How to Import from China to India?

Jan 24, 2023 Chapter 1. Sourcing

The E-commerce industry of India has been on the rise for quite a few years and is booming rapidly. Thus, importing goods from China to India is a very good option for businesses.

However, since import from China to India is a very long and potentially complicated process, certain regulations need to be followed. so let’s learn about the “How to import products from China to India”.




How to Import from China to India?

Your first procedure for import from china to India is to deal with the regulations that would allow you to begin. Such regulations include licenses or permissions: 


Do Business Registration

The very first step; legal entity status for your company. Get your company registered with The Ministry Of Corporate Affairs. It is very important for businesses dealing with imports and exports that their registration status is always valid. 


If your company is registered as any one of these, it can import or export goods. 

  • Sole proprietorship
  • LLP
  • Partnership firm
  • Private company
  • Single person Company



Apply for Tax Registration

The second step for sourcing from China to India is to get your business’s registration done with the Income Tax Department of India.



You might even be required to pay some security deposit by certain states to ensure that your business will operate as stated.   



Apply for IEC Code Registration

When your GST regulation is received, you are allowed to apply for a license at the Directorate General of Foreign Trade Department to import and export goods.

The license will be received as an IEC code. You must have a current working account with any Indian bank within India to apply for the code. 

Here is a list of documents that will be required from you when you apply for your IEC code:

  1. Banker Certificate
  2. Bank Statement
  3. The ID of all directors along with address proof
  4. PAN Card of the company


The requirements for an IEC registration

Several import from China to India qualifications and documents are required before one can register for an import-export code. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Two recent passport photographs of the applicant: This requirement applies when the applicant is an individual and not a corporate entity.
  • The person’s or firm’s copy of PAN card: The income tax department issues a Permanent account number (PAN) card and any Indian citizen can apply for one online. The PAN only costs Rs. 93 for a domestic communication address and Rs.864 for a foreign communication address with goods and service charges exclusive. This single document can be gotten in 48 hours.
  • A valid government-issued identification: A valid proof of identity is required when applying for an IEC to limit cases of fraud. The identification accepted by the DGFT is Driver’s License, Voter’s ID, Aadhar card, or International passport.
  • The person or firm’s copy of a canceled cheque or current bank account certificate: Per FEMA regulations, this is a step to limit foreign exchange fraud. A copy of current bank accounts can be easily gotten from the bank account on request.
  • Proof of residence or establishment: To apply for IEC, you need to validate your residence as a person or the address of your business establishment. Several documents and even bills can be used to do this. These are copies of the rent agreement, sale or lease deed, and utility bill (electricity bill, telephone landline bill, and mobile postpaid bill).
  • The application letter: Application letter with the company letterhead with the subject “Request for Issue of New IEC Certification.”
  • A Self-addressed envelope: A Self-addressed envelope for delivery of the IEC certificate by registered post and an RS.25 post stamp for delivery of the IEC certificate by registered post.


A Step-by-step guide on how to get an IEC number

The Ministry of Commerce through the Director General of Foreign Trade now permits the online submission, handling, and issuance of IEC applications. Several service providers have also found a niche in IEC registration which they offer to their clients in India at a fee.

However, the process of getting an IEC is now easier than ever as prospective importers and exporters can apply for an IEC number from the convenience of their homes or places of work.

Let’s proceed step by step.

  • Step 1: Visit the official DGFT page ( The page is compatible with most browsers; all you need is a device connected to the internet.
  • Step 2: On the home page, click on “Apply for IEC” at the bottom of the paragraph titled “Register for your IEC”: A new page will load after you click on the “Apply for IEC” icon.
  • Step 3: Fill in your know-your-customer (KYC) information and pass the ReCaptcha test: This page requires information about the type of business you are applying for (importer/exporter, technical authorities, bank officials…) and other personal details. A PAN number and Pin Code are also required. At the bottom of the page, there is a “Send OTP” option. Click on that to submit your form and generate a one-time password (OTP).
  • Step 4: Enter the generated OTP in the text box provided: This would automatically give you access to the online application page to fill in the entity details.
  • Step 5: Fill in the application entity details including branch details and director/ partner details: These require you to provide more specific information about your business and the business partners and directors.
  • Step 6: Upload scanned copies of the required documents: The necessary documents have been listed prior to now all you need to do is to pick the document type (PDF or JPEG) and click on the “Upload” icon.
  • Step 7: Payment for fees: You may proceed to pay the IEC registration fee of RS. 500 with either debit and credit cards or via net banking.
  • Step 8: Preview and print application: Preview the application to ensure that there are no errors and you can also print it to further scrutinize or for business purposes. Click on “Proceed” after thorough verification of the information on your application.
  • Step 9: Submit application: Submit and generate an IEC certificate. Processing and issuance of the IEC code take 10 – 15 days. However, if your application is not accepted, the office of the DGFT will notify you within 2 days by mail with a corresponding reason for rejection.


As this code’s whole process is done online, you will also need to have Digital Signatures Certificates for the company’s directors. The DGFT will issue a 10 digit IEC code that will allow you to enter the import and export market. 

