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How To Import Business Goods From China

The world has become a global village and people can do business and transact cross boundaries with a lot of ease than ever before. If you are aspiring to begin a business and import goods from China, I will take you the whole process on how to import goods from China to Kenya. Online platform such as Alibaba and Aliexpress.com have enabled businesses to connect and do business with other business people. They offer Business to Business (B2B) where businesses and business people can meet and transact.

Some of the goods that are commonly imported from China includes: Electronics, sanitary wares, plumbing fittings, electrical fittings, tiles and cheap jewelry. It is important you consult the customs office first to make sure the products you are planning to import are acceptable under Kenyan laws.

But before you can jump onto the China to Kenya import wagon, there are a few things that every business person wishing to import should know.

What you need to have before importing

Register Your Business

Before you can begin importing goods from china, you will need to have a registered business. Business registration in Kenya is an easier process that only takes about 1 month before you can have your business registered. The process involves coming up with a business name and getting your KRA certificate before you can register. The registration process can easily be done online and it costs less than Ksh. 1000 for a sole proprietorship.

Find Customers

Now that you want to import goods from China, who will be your clients? Importing balks of goods and ending with a dead stock in your shop because you have no customers is a worse scenario. So before you import, make sure you have your target client base.

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cargo on transit

Cargo Import Steps From China To Kenya

Find a good Supplier

Working with the best suppliers ensures that you get quality products and the risk of being conned is minimized. As discussed earlier there are many  B2B suppliers you can choose from.

The best option is to work with the ones with a good reputation. Some of the places to look for the best suppliers from China to Kenya include:

  • Alibaba – This is the largest B2B online platform for sourcing suppliers from China to Kenya
  • AliExpress– It is one of the best site for finding small scale exporters
  • Chna.CN – It is the exclusive government authorized B2B e-marketplace in China
  • Analema – It is a B2B company that creates procurement and sourcing solutions from Asia
Determine the cost

Doing your mathematics before you can import is one most important thing you should do. A simple formula for determining how much you’re going to spend on the whole process is to multiply the manufacturer’s price with 1.6. The answer will be the total amount you’ll spend and with this figure, you can now predict your profit even before you import the products.

If you are importing goods that cost Ksh50,000 in total all you need to do is to multiply 50,000×1.6=Ksh80,000. So Ksh80,000 is roughly the amount you need to cater for all expenses along the way.

If you are satisfied with the cost and quality of the products, go ahead and place an order with your chosen supplier.

You need to know what you are buying from the supplier. Request for the sample of the product from the supplier to ensure that they meet the quality and standards you are looking for.

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Get a Clearing agent to work with

It is important to determine how your cargo will be cleared ones it lands in the country. Get an agent that will assist before you even import your goods. The work of the agent is to process all the relevant import documentation through Kenyan customs. Once the documents are processed electronically, they will clear your items on your behalf. But to do these effectively you will need to have some documents in place. Some of the documents you need to have includes:

  1. Certificate of Conformity – This ensures the goods you are importing are acceptable in the land. This will ensure the conformity inspection of your commodities.
  2. Exemption letter – This is a letter you receive as a result of goods exempt from taxation
  3. Commercial Invoice – It contains information on freight charges, costs of items and insurance costs
  4. Import Declaration Form – This is provided by KRA. It contains information regarding the value, quantity, quality and classification of your cargo
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Determine the port of Landing

China has numerous ports. The ports of Guangzhou, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Ningbo and Dalian among others are some of the ports  in various cities available in China. If your cargo is traveling by sea, determine the nearest port your supplier can drop the cargo fro shipping.

You can also seek the services of transport agents such as Salihiya Cargo, DHL or EMS to handle your cargo and deliver it to Kenya. Your supplier will drop your cargo at any of this agents office from which you will negotiate with the courier agent on terms of delivery.

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importing from China

Make your Order

Now that you have determined the cost involved and how your cargo will be shipped, go ahead and make your order and pay. Follow up with your cargo at each stage to determine the progress and anticipate when the shipment will get to Kenya.

Collect Your Cargo

Once your goods have successfully been shipped to Kenya, it is time to collect them. If you paid for your goods to be delivered by air, you will have to collect them from your nearest international airport. On the other hand if you chose delivery by sea, then you have to collect your products from the port of Mombasa.

At this stage you will be required to pay the custom duties and inspection charges. Your clearing agent will be of great help at this point to make sure your cargo is cleared swiftly. Make sure you have the documentations ready for smooth clearance process.

How Long Does it take for Cargo to arrive in Kenya from China?

One determinant factor on when your cargo will arrive in Kenya is the mode of transport you chose. Sea transport can take over a month to arrive in Kenya while air transport will take an average of 3 days.

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