Importing holiday decorations from China to the EU

Even though people in China generally do not celebrate Western holidays such as Christmas or Easter, more than 60% of Christmas decorations in the world are produced there. If you want to learn about manufacturing areas, customs rates, and holiday décor trade shows in China, we invite you to read this article which perfectly introduces the topic of importing holiday decorations from China to the EU.

When should I start preparing for holiday decorations import?

Christmas and Easter are some of the most significant traditional holidays in Europe. It can be said that the holiday season begins even a few months before the holiday – this is when the first TV advertising campaigns are launched, and store shelves turn into huge exhibitions of festive goods. Moreover, the streets and homes are often decorated with various shimmery objects.

Competition on the market is fierce, so companies are constantly searching for newer and more interesting holiday decorations which can be easily and cheaply imported to the European Union. Therefore, you should be quicker than your competitors and import early enough. You need to consider such factors as production time and time, possible delays, and unforeseen circumstances. For example, when importing Christmas decorations, the importer should take the first steps already at the beginning of spring to ensure that everything will be ready for the Christmas season.

Where in China are holiday decorations factories?

The city of Yiwu in east China’s Zhejiang province is known as “Christmas Village.” Yiwu is where the world’s supply of Christmas decorations is produced. Orders from all over the world are placed in its factories as early as May.

In addition, as Christmas decorations become more and more popular among the Chinese as well, another large-scale production facility has been established near Yiwu, in Dongyang. Other factories offering holiday decorations are spread almost over the entire China, including Qingdao, Shenzhen, Jinhua, Dongguan, Zhongshan, and Quanzhou.

Importing holiday decorations holiday ecorations production areas

Customs rates on holiday decorations from China

Importers of holiday decorations from China should keep in mind that the final cost of the whole process is known only after adding the customs duty, which is mandatory when importing goods. The customs rate depends on the type of product that enters the EU – for some goods, the duty rate is 0%, while for others, it might be even 12 percent and more.

The TARIC system is of great help for importers to check the applicable customs rates and additional requirements, such as documents necessary for customs clearance.

Below we present some of the customs rates for importing holiday decorations from China to the EU:

Product name – Customs rate – HS Code

  • Articles for Christmas festivities of glass (like Christmas baubles) – 0% – 9505 10 10 00
  • Articles for Christmas festivities of other materials – 2.7% – 9505 10 90 00
  • Festive, carnival, or other entertainment articles, including conjuring tricks and novelty jokes (other than Christmas articles) – 2.7% – 9505 90 00 00
  • Fresh Christmas trees – 2.5% – 0604 20 20 00
  • Fresh conifer branches – 2.5% – 0604 20 40 00
  • Kitchenware containing polyamide or melamine consigned from China or Hong Kong – 6.5% – 3924 10 00 11
  • Statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles of common pottery – 3.5%
    • hand-made: 6913 90 10 10
    • other: 6913 90 10 90
  • Lighting sets of a kind used for Christmas trees – 3.7% – 9405 30 00 00
  • Artificial flowers, foliage, and fruit and parts thereof; articles made of artificial flowers, foliage, or fruit – 4.7%
    • of plastics: 6702 10 00 00
    • of other materials: 6702 90 00 00
  • Candles, tapers, and the like – 0% – 3406 00 00 00
  • Basketwork, wickerwork of bamboo – 3.7%
    • from plaiting materials, hand-made: 4602 11 00 10
    • other: 4602 11 00 90
  • Basketwork, wickerwork of rattan – 3.7%
    • from plaiting materials, hand-made: 4602 12 00 10
    • other: 4602 12 00 90

Apart from customs fees, you must also remember to pay VAT in the destination country.

Importer’s obligations in the EU and necessary documents

Before importing goods, you need an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number essential for customs clearance.

Below we present the necessary import documents:

  1. Commercial Invoice issued by the exporter in English
  2. Packing List containing a specification of transported goods
  3. Freight Bill (Bill of Lading, B/L for sea freight and Air Waybill AWB for air freight)
  4. Certificate of Origin (for some products, such as textiles)
  5. Certificates required for some products in the European Union, e.g., the CE Certificate
  6. Other documents obligatory in specific cases

When importing a given product, you should always check if it requires any complementary certificates or licenses. For example, lighting decorations (such as Christmas tree lights) must have a (CE) Declaration of Conformity. Artificial flowers and similar products should be certified as fire-resistant. Ceramic products such as mugs or bowls must bear a “food safe” marking.

Food safe mark

If you are new to importing, hire a customs agent who will take care of all the paperwork.

Holiday decorations trade shows in China

Trade shows are an ideal opportunity to get familiar with upcoming trends, obtain information about manufacturers and their offers, and establish business contacts. Below, we present a list of popular trade shows in China. Some of them might take place online due to the world situation.

CACFair (Weaving + Home Decor)

The fair will exhibit holiday decorations, festival decorations, accessories, home décor, etc.

Mega Show – Asian Festive, Christmas & Seasonal Show

This Hong Kong trade show is dedicated primarily to the importers of Christmas accessories such as Christmas trees, home décor, lighting, gift wrapping accessories.

China (Chengdu) Gifts & Houseware Fair

Manufacturers from the home décor industry will display their products at the fair. Visitors can purchase articles such as home decorations, ceramic products, gifts, and various packaging products.

Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair

Although the show’s name suggests the children’s products industry, you can also find articles related to various holidays, e.g., lighting occasional decorations.

China (Shenzen) International Gift and Home Products Fair

A variety of gifts, souvenirs, and home articles are exhibited at China (Shenzen) International Gift and Home Products Fair.

China (Guzhen) International Lighting Fair

This trade show exhibits various lighting decorations and more.

Importing holiday decorations from China to the EU – summary

Importing holiday decorations from China is a profitable business. As discussed above, customs duty rates reach only up to a few or a dozen percent, so the customs fees should not be exceptionally high. Related trade shows are held several times a year.

Importers planning to source goods from China should pay special attention to the required and additional documents needed for customs clearance (including different certificates applicable to certain goods), as well as to customs rates to avoid unexpected costs. Most importantly, they have to choose a reliable supplier.