Now that your registration process has been cleared, we will now talk about how to find a supplier to import from China. We would recommend that you get in touch with a renowned shipping company, e.g. supplyia. Following are the steps to start importing from China to India:



Find a Supplier in China

There is No Magic Formula to find a manufacturer in China. There is a way to do this, but it’s not an easy and straightforward way.

Following the right process will most likely take you from “no supplier” to “right supplier”. It would be best if you did your homework, provided the right information, and collected the right data simultaneously.

First, the general find a Chinese manufacturer to import from China to India is mainly the following 3 channels:



  • Look for B2B Websites

You can find a China manufacturer on most of China online websites

Free Online Directories

There are still many outstanding Chinese manufacturers that have not appeared on B2B websites. These excellent manufacturers are renowned in manufacturing, but unfortunately, they don’t know how to promote marketing effectively.

A good place for finding a manufacturer for your brand is free online supplier directories. These directories act as manufacturer catalogs that contain profiles for hundreds or thousands of manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers. Below, we’ve listed a few of the most popular ones for both domestic and overseas suppliers:


Some Online Over Directories


Online Shopping from China to India

But as far as I know, there are very few Chinese websites banned in India, such as Alibaba and AliExpress, which are considered to be the two most popular websites when shopping from China in India. You can personally use some websites to order some products that are not available in India. Here are some sites:


There are a few more online shopping sites from China to India available, but I think these 5 are enough to explore most Chinese products and get your favorites. Just want to suggest before visiting above 5 sites try to know if the product is available in Indian market or not, as above 5 sites are cross border shopping sites and the shipping cost can be 10 times with local delivery charges and customs Cost comparisons will also be included.



  • Visit Local Trade Shows In Your Area

There are still many outstanding Chinese wholesale manufacturers that have not appeared on B2B websites. These excellent manufacturers are renowned in manufacturing, but unfortunately, they don’t know how to promote marketing effectively. So, how do you quickly to find factories in China?

Trade shows are a great place to meet and socialize with people who are in the same trade. Discuss with them their journey as beginners and learn. They will give you great advice that you can apply to grow your business. You can learn more about money management and how to run your business.

In China, there is even a sizeable annual exhibition dedicated to purchasing tires. Buyers should consider what their priorities are and make a corresponding purchasing decision.


Tradeshow Location Period Products
Automechanika Shanghai November Automotive
CIFF Guangzhou March/April Home/office Furniture
CIPS Guangzhou/Shanghai November Pet products
HKTDC Lighting Fair Hong-Kong April Lighting products
Canton Fair Guangzhou Oct/April Depending on each phase; 3 phases
Global Fair Guangzhou Oct/April Depending on each specific show: Lighting, Electronic, Textile and Gifts
HKTDC Hong-Kong Oct/April Depending on each specific show: Home, Electronic, Textile and Gifts
ECF Shanghai March All kinds of consumer goods




  • Visit China Wholesale Markets

If you have certain goods suppliers in mind, just check the below sheet and go to one or two cities in China to find a manufacturer you want to cooperate. 


Wholesale Product Categories China Wholesale Markets
Bags 1. Baoding Baigou Bags & Cases Trading Market
2. Guihua Gang Leather Bags Market
3. Yiwu International Trade City, District 2
4. Nantai Suitcases & Bags Wholesale Market
Bridal Clothes 1. Huqiu Bridal City
Commodity 1. Yiwu International Trade City
2. Wuai Small Commodity wholesale market
Ceramics 1. Shiwan Shagang Ceramics Wholesale Market
2. Jingdezhen Ceramics Market
Clothes 1. Hangzhou evergreen clothing market
2. Guangzhou Shahe Clothing Market
3. Hangpai Boutique Costume Market
4. Xinhangpai Leisure Fushicheng
5. Guangzhou Baima clothing market
6. Guangzhou Thirteen Hongs of Canton
7. Huangyuan Clothing Market
8. Baohua Baima Costume Wholesale City
Electronic 1. Huaqiang Bei Electronic World
2. Yiwu International Trade City, District 2
Furniture 1. Yiwu Furniture Market
Glasses 1. China Danyang Glasses City
2. Duqiao Zhejiang Glasses City
3. Yiwu International Trade City, District 3
Hardware 1. China Technology Hardware City
2. Shanghai Hardware City
3. Yiwu International Trade City, District 2
4. Yiwu Material Market
Jewelry 1. Shuibei International Jewellery Exchange Center
Leather 1. Haining China Leather City
Down Leather 1. Gaoyou Down Feather Economic Development Zone
Machinery & Accessories 1. Linyi Car & Motorcycle Fittings Town
2. Yiwu International Production Material Market
Shoes 1. Guangzhou Metropolis Shoes City
2. Yiwu International Trade City, District 4
Silk 1. Hangzhou Chinese Silk City
2. Eastern Silk Market China
3. China Textile Town
Socks 1. Datang Stocking Industry Market
2. Yiwu International Trade City, District 4
Stationery 1. Guangzhou Chaoyang stationery market
Toys 1. Wanling plaza
2. Shantou Chenghai Plastic City
3. Linyi Yongxing International Toy Profession Wholesale City
4. Jiuzhou Stationery Toy Wholesale Market
Textile 1. China Textile Town



Also, most people’s common concern is the quality issues of importing from China to India. Indeed, Chinese manufacturer can offer high-quality products as long as you find a trusted wholesaler and make a reasonable quality control.




