A Comprehensive guide shipping from China to Germany
This guide equips you with all the information you need while shipping goods from China to Germany.
- DFH global logistics is one of the best Shipping Forwarder in the business. Ours is a service that guarantees safety, cost-effectiveness, and timely delivery.
- DFH global logistics provide our clients with several options regarding shipping methods, and we offer them professional advice on the best shipping method and shipping company to handle their cargo.
- At DFH Logistics, we provide our clients with professional advice as to the most cost-effective method, which may either be Sea Freight, Air Freight, or Rail Freight.
- Rail freight is a third option when shipping cargo into Germany from China. Rail is cheaper and slower than air freight but cheaper and faster than by sea to European countries including Germany.
- By train to Europe DDP, delivery time is about 28-35days, stable delivery time and competitive price, DFH has two countries (Germany and the Czech Republic) for customs
clearance, and picked up by Germany UPS to deliver to your door.
- Over 10 years of experience. Professional forwarding service in China. 10+ years of experience.Highlights: Multiple Payment Options Available, Customer Service Available
- Since setting in place an international network of overseas agents and offices, DFH Logistics has become a truly global freight forwarding organization.
- DFH global logistics is able to provide customers worldwide with a full spectrum of comprehensive freight forwarding services for your cargo when shipping from China
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Germany is a highly industrialized country with a thriving manufacturing industry. Every year, goods worth several billions of dollars are produced for both the local and international markets. With that being said, Germany does not produce all that she consumes. To cover up the production shortfall, the importer buys what they need from the international market and ship into the Western European country.
1. Importing from China to Germany
2. Germany Import List from China
3. Germany Import Regulations
4. How to Import From China to Germany?
5. Find a reliable Freight Forwarder
6. How long does shipping from China to Germany take?
7. Shipping Methods
8. Shipping Route from China to Germany
9. Important documentation to take note of when importing items from China into Germany
10. Why Choose DFH Global Logistics?
In this comprehensive shipping guide, we will explain in detail how you can import goods from China into Germany. We will also provide you with relevant information required to complete the shipping process between both countries.
Importing from China to Germany
China and Germany share a very healthy trade relationship. Till date, China remains Germany’s most vital trading partner due to the volume of trade between both countries. In 2018, the trading volume between both countries was valued at €199.3 billion. Germany imports a lot of consumer goods from China, so if you are thinking of engaging in importation of goods, China may be your best bet due to the already established relationship between both countries.
To put things into clear perspective, Germany’s major trading partners for exports are:
- The United States
- United Kingdom
While the major trading partners for import are
- China (number 1 spot)
- The United States
As you can see from the list above, there is already a significant trading relationship between China and Germany, which increases the prospects of importers looking to import different types of goods into Germany.
Despite the available opportunities to import items into Germany, not all items are allowed into the country. Importing prohibited items into Germany will lead to item seizures and destruction. That there are items on the prohibited list does not necessarily mean that the items are bad.
In some cases, these restrictions are placed to protect local German manufacturers that produce similar items. In other extreme cases, items from other countries that may pose a health risk to the general population may also be denied entry into the country.
For the avoidance of doubt, here are some of the items currently on the prohibited list. For a comprehensive list, do consult appropriate websites to find out more.
- Fireworks – Dangerous dogs – Instruments of torture – Media publications that are likely to cause harm to minors and publications that are not constitutional – Cultural assets – Food and Feed for animals, etc
Germany Import List from China
There’s quite a lot you can import into Germany from China. In the table below, we provide you with extra information about some of the most valuable imports currently shipped into the country and their value.
|Electrical/Electronic Equipment||$38.40 billion|
|Machinery, Boilers, Nuclear Reactors||$28.95 billion|
|Apparel (not knitted/crocheted)||$5.13 billion|
|Furniture, Lighting signs, and Prefabricated buildings||$4.68 billion|
|Apparel (Knit/crocheted)||$4.56 billion|
|Optical, Medical, Photo technical equipment||$4.04 billion|
|Toys, Sport Requisites, Games||$3.7 billion|
|Organic Chemicals||$3.2 billion|
The items listed in the table above are the largest imports into Germany from China in terms of value, but there are several other items of value procured from the Chinese market and shipped into Germany. As an importer, you can engage in any of these items on the list or some other items to sell for a healthy profit.
