China Customs New Requirement on Barcode (GTIN) for Imported Goods


Customs Declaration in as quick as 10 seconds

Cross-border e-Commerce Products Importing into Mainland China

Starting from 10 Feb, 2023, the customs declaration by GTIN has moved to cover cross-border e-commerce products importing to Mainland China. Merchants can enjoy more convenient and faster administrative process by using GTINs to declare their cross-border e-commerce products. 

Requirements as follow: 
(i)  Products with GTINs: Merchants shall use GTIN for customs declaration; 
(ii) Products without GTINs: Merchants fill in "NIL" in declaration form.

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Mandatory GTIN Reporting for 6 Types of Products

From 1 Jan, 2022, China Customs has required GTIN (barcodes) as a mandatory field for the import of 6 types of products including infant food, wheaten food, biscuit, beer, imported wines & liquors and cosmetics, to facilitate declaration process. Failing to do so may risk rejection by Customs!

An imported product can be automatically identified and its details such as classification, country of origin and specification can automatically appear in the single window system of China Customs, if its GTIN is provided in the GS1 China database, facilitating imports clearance. 

“Declaration by GTIN” provides a simple and quick way for enterprises to complete the declaration form "within seconds" through intelligent autofill, replacing manual entry. Enterprises can simplifies and speeds up the declaration process and improves accuracy, with such feature using GTIN. 

This represents a key step for the adoption of GS1 barcodes in customs clearance, which help enhance China Customs to standardise customs declaration procedure and efficiency.


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Cross border trade in Asia Pacific region could also benefit

In July 2018, a strategic cooperation agreement was concluded between China customs and GS1 China, who then jointly established a collaborative model of data sharing and promote the adoption of barcodes in customs clearance. In response to the China Customs GTIN Import Declaration:

  1. For Hong Kong companies with goods exporting to China but do not have GTIN: Get your barcodes by applying membership to GS1 Hong Kong as soon as possible to speed up the declaration process. If you wish to import infant food, wheaten food, biscuit, beer, imported wines & liquors, cosmetics etc to China, barcodes must be adopted to facilitate declaration process.
  2. For Hong Kong companies already have GTINs: upload your product data to the GS1 HK BarcodePlus platform to enable GTIN (barcodes) for customs clearance & ensure data accuracy. 

Reference Information:

China Customs Promotes Nation-wide Barcode Adoption on Cross-border e-Commerce Imports for Retails (in Chinese only)

General Administration of Customs P.R. China (in Chinese only)

GS1 Global Press Release

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