Chinese Binoculars
Manufacturer and Exporter
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1. Inquiry and quotation
1.1 Initial contact*
1.2   Inquiry*
1.3 Customized branding
2. Freight/quantity optimization*
3. Homework at your end
3.1 Set up an import business
3.2 Conduct market research
4. How to make payments*
4.1 T/T payment in advance
4.2 Letter of credit
4.3 D/P (document against payment)
5. Turn-around time
5.1 Production time
5.2 Shipping time
6. Freight forwarder and customs broker
6.1 What does a freight forwarder do?
6.2 What does a customs broker do?
7. Samples ordering policy
9. How to deal with defective binoculars
9.1 Factory Warranty
9.2 If it's not our fault, who is "guilty"?
9.3 Plan A*
9.4 Plan B*
10.Launch your business online

8. Import documentation and general customs clearance procedure tips

8.1 Documentation
8.2 General customs clearance tips

8.1. Documentation

The documents used in the binoculars and telescopes import business with us are highly important. There are three basic documents you must understand and use correctly: air waybill or bill of lading, commercial invoice and packing list.

, Air waybill

The air waybill is used for the air shipment which serves as:

, documentary evidence of the conclusion of a contract of carriage
, proof of receipt of the goods for shipment
, an invoice for the freight
, a certificate of insurance
, guide to airline staff for the handling, dispatch and delivery of the consignment.

The air waybill is usually completed by our freight forwarder. The document consists of three originals and nine copies. The first original is intended for the carrier and is signed by our state-owned export agent; the second original, the consignee's copy, is signed by our export agent and accompanies the goods; the third original is signed by the carrier and is handed to our export agent as a receipt for the goods after they have been accepted for carriage.

Since it is sent with the air shipment by the same plane, the air waybill is usually associated with wire transfer advance payment. With air waybill number given, you can track the shipment online.

, Bill of lading

A bill of lading is used for the sea shipment. It is:

, A certificate of ownership to the goods.

As such, it must be produced at the port of final destination by the importer (you) in order to claim the goods. As a document of title, the bill of lading is also a negotiable document and you may sell the goods by endorsing or handing over the bill of lading to another authorized party, even while the goods are still at sea. Although negotiable bills of lading are in common use, some countries do not allow them or make it difficult to be used. So, you have to be sure that negotiable B/L is accepted in your country. Otherwise, non-negotiable B/L is issued.

, A contract between the shipper (our export agent and us) and the shipping line which defines in detail the terms for the carriage of goods from the sea port (Guangzhou) to your destination sea port.

, A formal, signed receipt for a specified number of packs which is given to the our export agent by the shipping line when the shipping line receives the consignment. If the cargo is apparently in good order and properly packed when received by the shipping line, the bill of lading which the shipping line issues, is termed 'clean'. The ship-owner thus admits full liability for the cargo described in the bill. In most cases, clean bill of lading is required.

Clean bill of lading is usually associated with letter of credit transaction. With the B/L number or container number given, you can track the shipment online.

, Commercial invoice

The commercial invoice indicates the quantity and description of the goods, the loading port and destination port, the mode of transportation, the country of origin, the price per unit and total cost of the goods. The commercial invoice is provided by our export agent. 

, Packing list

The packing list indicates the number of packs involved, the contents of each pack and the individual weights and dimensions. This list enables you to check that the correct number of units has been received. Customs authorities can also easily identify a specific pack they wish to inspect. The packing list is provided by our export agent. 

Apart from these three documents, to some countries, and depending on the price terms and the packing materials used for the binoculars and telescopes, there are several other documents that are often used:

, Proforma Invoice

After receiving a quotation from us, the importer (you) may request a proforma invoice which is a preliminary invoice and is prepared prior to shipment or even before a firm order has been received. The purpose is to enable you to obtain an import license (if required) or a letter of credit. In some countries, proforma invoice is a required document for customs clearance. The proforma invoice is provided by our export agent. 

, Fumigation certificate

Fumigation certificate is required as proof that the packing materials e.g. wooden crates, wood, wool etc), have been fumigated or sterilized. Certificates contain details such as purpose of treatment, articles concerned, temperature range used, chemicals and concentration used etc.

In our case, we often use pallets to bundle the packs of binoculars and we find it's the best measure taken for protecting binoculars from being out of collimation. We'll ask Chinese Commodity Inspection Bureau (CCIB) to apply the treatment to the wood pallets to ensure that the pallets used are free of insect or fungus infestation.

Please note that in some countries like Australia, fumigation treatment is not required for air shipment, but required for sea shipment. So, please check with your customs broker or the local customs service.

The fumigation certificate is issued by CCIB and costs USD 90$/shipment. 

, Certificate of Origin, GSP certificate or Origin (Form A)

In some countries, optical instruments claiming preferential treatment in respect of tariffs require proof of origin. Certificate of origin is provided by CCIB or CCPIT, GSP certificate of origin is provided by CCIB.

, Insurance certificate

For air shipment, air waybill serves as insurance certificate; for sea shipment, insurance certificate is issued as evidence of the existence of the marine insurance policy. The marine insurance policy is a contract between the assured and the insurer, and its principal purpose is to define the terms of the agreement between the assured and the insurer.