Germany Import Regulations
German imports are regulated by German Customs on behalf of the Central government. Cargo coming into the country through rail lines, airports, and seaports are inspected by Customs officials to ensure that the items are safe and do not fall under the prohibited list. The Customs also ensure the standardization of items to ensure that they meet already laid down quality standards.
Just like with other countries, Germany also has it’s own indigenous HS Codes, which is used to segment imported items. Here are a few examples of German HS Codes and the items they represent.
- Ball/ Roller Bearing – 84723000
- Electrical Apparatus – 85365090
- Plastic Articles – 39269099
- Motor Vehicles Accessories – 87089900
Note: The HS list is extensive, but these items listed along with their HS Codes are to give you a clear idea of what the codes look like and are used for.
There are several costs associated with goods importation, and one of the major costs is the import tax. Import taxes are levied on all items shipped into the country from another country. There are different tax regimes levied on goods coming from outside the EU, which is not the same with goods produced in the EU. In general terms, the German government imposes a 19% turnover tax on imported items, which is the tax percentage imposed on items produced in the country.
There are some exceptions though, with agricultural products attracting a lower tax of 7%, for instance. Before you import any item into Germany, it is important to find out the import duty on the item and factor that into your selling price.
How to Import From China to Germany?
Quite a lot of people engage in import trading, with China being a prime source for items of interest. You may not have been to China or possess the ability to speak the Chinese language, but you can still successfully import items into Germany. In fact, quite a lot of people who do goods importation have never been to Asia before, but they are still able to pull it off.
If you are interested in importing goods from China, then you have come to the right place. In this section, we will provide you with a simple step-by-step process on how to import China. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
Search for Suppliers
The very first thing you need to do is to search for Chinese Suppliers trading in the items you are looking to buy. This can be done with ease over the Internet with just a few clicks. Common websites with an abundance of Chinese suppliers are Alibaba and Made-in-china.com. These websites have the information about any item you can think of alongside various suppliers and their contact addresses, as well as the price at which the item is sold for.
Do a detailed price analysis
After identifying a few reliable suppliers with good ratings on the platforms listed above, the next step is to do a detailed price analysis of the items. Compare the selling price at which the supplier is selling the item and the local price in the German market. This is vital if you want to be able to make a profit at the end of the day.
Consult the Prohibited/Restricted List
The next step is to consult the prohibited and restricted list as the last thing you want is to import an item that may be seized at the border or port. Some items are refused entry into Germany while others may be allowed in, but the importer needs to possess an import license. Understand the difference and avoid importing items under any of the lists.
Plan for Logistics
Planning for logistics is vital in international trade. How are you going to move the cargo? Do you plan to use the Rail lines that deliver cargo at Duisburg, or would you prefer sea freight or airfreight? These different shipping methods have different costs, so you need to factor in their costs and delivery timelines too. If time is of the essence, you may want to use air freight if your cargo is not large. Shipping in large quantities may require you to use sea freight. The Consultants at DFH Global Logistics are in the best position to
- Advise you on an appropriate shipping method and the attendant costs
- Arrange to pick up and drop off on your behalf
- Handle packing and labeling for you
- Handle customs clearance
Identify a reliable financial intermediary
How will you plan to pay for the items and logistics? This has to be arranged as well. The experts at DFH Logistics have been of help to German importers when it comes to executing payments for goods and transportation and will gladly be of help to you.
Determine your selling price
In determining your selling price, you will need to factor in
- Cost of the product
- Import duty
- Current selling Price of the product in Germany
- Logistics and transportation
Having included all of these costs, you may now affix a selling price. If the price you arrive at is the same as the current selling price or below it, you can be sure that you will sell for a profit.
Place the order
At this point, you may now place your order to the supplier that offers you the best quality product at the least price so as to increase your profit margin. If you use an online platform, for instance, ensure that your order is confirmed to complete the process. Also, do well to carefully go through the terms of sale and other conditions before initiating payments.
Find a reliable Freight Forwarder?
Now, look for a reliable freight forwarder that will handle the logistics for you. DFH Global Logistics is one of the best logistics companies in China, facilitating the movement of cargo from Suppliers and manufacturers right to the doorstep of importers. At DFH Global, we provide the following service
- Packing and Labeling of cargo
- Loading and Shipping
We also offer our clients the following shipping arrangements.
