Customs regulations in China, and most every country, spells out exactly which items are prohibited from entering and leaving the country you are visiting, and which things you must declare and pay duties on.
Upon entry into China, tourists are required to fill out a baggage declaration form (in two copies) for customs officials. You should retain the carbon copy as it will need to be shown when you leave the country.
China customs regulations allow you to bring personal belongings without paying duty fees, but there are still some rules you need to abide by. For example, wristwatches, radios, cameras, and other equipment are allowed to enter the country, but they cannot be sold or transferred to others and need to be taken out when leaving the country. Gifts for relatives or friends in China, or articles carried on behalf of others, must be declared as well.
Those items which may be brought in without having to pay a duty include:
When it’s time to return home, tourists leaving China must submit the baggage declaration form (carbon copy) for customs inspection. Travelers by ship are exempted. Any items purchased in China can be taken out of China or mailed home after relevant receipts is shown to customs inspection staffs.
How much money can I bring into China?
Up to $5,000 or the equivalent in other currencies or 20,000 CNY. You will need to fill out other forms and declare any amount over this.
Do I need to declare the gold items I purchased in China?
Hold on to receipts for any jewelry, handicrafts, calligraphy, or paintings you have purchased to present at your exit check,
Do I need to declare and pay duties on my cell phone, tablet, or laptop that I’m bringing to China?
Electronic items for personal use do not need to be declared; however, extra such items, or those unopened items intended to be gifted to another while in China will need to be declared and will be taxed.
What if I forget to declare something?
You may be punished in terms of fines or other penalties depending on the specific violations. Consult with your travel agency or the Custom Declaration Office in the airport if you encounter any issues with declaring appropriate items.