Importing glass from China to the EU

The modern glass industry in China started in the 1920s. In the 1950s, the country produced only 1.7% of the glass in the world; now, China is the leader in glass production. During the energy crisis in Europe that led to reduced glass production capacity, importing glass from China to the EU sped up. In this article, we present the most important information on glass imports from China, including duty on glass and product requirements.

Importing glass from China to the EU

Where is glass in China produced?

There are many production areas in China that specialize in manufacturing specific products. Pujiang, located near Yiwu in Zhejiang province, is known for its crystal glass. Shijiabang in Jiangsu province is the model city for glass mold production. Qixian in Shanxi province manufactures glassware, mostly kitchenware.

Many glass manufacturers in China are in the following regions:

  • Shandong (Qingdao, Jinan)
  • Guangdong (Shenzhen, Foshan; Guangzhou is known for high-quality laminated glass)
  • Shanghai
  • Hebei (Qinhuangdao is the cradle of the glass industry in China)
  • Jiangsu (Suzhou, Changzhou)
  • Zhejiang (Hangzhou, Wenzhou).
Importing glass from China to the EU glass manufacturers

Customs duties on glass from China

Glass import cost depends not only on the price of products but also on the Value Added Tax and customs duties. VAT is different depending on the EU country, but duty rates on glass items are the same in the EU customs territory. Duty rates and other information required for imports are available in the integrated Tariff of the European Communities, TARIC.

How much is the duty on glass from China?

Check the duty on glass items from China below:

  • Non-wired glass, having a non-reflecting layer (7005 10 05 00) – 3%
  • Finished glass inners for vacuum flasks or for other vacuum vessels (7020 00 08 00) – 6%
  • Enameled and toughened (tempered) safety glass of size and shape suitable for incorporation in vehicles, aircraft, spacecraft or vessels (7007 19 10 00) – 3%
  • Cut and mechanically polished imitation precious or semi-precious stones, glass beads (7018 10 51 00) – 0%
  • Drinking glasses (7013 33 19 00) – 11%
  • Laboratory, hygienic or pharmaceutical glassware (7017 90 00 00) – 3%
  • Glasses for corrective spectacles (7015 10 00 00) – 3%
  • Glass-ceramic products, e.g. vases (7013 10 00 00) – 11%
  • Stemware drinking glasses, other than of glass ceramics of lead crystal (7013 22 90 00) – 11%
  • Glass containers for pharmaceutical products, of a nominal capacity not exceeding 0,055 l (7010 90 79 00) – 5%
  • Preserving jars, sterilizing jars (7010 90 10 00) – 5%
  • Bottles of colorless glass, of a nominal capacity of more than 0,33 l but less than 1 l (7010 90 43 00) – 5%
  • Other glassware of lead crystal (7013 91 10 00) – 11%.

Importing glass from China – certification, requirements, and importers’ duties

First, if you import to the EU, you must have an EORI number.

Glass has many uses. Depending on the intended use of the glass product, compliance with various regulations is required.

  • Many products placed on the EU market are subject to the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC.
  • Glassware import – glass items intended for contact with food (dishes, bottles, jars) must meet the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004. Glassware which purpose is obvious does not have to bear the Wine Glass and Fork Mark.
  • Auto glass import – regulations regarding the approval of safety glazing materials and their installation in vehicles (Regulation No 43) and Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 of the European Parliament and of the Council are in force.
  • Eyeglass import – sunglasses and prescription glasses are CE-marked. The international standard for spectacle lenses is ISO 14889 (welcome, but not mandatory).
  • Construction glass import – glass used in construction has to be Construction Products Regulation-compliant. It has to bear the CE mark (declaration of performance is needed).

Importance of glass packaging

Since glass is very fragile, it has to be handled with care. It is very important to get cargo insurance for consignments containing glass products. Moreover, we advise having quality checks conducted during the loading process. Only in this way can you be assured that the glass items are loaded in perfect condition. Remember to have the packages marked with a “fragile” sign.

Shipping glass symbols
Fragile sign

Glass trade shows in China

Visiting a trade fair is a great opportunity to research market trends and competitors. By engaging with suppliers, you can grow your guanxi network. Read our post on negotiating with Chinese business partners beforehand.

Below we have prepared a list of fairs for glass importers.

China International Glass Exhibition

Venue: Canton Fair Complex

Official website: chinaglasstecexpo.com

China International Glass Exhibition is a tradeshow that attracts 40,000 visitors. The scope of fair trade is:

  • Glass products: automotive glass, architectural and decorative glass, industrial glass, electronic glass, art glass, new energy glass, special glass, energy-saving glass doors and windows, ware glass, glass accessories, etc.
  • Glass equipment and materials: glass production technology and equipment, glass production lines, glass deep processing machinery, glass cutting tools and glass abrasives, instrumentation and testing device, raw materials, refractory and various auxiliary materials, etc.

Canton Fair (China Import and Export Fair)

Venue: Canton Fair Complex

Official website: cantonfair.org.cn

China Import and Export Fair is the longest-running and biggest fair in China. It takes place biannually, in autumn and spring, and is divided into three phases (on-site editions). Glass items are showcased during the second and third phases.

Glass China

Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre

Official website: chinaglass-expo.com

China International Glass Industrial Technical Exhibition (China glass exhibition) is an internationally renowned and professional exhibition that showcases materials, machinery, and products in the glass industry. There are seven pavilions accommodating 900 exhibitors.

Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair

Venue: Hong Kong – Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Official website: hktdc.com/event/hkgiftspremiumfair

Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair is one of the biggest in Asia outside mainland China. The fair is all about gifts and stationery products. Decoration items, light fixtures, kitchenware, and more are showcased.

Glass trade shows in China

Importing glassware from China to the EU – to sum up

  • According to forecasts, the European glass industry will face a crisis, so import numbers will go up.
  • Glass production in China is concentrated on the east coast of the country.
  • The duty on glass from China ranges from zero to several percent.
  • Glass is subject to various regulations and markings, e.g. Wine Glass and Fork Mark and CE mark.
  • Verify your Chinese suppliers before you decide to source products from them.