This shipping arrangement is essential for large volume importers who buy and ship goods. We arrange 20ft or 40ft containers that can house the items. It doesn’t matter how large your items are, and we have the capacity to ship them safely to your location in Germany safely.
LCL Shipping is for importers that ship in smaller quantities. You don’t have to order a full container to move your items if they are not many. We can arrange your consignment in a single container alongside consignment belonging to other importers. Once the container arrives in Germany, our agents will separate them and deliver yours to you without loss.
Port to Port
Port to port shipping involves delivering your cargo to the Sea or airport un China and delivering the said item to a German seaport of your choice for you to take delivery.
Port to Door
We also specialize in delivering items from the port of destination directly to your doorstep.
Door to Port
This service involves picking up your item from your home and facilitating the customs and logistics process for shipping. Once the cargo arrives at the port of destination, you will then be responsible for handling logistics and other customs formalities.
Door to Door
At DFH Logistics, we also provide shippers with door to door services. Under this service arrangement, we pick up the items from the location of the exporter/seller and ship directly to your location. We handle all Customs and Logistics every step of the way.
How long does shipping from China to Germany take?
The timeframe required for cargo delivery to Germany depends on the mode of transport used. In the table below, we show delivery timeframes for different transport options.
Port to Port
Door to Door
|Sea Freight FCL||25-38 days||41-45 days|
|Sea Freight LCL||28-41 days||42-47 days|
|Air Freight||5-8 days||6-13 days|
Sea Freight shipping from China to Germany is by far the most popular shipping method used by importers, especially for the movement of large-volume cargo. Sea freight shipping is also the cheapest shipping method. Sea vessels have the capacity to carry large cargo across long distances, thereby reducing transport costs per unit.
Main Seaports in China
China is home to several seaports. Here are some of the notable ones through which cargo is exported and imported into the country.
- Port of Dalian
- Port of Guangzhou
- Port of Hong Kong
- Port of Ningbo-zhoushan
- Port of Qingdao
- Port of Shanghai
- Port of Shenzhen
- Port of Tianjin
Main Sea Ports in Germany
China Shipping Companies
There is also an abundance of shipping companies whose carriers transport cargo from Chinese ports to German ports. Two notable shippers with strong shipping connections with Germany and the rest of Europe are
- Cosco Shipping Lines
- Cscl Shipping Lines
Container Shipping Cost Calculator
To make an estimate of how much a container shipping service will cost you, there are two options you can utilize. The first option is to contact a freight forwarder to provide you with an estimate. DFH Logistics can help you in this regard. The second option is to make use of an online container shipping cost calculator. The containers used to transport cargo aboard sea-going vessels are in 20ft and 40ft dimensions.
Shipping Route from China to Germany
Ships transporting cargo from China to Germany, in most cases, take the Atlantic route. In this case, the vessels kick start the journey from the South China Sea and sails through the Indian Ocean past the Cape of Good Hope at the extreme southern tip of Africa. From there, the ship sails up North through the Atlantic Ocean to Western Europe, where Germany is located.
Another route midway through the journey is for the ships to sail all the way to the Suez Canal, pass through the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Europe to connect Germany in the Northwest.
Air Freight Shipping from China to Germany
Another shipping option is to ship your items by air. Air shipping is a lot faster than sea freight, albeit at a much higher cost.
Main Airports in China
- Hong Kong
Main Airports in Germany
- Berlin Tegel
- Berlin Schonefeld
Air Shipping route from China to Germany
Planes flying cargo use the Western route from Far East Asia and all the way through the Middle East and South-Eastern Europe into Western Europe.
Air Shipping time
Shipping from a Chinese airport to a German airport will take between 5-8 days. For door to door shipping via air, it will take 8-13 days.
Air shipping rates from China to Germany
|Shipping to Berlin||$982|
|Shipping to Frankfurt||$1,246|
|Shipping to Paderborn||$1,401|
|Shipping to Ludenscheid||$1,250|
Express Shipping from China to Germany
Express shipping is also done over the air but with a much greater emphasis on delivery times. If you want your items delivered to you in a short time, you can use a courier service. Here are the courier service companies currently operating to and from both countries.
