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How to Import Building Products and Materials from China Guide

As the world’s largest exporter, you may need to import construction products and materials from China. However, there are many issues that can arise during the construction of materials, which we will discuss in more detail in this article.

What types of Building Products and Materials can be imported from China?

China has a huge domestic industry producing every building material imaginable. China is certainly not a timber exporter, but you will find producers of:

From a professional point of view, the building materials industry is an industry classification. Generally we call it hardware building materials, building materials, and decorative materials. It covers a wide area, including electrical cables, power tools, construction machinery and electrical appliances, labor protection tools, various tools, Chemical raw materials, slabs, stones, ceramics, steel, and even lighting, kitchenware, fire-fighting equipment, etc.

Building Products and Materials

Building materials product range:

  1. Ceramics: exterior wall tiles; floor tiles/square tiles; ceramic tiles/interior wall tiles; mosaics.
  2. Bathroom: toilet; shower; shower room; bathtub; washbasin; sink; faucet; bathroom accessories.
  3. Kitchen: kitchen cabinets; kitchen utensils; kitchen appliances.
  4. Hardware: architectural and decorative hardware; bathroom hardware; hardware accessories; hardware tools.
  5. Lamps: indoor lighting fixtures; outdoor lighting fixtures; lighting accessories; special lighting fixtures.
  6. Floors, carpets; ceilings; suspended ceilings; stairs.
  7. Doors and windows; glass; locks.
  8. Stone; plates; pipes; new building materials.
  9. Paint; paint; wallpaper; curtain wall.

Why are the quality of building materials produced in China better than other countries?

China uses advanced technology to produce better building materials than other countries in the world. Chinese building material manufacturers have received a large number of orders, have mastered the production process of building materials, and are able to produce the best building materials.

Before proceeding with the manufacturing process, a Chinese building materials supplier makes samples and the products are checked for quality and safety by an international testing laboratory. Quality control checks are also performed before your order is shipped.

Construction material manufacturers and suppliers in China work with quality control companies for testing and inspection.

In China’s building materials industry, manufacturers are required to take administrative measures to ensure product quality. The production of building materials must go through licensing procedures.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) is the government agency responsible for product inspection. Regulations vary based on construction and building materials

Some Chinese cities with centers for sales and manufacturing of construction materials have instituted stricter local licensing requirements. These requirements typically include a list of building materials, a certificate of compliance from a reputable testing agency, product licenses (if required), documentation showing that the building materials are approved for use abroad, and product warranties.

Do these factors ensure that building materials produced in China are of better quality than those produced in other countries?

Where can I find suppliers?

Online platform
Alibaba is the largest platform for finding suppliers (in building materials) in China and other parts of Asia. However, there is no single category for specific building materials, but you must search for specific products to find suppliers.

Offline platform
Cities such as Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Foshan are known for producing construction materials, which are exported to the United States and other parts of the world. Most of China’s building materials are produced in Foshan.

Today, Foshan has more than 30 towns specializing in the production of beverages, machinery and furniture. It has more than 3,000 factories focusing on furniture production. You’ll also find interior building materials for residential and commercial construction projects here. Foshan’s shopping malls house factories, suppliers and purchasing company showrooms. The building materials market is about 30 minutes away from the center of Foshan. Casa Sanitary Ware Mall and Huayi Building Materials Market are one such markets.

There are many other building materials markets in Foshan that sell home building materials, including doors, windows, floors, lighting, wallpaper, paint, etc. If you need construction and building materials for home, office, residential apartment, commercial premises, wholesale and any construction and home decoration requirements, Foshan is your target city.

Selection criteria

Here are some selection criteria Basenton Logistics considers when searching for building materials manufacturers:

Product areas: Do they match the right products and materials?
testing report
ISO 9001 certification
ISO 14001 certification
BSCI and Sedex*

Construction product CE marking

Construction products sold within the EU must bear the CE marking and meet all the resulting documentation requirements. CE marking alone is not enough, you must also ensure that:
Declaration of performance (equivalent to declaration of conformity)
testing report
Technical documents
instruct
Basically, however, products must meet harmonized EN standards that apply to a specific product or material. Before you start importing, the first step is to find out what standards apply. You can also find out more on the Housing Authority’s website.

