Importing watches from China | Importing smartwatches from China

Update date:
29 Jun 2024
Date of publication:
29 Jun 2024
Reading time: 4 minutes

Table of contents:

Importing watches from China is increasingly popular with importers from all over the world. The Chinese market is known for producing a variety of metal goodsincluding quartz watches and smart watches smartwatches. For many years, China has been the largest watch manufacturer and exporter in the world. In terms of production value, it is only surpassed by Switzerland, but this is for the sake of the many luxury brands that drive up the value of total sales. In terms of annual volume produced, however, China dominates. Watches are a fairly small product which makes shipping much cheaper. Even if you choose air freight, importing watches will be cost-effective in most cases. If you would like to start importing watches read the following article. 

Documents needed to import watches from China

When importing watches from China, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the regulations and necessary documents for importing from China. 

First of all, we will need a Declaration of Conformity and a CE certificate. Watches, as electronic products, are subject to the EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) and RoHS directives. If the product is, for example, a smartwatch intended for children, the item will have to comply with the Toys Directive, to which we refer here

Of course, we will also need basic documents such as a Packing List or commercial invoice. When placing an order, it is worth verifying that the manufacturer has all the necessary documents to place the product on the EU market. The most important thing is to check documents such as CE and Declaration of Conformity before transport - if they are missing, the goods cannot be legally cleared in Poland. 

Importing watches from China and legal obligations (Customs duty, VAT) 

When importing watches from China, we must bear in mind the need for Vat and duty. 

Vat will amount to 23 %, which we will be obliged to pay at customs. 

Also, it is a good idea to check the duty rate for a particular watch in the ISZTAR or TARIC system, among others. We have prepared some sample duty rates below: 

  • Watch movements, complete and assembled, with optoelectronic readout only 4.7 %
  • Watch movements, complete and assembled, with mechanical readout only or with a circuit to which a mechanical readout can be connected 4.7%
  • Precious metal or metal-clad envelopes 0.5 EUR/p/st MIN 2.7 MAX 4.6
  • Watches with automatic winding 4.5 %
  • Electrically powered watches 4.5 %
  • Straps, bands and bracelets, for watches, and parts thereof in precious metal 2.7 %
  • Straps, bands and bracelets, for watches, and parts thereof, of metal clad with precious metal 3.7 %
  • Shields 2.7 %
  • Springs, including hairsprings 3.7 %
  • Timer and timer recorders 4.7 %

Is it worth importing watches and smartwatches from China? 

Importing watches from China can be very profitable. There are many watch manufacturers available on the Chinese market. The choice in the Middle Kingdom is very wide, from watches by Chinese manufacturers to watches that we can produce with our own logo. The watch industry in China is very developed and choosing China as a production centre for your own watch design is currently the best option. Creating your own product can not only pay off in terms of higher margins, but also in terms of being differentiated from the competition and not being in danger of having your product copied. 

Watch fair in China 

Trade fairs in China are a good place to find watch suppliers and gain contacts in the Middle Kingdom. The main production centres in China are the provinces of Guangdong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Below is a list of fairs where watches are presented:

  • HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2024
    • Date: 3-7 September 2024
    • Location: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong
    • Description: The largest trade fair in the watch and clock industry, showcasing a wide range of timepieces and luxury watches.
  • Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong (JGW)
    • Date: 16-20 September 2024
    • Location: AsiaWorld-Expo and Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong
    • Description: Mainly a jewellery fair, but with a large section dedicated to luxury watches and clocks.


When importing watches, it is worth paying attention to the necessary documents and additional charges such as customs or VAT. Before importing, it is advisable to find out about legal issues, transport costs and to carefully check the factory from which you wish to purchase and the quality of the watch you are ordering. Importing involves a lot of paperwork, if you would need any help then get back to us by email. We will be happy to answer your questions. If you would like to have your goods transported from China then please contact us - we will prepare a quote for sea, rail or air transport. 

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