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How to buy in bulk from China and store in a warehouse in Hong Kong?

Posted: 2014-07-30

Full Question

We have a warehouse in Hong Kong, and would like to buy products in bulk from mainland China to store in the warehouse in Hong Kong. Do we need to have an import/export license in Hong Kong and do the custom paperwork there??

Answer

Hong Kong is very open and you don’t need special licensing unless you are dealing in some prohibited products. The mainland, on the other hand, is far more complex. Two suggestions for you:
  • Make sure you avoid purchasing under ExW incoterms from your Chinese suppliers. Under those terms, you would be responsible for local shipping, taxes and clearing customs out of China. Big headaches for most small and medium buyers. Purchase FOB port or CIF HK and you should be fine.
  • Once the goods leave China, you will find it next to impossible to return to China if you discover defects after the goods are in HK. So have a solid quality assurance plan in place.

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