Today we sent out fabric samples to our bag factory in China for making the Sarobag. Sending samples to China can be a very complicated matter with new regulations all the time. Delays caused by Chinese customs can seriously affect work-flow so now ODM would like to give an update.

One of the major courier companies for sending samples around China (incl. to/from Hong Kong) is SF Express.  This company and all other courier companies are subject to import/export controls by Chinese Customs authorities.  The Customs authorities have varying and often severe restrictions on what can be imported – these restrictions are subject to frequent change especially around special occasions like Olympics or World Expo. (So much so that SF express were not able to give us a formal and up to date list).

Some items which we currently have problems sending to our Buying Office in Shanghai below

  • All liquid – even including Rumbly Tums pouches.*
  • Electronic Devices
  • Chemical products
  • Watch devices & components
  • Luxury brand products & high value minerals like Gold.
  • Contact lens / All eye glasses or spectacles
  • Household Appliances – eg.washing machine.
  • VCD and DVDs (except CD that contains documents for work purposes) *
  • Most items on our Hazardous goods list.

* SF will actually open CD/DVD files to check!  Most packages will be scanned/opened so we recommend declaring the actual contents accurately.

For urgent projects ODM have resorted to sending staff over the border to carry samples or CD artwork to factories.   Alternatively, once over the border you can deliver these same samples to the SF office in Shenzhen and they will arrange to send from here to factories or up North.

Furthermore, since July delivery times have lengthened significantly, with courier companies citing major delays due to tighter customs controls.  Before we could get next day delivery to our Shanghai office – Now we expect 2 days for delivery.  Generally samples being sent to China experience more delays than samples from China.

Picture below of the SF staff busy sorting through packages at night in their sorting house near ODM’s buying office in Shanghai.