Import intermediary from China  

Update date:
15 May 2024
Date of publication:
26 Jan 2024
Reading time: 5 minutes

Table of contents:

The rapid growth of Chinese imports is a significant factor shaping the global economy. Chinese products undeniably make their presence felt in almost every field - from advanced electronics and fashionable clothing collections to sturdy furniture and high-quality foodstuffs. This global trade not only supports China's economic growth, but also contributes to the development of other countries, generating new jobs and increasing overall income levels. It is worth noting, however, that imports from china is not without its challenges. Transport costs, customs duties and the varying regulations of the European Union need to be taken into account. Finding a trusted supplier and ensuring the quality of imported products is also an important element.

Why use an intermediary for imports from China?

Using an intermediary for imports from China can bring many benefits and make the whole process easier. An intermediary, familiar with local markets and procedures, can be an indispensable partner in doing business with China .

Risks associated with importing from China on your own

Importing from China involves certain risks, especially when undertaking it on your own. It is therefore important to be aware of these potential risks and prepare accordingly. We have listed some of them below: 

  • Problems with Necessary Documentation:
    • The lack of complete or correct documents can lead to delays in the import process. It is necessary to have a thorough understanding and obtain the required documentation, such as commercial invoices, waybills, certificates or certificates of origin.
  • No Certificates from the Manufacturer:
    • A manufacturer's failure to have the necessary certificates, especially those allowing products to enter the European Union market, can lead to problems with the legality of imports. Careful checking and obtaining the required documents becomes crucial.
  • Ignorance of Customs Regulations:
    • Lack of understanding and knowledge of the applicable customs regulations in China and the importing country can lead to documentation errors, delays in customs clearance and additional costs.
  • Unfair Sellers in China:
    • The risk of working with dishonest vendors in China exists, which can lead to the delivery of lower quality products than agreed, or even to financial fraud. A solid check on the reliability of the supplier is key.
  • Problem with Payments in the Chinese Market:
    • Financial transactions in the Chinese market can be complex, especially for those unfamiliar with local practices. The risks of payment problems, delays in transferring payments or differences in currency conversion rates require caution and an understanding of local procedures.
  • Lack of Knowledge in the Topics of Transport and Customs Clearance:
    • Unfamiliarity with transport and customs clearance processes can lead to delays in deliveries and generate additional costs. Understanding procedures, documentation and working with experienced logistics companies is key to successful importation.

These are just some of the problems that importers may encounter during the process of importing from China. In fact, the complex nature of international trade, cultural differences, variability in customs regulations and logistical challenges make the list of potential difficulties extensive. It is essential to understand this context and be meticulously prepared in order to effectively manage imports, minimise risks and achieve success in international business.


When we decide to imports of goods from ChinaIt is crucial that we have an experienced and trusted intermediary to assist us throughout the process. The intermediary plays a key role in ensuring that the import goes smoothly and that our interests are protected.

Can we help as Union Cargo? 

When we decide to import goods from China, it is extremely important that we have an experienced and trusted intermediary to assist us throughout the process. The intermediary plays a key role in ensuring that the importation goes smoothly and that our interests are protected. Below is a list of the services we provide as Union Cargo: 

  1. Product research:
    • We carefully scour the Chinese market for factories producing an interesting range of products.
    • We compare offers from different manufacturers and select the most favourable option for the importer.
  2. Verification of Suppliers:
    • We check the credibility of Chinese counterparties, ensuring the safety and reliability of the cooperation.
  3. Handling Consolidation and Sample Shipping:
    • We provide order consolidation services.
    • We will take care of ordering samples of the goods you want to order and send them directly to your address. 
  4. Factory Audit:
    • We carry out an on-site factory audit in China. We will send our trusted companies there to screen the manufacturer in question. 
  5. Product quality control:
    • We carry out a quality check of the products on site in China, send you an accurate photo and examine whether everything matches. 
  6. Preparation of personalised packaging, instructions, etc. 
    • We can create personalised packaging with your own logo, include an instruction manual in Polish or add some material inside. 
  7. Customs Documentation:
    • We prepare full documentation for export clearance in China and import clearance in Poland.
  8. Transport Logistics:
    • We use our own transport and will select the appropriate option: sea, rail or air transport. 
  9. Warehouse in China:
    • We have our own consolidation warehouse in China. We have the possibility to collect goods from different suppliers all over China and send them as one parcel. Also we can store the goods for a limited period of time. 
  10. Import Consultancy:
    • We provide comprehensive import advice, supporting clients at every stage of the process.
  11. Post-Production Control of Goods:
    • We carry out a post-production inspection of the goods, ensuring compliance with customer expectations.
  12. Arrangements for Loading, Transport and Customs Clearance:
    • We will provide comprehensive arrangements for loading, transport and customs clearance. We will deliver the goods directly to your door 

How much does an intermediary service for imports from China cost? 

If you are considering using the services of an import intermediary, you are certainly interested in how much these services will cost. One important factor is the commissions that the intermediary charges for the services provided.

As part of our partnership at Union Cargo, we use a flexible commission model that ranges from 3% to 10% on the total value of the goods.

It is also important to take into account other costs associated with the import, such as customs duties, taxes or transport costs. An intermediary can help estimate these additional costs and provide clarity on the total cost of importation.

Choice of mode of transport when importing from China: 

When importing from China, an important issue is the choice of the mode of transport to be used. We have a choice of sea transport (approx. 42 days port-to-port), rail transport (14-22 days) and air transport (3-7 days). For more information on transport, please see our other articles. 

Maritime transport from China

Rail transport from China 

Air transport from China 

Also check out our other articles: 

Documents needed for import from China

Customs clearance for imports from China

Own-brand production in China

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