How to account for the import of goods from China?

Update date:
19 Jan 2024
Date of publication:
19 Jan 2024
Reading time: 2 minutes
booking of imports from china

Before importing goods from China, we must pay particular attention to the proper accounting of imported goods, so that everything is carried out in a legal manner consistent with Polish law. We will be obliged to pay VAT and customs duty on imported goods. VAT in practically all cases will amount to 23% while customs duty depends on the goods being imported and will usually be a few % on the value of the goods. Payments are made directly to the customs agency that clears the goods or directly to the customs office. Vat on imports will be calculated on the value of the goods plus the value of the duty for the goods. All amounts will be calculated by the customs agency, which will make the customs declaration for us.  

Necessary documents for the booking of goods:

  • Import commercial invoice from a seller in China
  • SAD or PZC (Certified Customs Declaration) clearance document --> you will receive this document after customs clearance 

These documents will have to be forwarded to the accounting office we use for import booking.

Additional documents needed for customs clearance: 

  • Packing List 
  • Bill of lading or waybill 
  • other documents such as the CE Certificate, etc. 

Revenue and Expenditure Ledger 

The goods that we import from China must be entered in the Income and Expense Ledger. This will be done for us by the accounting office we choose. the cost of bookkeeping depends on the number of documents, but prices start as low as PLN 100 net

VAT records 

Importers are also obliged to keep VAT records. This is a record of purchase and sale transactions based on VAT invoices, acting as a kind of register of economic operations. It is a necessary item for correct accounting with the tax authorities.

Submission of JPK VAT

Another important thing in accounting for imports from China is the submission of a JPK VAT document. Companies are required to send the document electronically to the tax office by the 25th of each month. This is also a matter that is dealt with by the accounting firm we choose. 


As importers, we are obliged to properly account for the goods so that they can be legally marketed. The most important thing is to have the clearance documents, i.e. the SAD, where customs duties will be taken into account. Such a document, together with a commercial invoice, is handed over to an accountant who will take care of the rest. In our opinion, it is better to outsource the accounting issues to an external accounting firm. As we mentioned, the rates start at around 100 net, and this can save us a lot of time, which we can devote to other things. 

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