A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE ON HOW TO IMPORT TILES FROM CHINA
China has regained its position as the leading global manufacturer of all kinds of tiles due to the rapid uptake in materials and technology, huge market potential on the domestic and regional fronts and easy access to cost-effective solutions for production. This article is one of the series of how to import building materials from China. In this article we will use the tiles as an example for walk you through the process.
A major advantage to import tiles from China is that the cost of production is 30% to 50% lower in China compared to other countries. The reason is that most countries of the world do not put an anti-dumping duty on these tiles and the tile exporters get a taxation refund of 9% from the government of China.
However, most importers face one common problem- how to choose the best tile suppliers in China who can provide high quality products at competitive rates?
This guide gives you an in-depth understanding regarding the steps to be followed to import tiles from China and the way to choose the best supplier from more than 3000 tile manufacturers in China.
- Identifying Import Rights
Before you import tiles from China, you need to know your importing rights. If you want to check some samples of tiles first and then place a big order, you can get those samples delivered to your country through any delivery company like DHL/FedEx/UPS. This is a time and money saving option.
However, if the order is big, you need to check the customs regulations of your country to see whether your commercial enterprise is compliant with the import norms of your country or not. Visit the nearest customs office and specifically enquire about import information regarding the tiles that you want to purchase from China. Find out whether the tiles are classified as permissible for import or not.
- Calculating the Landed Cost
You need to check the HS code of the tile in China in order to calculate the tariff that you need to pay to import tiles from china. Along with this 10-digit tariff classification number, you need the Certificate of Origin to determine the total duty to be paid. Don’t forget to check the Incoterms while calculating the landed cost.
Incoterms are shipping terms which you need to know in order to choose your method of shipping (FCA, FAS, and FOB) and calculate the shipping charges from the freight forwarding company. The total landed cost includes actual price at which the Chinese supplier gives you the product + Shipping charges + Customs clearance, duty/tax, and cost of transporting goods to your warehouse. Only if you find the landed cost feasible enough, you should proceed with the purchase or else look for another supplier.
- Finding the right Supplier
This is the most difficult part of importing tiles. The internet is a good way to find out tile suppliers on online platforms like Alibaba but a common problem faced by many importers is that they cannot distinguish between traders and factories. For the solutions to this, Check out this article for greater details on how to use alibaba to find suppliers in China. There is also debates recently on is aibaba safe and legit due to the increasing numbers of scams. It is definitely more cost-effective to purchase tiles from the factories directly but you can get confused while selecting the supplier online. There is a solution for this problem as well. You can also take the help of a leading sourcing agent in China.
The sourcing agent can do the work of procurement for you by browsing through the market and using his connections to shortlist the best suppliers that offer good quality tiles at competitive market rates. What’s more? The sourcing agent can negotiate the prices on your behalf and as the agent is local, he has more chances of communicating persuasively in the local language and securing a good bargain. Your sourcing agent can also place the order and monitor deliveries for you. So the best solution to import tiles from China is to get hold of a credible sourcing agent.
- Choosing the type of Tile that will bring best returns for your Business
Ceramic tiles are the most popular category of tiles in terms of import of tiles from China. Some common types of ceramic tiles include:
– Porcelain Tiles
– Rustic Tiles
– Vitrified Tiles
– Fine Earthenware Tiles
– Fine Stoneware Tiles
– Normal Stoneware Tiles
China is the leading producer of ceramic tiles in the world. A few other types of tiles sold by Chinese manufacturers include Glazed Tiles, Square Tiles, Antique Tiles, Nonslip Tiles, Wall Tiles, Wooden-look Tiles and Industrial Tiles.
A point to keep in mind is that porcelain tile is not the same as ceramic tile though it is considered to be a type of it. Porcelain has a water absorption capacity of less than 0.5% whereas Ceramic tiles have a capacity of more than 0.5%. The second variety is generally used in bathrooms and kitchens.
