Importing electronics from China to the EU

Electronics is one of the most often imported groups of goods from China. The demand for electric and electrical appliances is constantly high, and the duty rates for such products are extremely low. Both these factors mean that importing this type of goods may be a beneficial idea for a business. We present all you need to know about importing electronics from China to the EU. Check the duty rates and importers’ obligations.

Importing electronics from China

Production areas for electronics in China

Looking for a Chinese supplier may seem like a challenging task at first. However, if you want to make it easier, check the production areas for the product beforehand. When it comes to electronics, most of such devices are manufactured in the Guangdong Province. Shenzhen accumulates many companies specialized in their production. In this province, you can also have a look at offers from Dongguan city. Smaller but also significant manufacturing areas for electronics are Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Fujian Provinces. Make sure to check what Shanghai has to offer in this industry.

All the given locations are on the map below.

Production areas for electronics in China

Importing electronics from China to the EU – Duty rates

Before organizing the import, it’s essential to check the duty rates imposed on the chosen goods. The TARIC System contains tariffs for almost every kind of product. The duty rates for articles imported from China to the EU are displayed under the “ERGA OMNES” row. There you’ll also find HS Codes, which are necessary for customs clearance.

All kinds of electronic devices are in the Section XVI “Machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles.” Below we’ve compiled a list of tariffs for some of the electronics:

  • Telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks (8517120000) – 0%
  • Portable automatic data-processing machines, weighing not more than 10kg, consisting of at least a central processing unit, a keyboard and a display (8471300000) – 0%
  • Keyboard (8471606000) – 0%
  • Machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing apparatus (8517620000) – 0%
  • Laptops (8471900000) – 0%
  • Electronic assemblies (8473302000) – 0%
  • Headphones and earphones (8518300090) – 0%
  • Shavers, hair clippers and hair-removing appliances, with self-contained electric motor (8510100000) – 2.2%

As you can see, the customs rates for electronics are particularly low and are often 0%. It means that the import of such devices may be beneficial. However, it’s important to keep in mind that such products must meet obligatory requirements for import to the European Union. Therefore, it’s crucial to get familiar with them first.

Requirements for importing electronics from China to the EU

All electronic and electric devices must have a CE mark. It’s mandatory to import such products to the European Union and sell them on its market. The goods must be tested for compliance with the correct regulations to obtain the marking. The New Approach Directives regulate various products imported into the EU. After testing, you’ll receive a document – test reports, which permits a certification body to issue a CE certificate. These two documents enable a manufacturer to issue a Declaration of Conformity and affix the CE mark to every product.

CE

Which directives are relevant to the electronics?

Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS)

The RoHS Directive’s main premise is to prevent the risks posed to human health and the natural environment caused by electronic and electrical waste management. It regulates the acceptable contents of dangerous substances.

The Low Voltage Directive (LVD)

Some of the devices must comply with the LVD Directive. It applies to electronic equipment operating in the voltage range of 50-1000V alternating current and 75-1500V direct current.

Electronic Compatibility Directive (EMC)

The EMC Directive refers to electronics’ electromagnetic compatibility. It means it applies to every device which contains active electronic and electrical components.

Radio Equipment Directive (RED)

If you’re interested in importing radio equipment, you must get acquainted with the RED Directive. It sets requirements for safety and health, electromagnetic compatibility, and the efficient use of the radio spectrum.

Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE)

The WEEE Directive aims to prevent the creation of waste from electrical and electronic equipment. Its goal is to minimalize such waste’s impact on the natural environment. Based on its regulations, every electric and electronic device must therefore have a WEEE symbol. It means such a product must be delivered to a WEEE collection point. Handing over the waste equipment to a designated collection point for recycling is the user’s responsibility.

ZSEE

Electronics trade fairs in China

There’re two possible ways to find a Chinese supplier. You can either search for them on B2B sites, e.g., Alibaba, Made-in-China, or attend a trade fair in China. While online shopping services allow you to browse offers without the necessity to plan a trip to China, the trade fairs will give you a whole different experience. There you can check the goods’ quality on the spot, talk to suppliers face-to-face and get the answers to your questions immediately. It’s also an excellent opportunity to negotiate.

Check our list of electronics trade fairs in China.

LED CHINA

Localization: Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)

Official website: https://www.ledchina.com/en/  

China Import and Export Fair – Phase 1

Localization: China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair Complex)

Official website: https://www.cantonfair.org.cn/en/

Elexcon

Localization: Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center

Official website: https://www.elexcon.com/  

China Electronics Fair (CEF)

Localization: Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)

Official website: http://shanghai.icef.com.cn/en/  

C-Touch & Display Shenzhen

Localization: Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center

Official website: https://www.quanchu.com.cn/en-gb.html

Electronica China

Localization: Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)

Official website: https://electronica-china.com/en/

Appliance & Electronics World Expo

Localization: National Exhibition and Convention Center

Official website: https://m.awe.com.cn/en/

Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition)

Localization: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Official website: https://event.hktdc.com/fair/hkelectronicsfairae-en/HKTDC-Hong-Kong-Electronics-Fair-Autumn-Edition/

China Yiwu Hardware and Electrical Expo

Localization: Yiwu International Expo Center

Official website: http://en.hardwareexpo.cn/

International Sign & LED Exhibition

Localization: Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center

Official website: https://www.isle.org.cn/?lang=en

Summary

Due to electronics’ low customs rates and the persistent demand for such products, their import may be profitable for you. Electronic devices are China’s leading export group of goods. Therefore, it’s worth checking the Chinese suppliers’ offers. Remember to get familiar with all the applicable regulations before importing any product to the EU. All electronics are obliged to have a CE mark affixed.

Check how to import electronic equipment from China step by step!

Find out what the duty rates for electronics imported into the US are!

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