- Express shipping takes about 1-4 days for items to be delivered to your doorstep. As for the shipping rates, this is hugely dependent on the shipping season, as well as the weight of your item. Rates are charged based on item size and weight.
Rail Freight from China to Germany
Rail freight is a third option when shipping cargo into Germany from China. It is much cheaper than air freight but not as fast. If you are shipping goods in large quantities, but you want them delivered faster than sea shipping, you can opt for rail shipping.
Rail Shipping route from China to Germany
The Chongqing-Xinjiang- Europe rail line is the metro passageway for trains commuting between Asia and Europe. Trains coming from China commence the journey from the Southwestern city of Chongqing and pass through the Dzungaruan Gate into Kazakh and then through several countries which include Russia, Belarus, and Poland all the way to Duisburg, Germany.
Rail Shipping time
Rail shipping is not as fast as Air Shipping but is faster than Sea freight. Your cargo can be delivered to you between 14-18 days, depending on the route taken by the train carrying your cargo.
Other Shipping options
Some other shipping options are
- Door to Door Shipping: Door to door shipping from China to Germany is very common, especially for parcel delivery. The Courier service companies listed in the previous paragraph can deliver your items to your exact location of choice.
- Amazon FOB Shipping: Importers can also take advantage of Amazon’s global shipping networks to ship their items into Germany. To utilize this option, you first need to register as an Amazon FOB member to unlock the opportunities available to existing members.
Important documentation to take note of when importing items from China into Germany
Commercial invoices are very relevant in international trade. This document provides key details involving the trading of goods across borderlines. In a commercial invoice, the value of the items, as well as the quantity, is clearly stated.
Bill of Lading
Some will argue that a bill of Lading is the most important shipping document, and they won’t be wrong. A bill of lading lays out in clear terms, the contractual agreement between the owner of the cargo and the shipping company transporting the cargo. In a bill of Lading, the shipping company acknowledges the receipt of the cargo.
Letter of Credit
A Letter of Credit contains the financial obligations of all parties involved in the trade.
Customs authorities, as well as shipping companies, are interested in the weight and size of every cargo. This information can be obtained from the packing list, which is pasted on the cargo’s exterior for easy viewing.
Customs Value Declaration
Not all Customs authorities demand this document, but German Customs do. A Value declaration states the actual value of the items. This information is used by Customs officials to estimate the amount the importer will be asked to pay as import duty.
Customs Import Declaration
Another document of importance is a Customs Import Declaration document. The importer is expected to declare the items brought into the items. Import declaration forms also provide other information like the country of origin, the value of the cargo, etc.
Certificate of Origin
Also called a COO in abbreviated form, this document provides Customs officials information about the country of origin from whence the cargo came. It is also an express declaration made by the Seller to the Buyer and all parties involved.
Insurance is required for all cargo shipped from China to Germany. Insurance is provided by the Shipping company, but in some instances, the cargo owner may be required to provide his own insurance to safeguard his assets.
Why Choose DFH Global Logistics?
Importers who have utilized our service over the years will tell you for the fact that we are one of the best in the business. Ours is a service that guarantees safety, cost-effectiveness, and timely delivery. We ensure that we provide our clients with several options regarding shipping methods, and we offer them professional advice on the best shipping method and shipping company to handle their cargo. At DFH Global Logistics we
- Provide professional insight
- Offer quality and timely logistics to our client
- Leverage our wealth of experience to provide you with a cost-effective service
- Provide transparent costing
- Stress-free Customs clearing process
- Deliver your items to you in good condition and on time too.
What is the best shipping method for shipping from China to Germany?
No shipping method can be classified as being the best. It all depends on the nature of the items you are shipping, your transportation budget, and how quickly you want the items delivered. At DFH Logistics, we provide our clients with professional advice as to the most cost-effective method, which may either be Sea Freight, Air Freight, or Rail Freight.
If I want to save shipping costs, which is the best shipping method to use?
Sea Freight is by far the cheapest method. You can take advantage of low shipping rates during the offseason. Even during peak seasons, sea freight is still cheaper per unit cost compared to air and rail freight.
How much percentage of import duty is levied on goods coming from China?
The German government places a 19% import duty on all imported items from China.
Contact DFH Global Logistics for Best Rate
Your Best Freight Forwarder Partner in China