Based on the CIF price term, insurance certificate is required for customs clearance in some countries.

8.2. General customs clearance tips

, Find a customs broker

To different countries, import customs clearance procedure may differ. In some countries, The customs service does not require an importer to have a license or permit and an individual may make his own customs clearance of goods imported for personal use or business. You'd better, however, have a licensed customs broker (or freight forwarder) act as the clearing agent for you unless you're very familiar with the import customs clearance formalities in your country.

Therefore, the first tip is to find a licensed customs broker who can work with you on a long-term basis. They are especially valuable to you when your business is not located in the destination air/sea port which is usually the port of entry - if you're unable to be there to prepare and file your entry, the customs broker may act as your agent, pick up and deliver the shipment to your door. The customs broker could be found by personal referrals, looking in the local yellow pages, or running a search online.

, Know the documentation required for customs clearance in your country

In all countries, three documents are required for customs clearance:

Billing lading (air waybill)
Commercial invoice
Packing list

For the imported merchandise of binoculars and telescopes, depending on the packing materials and different customs regulations in different countries, the documents below may be also required:

Proforma invoice
Fumigation certificate
Certificate of origin
GSP certificate of origin
Insurance certificate
Sales contract
Import license

Work with your customs broker to find out what kinds of documents are required for your local customs clearance, and then tell us, so we can provide and prepare the relevant documents at our end.

, Inform the date of arrival

The customs service does not notify you of the arrival of your shipment. Notification is usually made by the carrier of the goods. With the air waybill no. or B/L no. given, you may track the shipment online to get the date of arrival. You or your clearing agent may recheck with the local office of the carrier to be sure there is no unexpected delay with the flight no. or the ship name.

The purpose is to enter the imported binoculars and telescopes through customs in a timely manner. The customs services in most countries stipulate that all goods declared must be downloaded and entered within 7-15 days after the arrival of the importing ship. Failure to do so will result in the goods to be conveyed to a general customs warehouse to be held as unclaimed. You're responsible for storage charges which are incurred while unclaimed binoculars and telescopes are held at the warehouse. If it remains unclaimed at the end of 3-6 months, the merchandise is sold at auction.

If, due to the unexpected reasons in some countries, a long delay in the clearing procedures is expected, Goods are placed in the bonded areas before going through clearing procedures. Bonded areas are warehouses under the control of customs authorities, Customs duties are not paid unless goods are taken out of the bonded area.

, Submit the documents and apply for the Customs Declaration Form

For air shipment, the documents are sent to you or your clearing agent with the cargo on the same plane and arrive at the destination airport at the same time. Upon arrival, you'd better provide the documents to your clearing agent immediately. With the correct documentation, the Customs Declaration Form is issued.

For sea shipment, the documents are sent by our bank to your bank. Upon arrival of the documents, you bank will inform you that you should pay to get the documents. After the payment is made, you or your clearing agent obtain the documents to apply for the Customs Declaration Form before the goods arrives at the destination sea port.

, Download the goods and proceed to the customs

When the goods arrive at the port, the goods should be listed in a document that lists all goods present on the shipment. Only if the goods are listed, they can be downloaded and a delivery order issued. The delivery order is a document issued by the shipping company which states the price to be paid for transportation.

In our case, based on CIF (cost, insurance and freight), there is no problem for the issuing of the delivery order.

, Clear the goods

In order to clear the goods, relevant documents should be presented. Goods are given a "Customs Entry" document that contains the number of the shipment and its value. At this stage, the clearing agent identifies customs and duties to be paid and completes the Customs Declaration Form. In some countries, clearance procedures are normally done directly in the customs broker's office using electronic communication systems directly connected with the local Customs Authorities. If the goods do not go through clearance after being downloaded from the ship/plane, they must be placed in bonded areas. If goods go through clearance and there are delays during the clearing procedures, you might pay demurrage and storage fees.

The dutiable value of merchandise is determined by Customs. Generally, the transaction value of the merchandise serves as the basis of appraisement. Transaction value is the price the you actually pay us for the binoculars and telescopes being imported. The customs will examine the goods to determine the value of the goods for customs purposes and their dutiable status. Examination may usually be made on the docks, at container stations, or cargo terminals.

Customs duties rate is a percentage which is applied to the dutiable value of the imported goods. Work with your customs broker to check your local tariff schedule and duty on the binoculars and telescopes. For APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Community) countries, the import duty rate on binocular and telescopes can be checked online on APEC Tariff Database ( For other countries, you can get clue on Customs Tariffs of the world (

, Pick up the goods

After the goods are released, you or your customs broker will pick up the goods, and deliver to your premise.

And don't forget to set up an easy-to-use record keeping system. In some countries like U.S., records regarding any import must be maintained for five years. Failure to produce these records in response to a reasonable request from customs may result in penalty.

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Kunming Optical Instruments Co., Ltd.
Add:Rm. 603, Bldg. No.2, Bai Ma Gao Ceng,
No. 285, Dan Xia Rd.,
Kunming, Yunnan, China. Zip Code: 650118
Tel: +86-871-5411184 Fax: +86-871-5411040 Email:
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