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China Customs Declaration

Upon Entering China

Each visitor to China is required to complete a customs declaration form and health declaration form; these forms are distributed by the cabin crew during the flight to China. The customs form must be filled out in duplicate and include a listing of items of value you are declaring--i.e., all currencies (including cash and traveler's checks), jewelry, watches, cassette players, radios, cameras, and calculators. Caution: When in doubt about an item, declare it!

If you are traveling with a group, your tour director will collect everyone's forms and present all forms to the customs officer.

The endorsed duplicate copy will be returned to you by your group tour director. You are required to keep the duplicate copy of the customs declaration form until you exit China; at that time, you must again present the form with your declaration of all valuable items.

In theory, all personal possessions declared upon entry into China must be taken out of the country at the end of your trip. Therefore, if an item declared upon entry is lost while in China, check with your Chinese host immediately. Depending upon the value of the item, it may be necessary to file a report with the local police in order for you to clear China customs at the end of your trip. Currently, if you are traveling with a Regent group on a group visa, you will not have to do any of the above.

However, this arrangement may change at any point should the Chinese government change its entry policy.

There are two channels, red and green, in China customs. Take the red one if you have something to declare, otherwise the green one. If you are uncertain which channel you should take, then take the red one.

If you take the red channel the customs officer will check to see whether you have to pay duty, deposit the items at Customs, or allow you to take them into China but take them out on your departure. If you take things such as computers, cameras, video cameras, gold and silver, printed or recorded materials, or anything more than you need during your travel in China, you have to fill in the "Customs Luggage Declaration Form". Similarly, if you are planning to leave any sort of significant item behind, you should also fill out the form.

A copy of the form must be retained by the traveler and be submitted to Customs when leaving the country. All the items declared on the form must be brought out of China or else import duty will be charged on them.

Visitors are allowed to carry into China a limited quantity of duty-free goods including:

2 liters of alcoholic beverages

400 cigarettes

50g (2 ounces) of gold or silver

US$ less than 5,000

Chinese RMB with a total value less than 6000 yuan

Reasonable amount of perfume

1 still camera and reasonable amount of film

Prohibited imports include: fresh fruit, arms, ammunition and explosives, printed matter, films or tapes "detrimental to China", narcotic drugs, animals and plants.

Remember: All the receipts of the valuable articles, such as jewelry, jade, gold and silver ornaments, handicrafts, artifacts, paintings and calligraphy, you bought in China should be kept for the exit check. Antiques are not permitted to leave China without the proper "Certificates for the Export of Cultural Relics" from the Chinese Authorities. 

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