Departure to Beijing

Customs and import to Beijing

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Upon arrival in China, foreign tourist must fill in a Passenger's Luggage Declaration at customs and accept customer's check. Foreign tourist are not allowed to take objects out of China for other people.

    The following items may be imported into China by passengers staying less than 6 months without incurring customs duty:
  • Cigarettes: 400 (600 cigarettes for stays of over six months)
  • Alcohol: 2 bottles (up to 75cl or four bottles for stays of over six months)
  • Perfume: Reasonable amount of for personal use
  • Chinese Herbs & Patent Medicines: Max. 300 RMB per person to foreign countries. Max. 150 RMB per person to Hong Kong, Macau
    Prohibited Items:
  • Anti-Chinese Materials: items like Tibetan Lion-Mountain flag, Falungong, Taiwan national flag.
  • Books: Any books with photos on Dalai Lama or Tiananmen Square incidents.
  • Pornography: Heavy penalty is imposed on all pornography and penalty is counted based on the number of pieces you bring into the country. If they consider what you bring is too much, let say, more than 100 videos on your laptop, they will likely detain you.
  • Arms, imitation arms, ammunition, explosives
  • Counterfeit currencies
  • Drugs: Opium, morphine, heroin, marijuana, other addition inducing drugs and psychedelics.
  • Animals & Plants

Chinese customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from China of items such as antiquities, banned publications, some religious literature, or vehicles not conforming to Chinese standards. It is advisable to contact the closest Chinese Embassy or consulate for any questionable goods. Note that the Chinese government still use strong regulation on media. Books, magazines and CDs can be confiscated if the content is considered inappropriate, although customs usually doesn't bother to take your English books away, if there are no explicit photos depicting politics of China.


Only pet cats and dogs are allowed to be imported into China. People can only bring in one pet at a time and must have a Z (Resident) Visa. They need to have proof of vaccination and be good health.

    Required Documentation:
  • Microchip - Verifies pet's identity. All microchips conforming to the ISO standards are easily readable.
  • Vaccination - In general every pet older than 3 months must be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccination usually must be administered at least 21 days before arrival. However the vaccination cannot be older than 12 months from the date of arrival. Dogs may also get full shots for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo, and DHLPP. Cats may also be vaccinated against Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus, and Panleukopenia.
  • Certificate of Good Health - Issued by a government approved vet after an exam. You will need to get an official form from the consulate or embassy of the country you are moving to.
They may be transported by excess baggage or cargo. There are many pet-friendly airlines including: Virgin Atlantic Airlines, JetBlue, AirTran, and Frontier Airlines.

Upon arrival, a fee of RMB 1,000 per animal is required. Officials will keep the health and rabies certificate so make sure to have copies. A mandatory 7-day quarantine is required, with 30 total days. If the animal is approved as healthy after 7 days, home quarantine may be allowed for the remaining 23 days of total one month quarantine. There is no quarantine if there is transit via Hong Kong or Guangzhou. Animal and Plant Supervision Division of Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau can offer further information.

Pet relocation companies make the process much easier and arrange for the travel. Though expensive, they offer a much easier process. Agents can usually have the Resident Visa requirement waived.

Once in China cats do not require licensing, but dogs must be registered. A yearly license is also required for a fee of RMB 2,000 in the city center and RMB 1,000 outside the Inner Ring Road.

Custom's Resources

Expat Pets: An EasyExpat article on the ins-and-outs of traveling with pets.

U.S. Citizens: The free pamphlet "Know Before You Go" at is very helpful. (Click on "Travel" and then click on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure").
You can also contact:
U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
1300 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20229
Tel. 877/287-8667

Canadian Citizens: "I Declare", issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500 ) is helpful.

U.K. Citizens: HM Customs & Excise at tel. 0845/010-9000 (from outside the U.K., 020/8929-0152) can help.

Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure is available from Australian consulates or Customs offices called "Know Before You Go". Call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to

Update 12/05/2011


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