China is the biggest exporter of consumer electronics. The United Kingdom is one of the top importers of such devices. For example, computers, telephones, etc., are top-valued product categories imported from China to the UK. In this article, we share essential information on importing consumer electronics to the UK from China.
Importing consumer electronics to the UK
Top tips on sourcing consumer electronics from China
Over time, consumer electronics became more affordable for consumers. The life span of such products and new releases with more functions boost sales. If you import consumer electronics from China, you might find our tips valuable:
- We recommend verifying your chosen supplier before agreeing to cooperate. You can receive a credit report in 48 hours. Our expert opinion will make it easier for you to make the decision.
- Regardless of how much the supplier seems reliable, sign a cooperation agreement valid under Chinese law. You can rely on it if something goes wrong with the order.
- How to make sure that everything goes well in the factory? The measures you can take are conducting onsite audits and quality controls. QCs can be performed after the production kicks off, post production, and during container loading.
Verify if your product is compliant with regulations in the target market. If you fail to do it, your product can be recalled, and you can be fined. That will set you back a lot compared to quality control and due diligence costs.
Where are consumer electronics produced in China?
Most Chinese manufacturers of consumer electronics are based in Guangdong Province. Biggest manufacturing bases by consumer electronics type in Guangdong:
- audio & sets: Guangzhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Dongguan
- display & accessories: Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Dongguan
- earphones, headphones & accessories: Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou
- TV & parts: Shenzhen, Guangzhou
- video: Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Dongguan
- house appliances: Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Shenzhen.
What is the UK tariff duty on consumer electronics from China?
UK tariffs on consumer electronics from China
- 8450111100 – Household washing machines up to 6 kg of load – 2%
- 8471300000 – Tablets, laptops, computers – 0%
- 8471606000 – Keyboards – 0%
- 8508110000 – Vacuum cleaners up to 20 l – 2%
- 8517130000 – Smartphones – 0%
- 8521900020 – Digital video recorders – 0%
- 8526920090 – Radio remote control apparatus – 0%
- 8528724000 – Television with an LCD screen – 14%.
Electronic product regulations in the United Kingdom
The UK is no longer a part of the European Union. Therefore, it has introduced its policies on product compliance:
- Your supplier must provide you with a UK Declaration of Conformity.
- The UKCA mark is similar to the CE in the EU. Consumer electronics for sale in the UK must bear the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking. The CE is accepted for products introduced before 31 December 2024.
- UK regulations (but not limited to) in place regarding electronic devices:
- Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016
- Radio Equipment Regulations 2017
- The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012
- The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information Regulations 2021
- Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001.
- Provide an instruction manual and technical data.
The use of harmonized standards is voluntary. Examples of EN standards for a TV with an LED screen:
- EN 301 489-1 V1.9.2
- EN 300 328 V2.2.2
- EN 300 440 V2.1.1
- EN 55032:2015+A11:2020
- EN 55035:2017+A11:2020
- EN 62368-1:2014
- EN 62311:2008
- EN 303340 V1.1.2
- EN 303372-2 V1.1.1.
Trade shows in China
If you plan to import, do not miss out on the potential of attending trade fairs in your industry. During such events, you can connect with exhibitors and companies that can help your business to flourish. You can learn about your competitors, market trends, and more. Business relationships forged face-to-face are stronger than the ones established via online channels.
Take a look at events in China where you can meet exhibitors displaying consumer electronics:
China Electronics Fair (CEF)
- Venue: Shanghai, Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)
- Website: shanghai.icef.com.cn/en
Appliance & Electronics World Expo
- Venue: Shanghai, National Exhibition and Convention Center
- Website: m.awe.com.cn/en
China Yiwu Hardware and Electrical Expo
- Venue: Yiwu, Yiwu International Expo Center
- Website: en.hardwareexpo.cn
Beijing Consumer Electronics Expo
- Venue: Beijing, China National Convention Centre (CNCC)
- Website: 3eexpo.cn/CE
China Electronics Fair West Show
- Location: Chengdu, Chengdu Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Centre (CCNICEC)
- Website: chengdu.icef.com.cn/en
- Venue: Guangzhou, Canton Fair Complex
- Website: cantonfair.org.cn
Consumer Electronics China (CE China)
- Venue: Guangzhou, Poly World Trade Center
- Website: b2b.ifa-berlin.com/en
Importing consumer electronics to the UK – to sum up
- The biggest consumer electronics manufacturing base in China is Guangdong Province.
- Duty rates in the UK on electronic devices from China range from 0% to 14%.
- Affix the UKCA mark on consumer electronics for sale in the UK.
- Do due diligence check. Verify product quality and compliance by carrying out quality checks.