If you are looking for a cheaper variety of ceramic, soluble salt is your best choice. For something versatile and modern, go for glazed polished marble tiles which are colorful and come with customized prints that are replications of natural marble.
Rustic tiles are very much in demand at the moment and new lines are constantly being created in tile manufacturing districts for this particular tile type.
With so many tile varieties available, you need to conduct a market research in your country to see which tile types are trending and make your selection accordingly. If you want to introduce something unique in the market, start with small quantities of the new tile type to keep the cost under control.
- Locating the top tile producing regions in China
The provinces in China which are hubs for tile manufacturing include Guangdong, Shandong, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangxi and Hubei. Out of these, Foshan is the leading province with more than 5,000 years of experience in tile production and a manufacturing capacity of 1.2 billion square meters of ceramic tiles. There is a Foshan wholesale market that is decided to building materials and furniture. It is by far the best wholesale market to source tiles. You will need to follow the guide from how to buy wholesale from China in order to make the most of your visit. Remember also to hire a Chinese translator when visiting since most of the vendors don’t speak fluent English.
After Foshan, the next best province producing tiles in bulk is Shandong. This province is preferred by importers because of the cost advantage that it offers. The quality is not as high as that of Foshan tiles but the price is certainly attractive. Shandong is known for its glazed polished tile.
The third province is Fujian which mainly produces exterior or wall tiles. Here too the cost is low as tiles are produced in small workshops. Once again the quality is not top notch but the tiles are durable enough.
These are top three manufacturing areas in China, You can make your choice according to your style and cost preferences.
- Checking quality of tiles
Before placing a bulk order, you need to check the quality of the tile you are purchasing with the help of a sample. Even if you are using a sourcing agent, you can request for a sample to be sent to you for inspection before the agent places the order. The quality should be according to your specifications to the supplier. There are some parameters to check tile quality:
– Packing condition
– Size of tile
– Color difference between two panels
– Breaking strength test
– Anti-Fouling test
– Chipped corners
– Grade AAA tiles
– No black points
– Flatness test
If the tile sample shows satisfactory results on the basis of these parameters, then it is fit for purchase. You can go ahead and place a bulk order.
- Making payment for the order
There are very low chances of getting scammed in a country like China. However, if you have no idea about payment systems, you should begin with placing a small order with a supplier and then moving on to a bigger order after trust is established. A point to keep in mind is that the standard system is to make 30% of the payment when you place the order and the rest after order completion. Having a sourcing agent as your representative can be of immense help in this case as he can provide an added layer of protection in such deals.
Here’s a list of some safe payment options through which you can make payments to your supplier in China:
– Alibaba Escrow
– Telegraphic Transfer
– Letter of Credit
If you choose an option other than cash, make sure that you check the transfer fees and conversion rates followed in those systems to know the payment cost before actually making the payment.
- Shipping Tiles from China
The ultimate step is to select a shipping company to import tiles from China into your country. This is very much similar to import any other merchandises from China. How to import from China is the article that guide you through a lot more details in depth regarding customs clearance and the corresponding certificates you need to prepare. In fact, a good sourcing agent can handle your logistics and shipping concerns. However, if you do not opt for an agent, you need to find out the total shipping cost charged by the freight company you are interested in. For this, you should check the following charges:
– Local transportation cost for sending goods from manufacturer’s warehouse to the nearest port of loading
– Export clearance duties and taxes as determined by the Chinese Customs Authorities
– Freight Cost for transporting goods to your country
– Insurance cost to secure your shipment
– Document delivery charges for receiving the bill, export receipts, packing list, etc.
– Local transportation charges from the port to your warehouse
– Customs Clearance charges in your country
Local charges can sometimes give you a rude shock if they are hidden. Ask your shipping company for clarity on this issue beforehand so that you do not have to pay a huge amount later.
Following these steps is the best way to import tiles from China as its ensures safety and quality and saves time, money and effort.
Choose China Sourcelink as your sourcing agent in China to make this process easier and streamlined. We are the leading sourcing agent in construction materials and furniture in China at present with years of experience.