Check Certificate

Once a supplier has been selected, you will need to verify at the regulations once more to make sure that all of the documentation and license requirements have been met.

It is also necessary to make sure that the products you are importing are allowed in your country. For example, products such as narcotics, pirated goods, certain chemicals, and counterfeits are not permitted in India. 



Find a Shipping Agent

Next, you will need to get in touch with any reliable freight forwarder to manage the shipments. Your import-export company will also need to hire an accountant and a import from China to India agent to deal with importing official documents.

The freight forwarder you choose will have a huge impact on your overall experience and the smoothness of the process. Make sure it is a reliable one and not just the cheapest quote. 

Keep track of your shipment and take all the necessary steps to receive it before the arrival time to avoid any mismanagement and delays. 

Is probably one of the most important steps. Always coordinate and never assume. Always make sure you know what the price, condition of goods, and the timings will be. Also, make sure all the specifics are pre-decided, so there is no room for misunderstandings.


Calculate the Landed Costs

By now, you will be done with the product, freight forwarder, and supplier selection. Adding the products’ cost, the freight charges, and customs duties will give you the landing cost. In case it turns out to be higher than what you would like or what you expected, you can look for any other supplier or freight forwarder to cut your costs.




Pay Import Duty from China to India

Always be ahead of time.

Expect delays, so that you can arrange for appropriate measures beforehand because there are many unforeseen delays might occur, e.g. Special:

custom inspections(always happen), a delay from the supplier’s side, or even in recent context, closure of shipments or flights due to any natural or national emergencies, etc. 

Once everything has been settled, make sure you always follow the regulations in all stages and file your taxes and returns timely to continue your import-export business.

If you want to avoid these complicated process of customs clearance and tax declaration, you can choose ship from China to India through DDP shipping services

import from China to india customs duties


Documents Required to Import from China to India:

Maintain the documents required to make sure your compliance norms are filed on time. Here’s a list of some documents that you might need:

    1. Bill of Lading/Air Waybill

    2. Commercial Invoice cum Packing List

    3. Proforma Invoice

    4. Purchase Order

    5. Letter of Credit

    6. Insurance Certificate

    7. Health Certificate (for food products)

    8. Country of Origin Certificate


how to import from China to India



Best Chinese Products you Can Import from China to India

Now that you have an idea of the overall import from China to India process, let’s take a step back and discuss which Chinese products would be the best to import.

Needless to say, deciding the right product is vital for any business. If you have a good quality product, you will be able to advertise it with confidence, and the quality will also play a big role in creating your brand image.

You also need to be confident that it will have a high demand in the Indian market. For that, you might also need to conduct market researches to know what the consumers need. 


goods import from china to india
India Imports from China value



Items imported from China to India:

Here are some goods that are usually imported from China to India. 

  • Motor vehicles and their spare parts

  • Electronics

  • Phones

  • TVs

  • Consumer goods

  • Plastic

  • Pharmaceutical goods

  • Machinery



Sourcing Products from China vs. India

Some of my clients simultaneously source from China and India. I see three types of reasons:

  • In some cases, if they could, they would buy import from China, for convenience. But some fabrics and embroideries are just not possible to find in China.
  • In other cases, it is a “China plus one” strategy (i.e. avoiding to rely on China for 100% of procurements) on the part of the purchasing company.
  • In rare cases, India has a real cost advantage. However it seems like Bangladesh is the place to go for the “cheapest needle”. Pakistan is also an option for some product categories.




Import Process in India Conclusion

Knowing how to import from China to India is the first step to a successful retail business. It takes a fair amount of time to understand where your business is in the industry supply chain, but the lessons learned along the way will help you navigate retail effectively.

Here is the final conclusion for how to source from China to India: 

  1. Product hunting. You will need to look for the products that you’d like to import. 
  2. When you have selected a product, you will need to look for a manufacturer of it. 
  3. You have an option to use the assistance of service providers to find a manufacturer, apart from the big names like Alibaba. 
  4. Once you have found your manufacturer, you will need to get in touch to finalize your relationship, deciding the quantity, price, frequency, etc. 
  5. It is always recommended to have a sample delivered when dealing with someone for the first time. This will give you a chance to know the quality, time needed for the delivery, etc. 


If you have any query on the detail things about how to Import products from China to India, security payment issues, etc., please contact us.


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2 years ago

finally got the detail information about to import from china to India. Thanks for this valuable information searching from long time. Because I am traders want import some goods from china.

Last edited 2 years ago by Trendzstyle
Reply to  Trendzstyle
2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Builder Hardware
Builder Hardware
Reply to  Trendzstyle
1 year ago

You are right Anil. Even I was looking for a simplified explanation and finally got one. This article has made many things easily understandable. Thank you and keep posting such insightful content.