ/T 81004: Skirts and skirted suits
• FZ/T 81006: Jeanswear
• FZ/T 81007: Casualwear
• FZ/T 81008: Jackets
You can search for various national GB standards on China’s Standardization Administration (SAC) website. Search by entering the product standard number or title. Or, try entering a general product name (e.g., shoes) for the title to get a list of relevant standards. Compulsory GB standards are provided for free by the SAC in Chinese.
Standards are also available at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) eStandards Store, which allows users to browse and purchase Chinese National GB Standards.
In addition to national standards and professional standards there also may be local standards (often referred to as “provincial standards”), and/or enterprise standards. There is no centralized directory to search for or purchase these standards. Companies can to consult with their importer or distributor, or with the relevant Chinese trade association to identify which standards are necessary for a given product, and to obtain copies of these standards.
Many Chinese regulatory agencies also issue technical regulations for products in the Chinese market. Companies can consult with their importer or distributor, with the relevant Chinese trade association, or with their test lab or certification body to identify relevant technical regulations, and to obtain copies of these requirements. U.S. companies also may submit an inquiry to the U.S. WTO TBT Inquiry Point.
Products without a Qualified Certificate and proper PASS test reports in meeting the requirements of mandatory national GB standards and specified professional standards, or with an unsatisfactory test results, may be rejected by China customs authorities. In general, with the exception of certain safety equipment and home furnishing textiles, there are no certification requirements for textile and apparel products imported for sale in China.
For general information on standards in China see the Export.gov China's Laws, Standards, and Customs Regulations website.
Local standards organization and other resources:
Standardization Administration of China - SAC
General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine - AQSIQ
China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment – CNAS
China National Certification and Accreditation Administration - CNCA
China Quality Certification
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Labeling - China
Textile and apparel products put up for sale in China must be labeled, as required by GB 5296.4-2012 “Instruction for Use of Products of Consumer Interest: Part 4 - Textiles and Apparel”. According to GB 5296.4, information as listed below must be provided to the consumer via a label in simplified Chinese.
The following information must be included on a permanent label (i.e., must be legible throughout the product's life).
The following information may be included on detachable hangtag
- Product type and size designation – (apparel sizes in accordance with GB/T 1335.1 - 1335.3)
- Fiber content – in accordance with GB/T 29862-2013 “Textiles-Identification of Fiber Content”
- Care Instruction/Washing methods - care symbols specified in standard GB/T 8685 (see SGS information sheets available in English and in Chinese)
It is also important to note that in many instances the Chinese importer will affix the label after importation.
The agency that mandates the labeling issues is AQSIQ (the State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine).
See further details on China’s labeling requirements in the publication "The Technical Guide for Exporting Goods – North American Textile and Clothing: The third chapter of the North American textile labeling requirements and their similarities and differences" on the Ministry of Commerce website.
- Name and address of the manufacturer – in the case of imports, the registered name and address in China of the agent or importer or dealer, and the country of origin
- Product name - according to the national or industrial standards whenever possible
- Product standard code - relevant national, industry or enterprise standards for which the product was tested
- Product quality classification - based on requirements of relevant product standard
- Product quality certificate - product quality certificate for each product (selling unit) manufactured in the domestic market
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Market Information - China
See the Export.gov China Business Information Center website --find market information that describes opportunities in China for international sales, explore government resources that can help your company do business in China, learn about opportunities in China's Emerging Markets, learn to protect your IPR in China, take an assessment to determine if you are ready to do business in China, or learn about Suspicious Chinese Business Practices.
Government Procurement-- See Global Procurement Opportunities for U.S. exporters.
See China's Ministry of Finance Government Procurement website for information.
Direct sales to the Chinese military are possible. However, restrictions on this type of business exist both in the United States and China. U.S. manufacturers should contact the Department of Commerce‘s Bureau of Industry and Security (202-482-4811) and the U.S. State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls (202-663-2980) for guidance before selling goods or technology to the Chinese military.
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