Example
EN 14428 – Shower enclosures – Functional requirements and test methods
EN 14516 – Domestic bathrooms
EN 14229 – Structural timber – Timber poles for overhead lines
EN 14846 – Building hardware – Locks and latches – Electromechanically operated locks and lock plates
EN 54-16 – Fire detection and fire alarm systems

Building Products and Materials

Importer’s Responsibilities

When you import from China or other countries outside the EU, you are actually responsible for ensuring that the building product has the correct CE marking, records and laboratory testing. Many people think this is the “manufacturer’s” responsibility, but consider the following:

  1. If you sell building products and materials under your brand name, you will be considered a manufacturer
  2. In fact, if the goods do not comply with CE requirements, you are still the one who is prohibited from selling them, and you will not receive any compensation from the Chinese manufacturer.

Chinese manufacturers are not experts in EU requirements. As an importer, it is your responsibility to provide clear instructions to factories on how to label construction products. You must then present a performance statement, technical documentation and order laboratory testing. If you are unwilling to do so, you should not consider importing building materials from China or anywhere outside the EU.

Transportation of building materials

When importing from China, construction products and materials are shipped by sea or rail; air freight is almost never an option.

Air freight

Air freight is the fastest and safest way to transport goods. You can choose between regular or express shipping options, the latter being more expensive. Door to door shipping usually takes 3 to 5 business days. Standard air shipping time will not exceed 10 days.

Sea freight

Sea freight is the cheapest option but also takes longer. Shipping by sea is easy as there are major ports on both sides. Some of the most important ones in China are located in Ningbo, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Dalian.

Click to read:China’s 10 Most Important Shipping Ports In 2024

The biggest advantage of sea shipping is flexibility. You can ship PV products virtually by sea. The next big trend in ocean shipping is the LCL shipping model.

Rail transport

If your country is in Eurasia and has a railway connection with China, all kinds of products, large and small, can be transported from China to your country by railway. Therefore, it is cost-effective to transport various items. You can save time and effort by transporting goods from China to your country by rail.

Rail freight is 40% faster than sea freight and half the price of air freight. This makes it a cost-effective way to transport photovoltaic products from rail.

Rail freight allows you to make smaller, faster, more frequent shipments. Therefore, you can change your inventory to meet your customers’ changing needs.

Basenton Logistics can provide transportation from China to any country in the world.

Prices for shipping construction products from China will vary depending on the cost from country to country

If your country is UAE, you can read:How Much Does It Cost To Shipping From China To UAE , 20ft & 40ft Container Cost From China To UAE

Your country is Italy and you can read:How Much Does It Cost To Ship From China To Italy

If your country is Brazil, you can read:How Much Does It Cost To Ship From China To Brazil

If your country is Germany, you can read:How Much Does Shipping Cost From China To Germany

If your country is France, you can read:How Much Does It Cost To Ship From China To France

Of course it is best to contact Basenton Logistics for your quote.

Transportation of building materials

Tariff

When importing from China and other countries outside the EU, customs duties must be paid. However, there are no tariffs within the EU. Applicable tariffs vary by product and material.

You can find customs duties rates for almost all types of construction products and materials on the Swedish Customs Administration website.

Here are some examples from relevant departments:

Article 9 – Timber and wood products; charcoal; cork and cork products; goods of straw, plaiting or other plaiting materials; woven works (Chapters 44 – 46)

Part 13 – Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials; articles of ceramic; glass and glassware (Chapters 68 – 70)

Chapter 15 – Base Metals and Articles of Base Metal (Chapter 72 – 83)

Section 16 – Machinery and equipment and machine tools; electronic equipment; parts of such goods; equipment for recording or reproducing sound, equipment for recording or reproducing television images and sounds and parts and accessories of such equipment ( Chapter 84-85)

Customs fees are calculated based on the percentage multiplied by the duty paid value. The customs value, in turn, is the sum of the cost of the goods, shipping costs and insurance.

VAT

Products imported from countries outside the EU are subject to 25% VAT. When it comes to orders from suppliers within the EU, you will also need to pay Swedish VAT.

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