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Import and Export Permit Application

With the continuous acceleration of China's opening-up process, international trade has become an important component of China's economic growth. In this context, if you conduct import and export business in China, you can enjoy tax refunds and exemptions on relevant goods. Additionally, the Chinese government actively encourages Chinese enterprises to negotiate business or promote products overseas. If you are invited to participate in overseas exhibitions, you may also receive financial subsidies from the government. All of these benefits, however, require that you have properly obtained an import and export license. Now, let’s follow Hongda to learn more about the import and export licensing process.

Import and Export License – Why You Need This License

Rather than being a certification, the import and export license is more like a licensing process in which a company undergoes qualification review and registration with government departments to legally conduct import and export of goods or technology. In the following sections, Hongda will provide you with a detailed introduction to the three steps that will enable you to meet the conditions for conducting import and export business operations locally. Typically, the information on the import and export license mainly includes the name, specifications, quantity of the goods, the country of the importer/exporter, the validity period, the total value, the mode of transportation, the trade method, and the payment method. Therefore, import and export enterprises must strictly follow the stipulated trade methods and other content specified in the license to import and export specific goods.

In addition, the import and export license is also used for customs inspection and clearance, as well as for banks to handle foreign exchange settlements and other foreign trade-related businesses. One of the most important aspects is that after you carry out the corresponding international trade business, you must use the import and export license to apply for import and export tax refunds from the tax authorities. If you want to know more about the relevant content of enterprise import and export tax refunds, please click on our enterprise tax refund service page .


Application for an Import and Export License

Process for Import and Export License Application

Step 1: Customs Registration

First, your company must submit essential products to local customs and register in accordance with customs requirements. Customs will provide you with a unique Customs Registration Code (also known as a CR Code) once you have successfully registered. The CR Code is typically a 10-digit code that serves as the sole identifier for import and export businesses recognized and regulated by China Customs. It serves as the foundation for all import and export firms' international trade activity. All import and export businesses must receive this code in order to make import and export declarations, ask for customs duty exemptions, handle foreign exchange settlements, and manage customs inspections and releases. You can also us the English name of your company during the customs registration process, which can be beneficial to your marketing activities.

Step 2: Apply for an Electronic Port IC Card

China Customs has launched the Electronic Port IC Card, a smart card that can be used for data sharing, electronic signatures, identity verification, and other purposes on the Electronic Port Platform for import and export business runners. The Electronic Port IC Card should be stored safely to avoid loss since, once filed and obtained, it serves as the enterprise's online identity and seal. 

Step 3: Foreign Exchange Registration

After completing the above two steps, you need to register with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE). Due to China's foreign exchange control system, the registration with the local foreign exchange management department for conduct lawful cross-border fund transfers is needed. This is a need to apply for tax benefits as well as a legal need for managing foreign exchange income and expenses and cross-border capital flows. Your business will not be able to manage tax information correctly or submit an application for import and export tax refunds without foreign exchange registration.


Necessary Conditions for Applying for Import and Export License

The Chinese government has specific legal requirements for applying for an import and export license. Your company must meet certain conditions to qualify for the application. If you have already established a company in China, you need to check whether your company meets the conditions summarized by Hongda below to successfully apply for an import and export license. 

Condition 1: Legally Registered in China

If you wish to apply for an import and export license in China, your company must be a legally registered enterprise with the Administration for Industry and Commerce in China. If you are considering engaging in international trade activities in China but have not yet established your own company, you can choose Hongda’s WFOE setup service package. We will provide comprehensive services from company establishment, selection of business scope, to staff recruitment, ensuring that your company meets the relevant requirements for applying for an import and export license from the beginning.

Condition 2: Company Basic Information Compliance

To apply for an import and export license, your company needs not only to be legally registered but also to have successfully opened a basic RMB bank account in China. If you have not yet opened a Chinese bank account, you can click to learn about Hongda’s Chinese bank account opening service.

In addition, the basic information of your company, including the registration capital and business scope, will be reviewed by the government, and you may not be able to get approval if that does not meet the requirements. For example, if your company’s business scope does not include "import and export of goods," you may need to add this to your business items. You can click our "China Company Information Change" service page (link to China Company Information Alteration page) to learn more.

Condition 3: Qualified Personnel

International trade involves submitting various materials to multiple government departments, so your company needs qualified and experienced import and export professionals to handle related business. These staff members should be familiar with customs declaration procedures and understand the regulations for import and export management. You can choose Hongda's HR management services to help you find suitable candidates and provide payroll management services once they are employed.。


Case Study: Food Import and Export License Application

In this section, Hongda will introduce a real case of one of our clients mainly engaged in sugar syrup imports (classified as low-risk food). We hope this will give you a general understanding of our service items and related charges. Please note that the process for obtaining an import and export license differs based on the kind of items you plan to import and export. This case study is meant only as a general guidance. For further information, please arrange a free consultation appointment with us if you would like to use Hongda as your partner for submitting an import and export license application. 

Service Item



Service Fee (USD)

Government Fee (USD)

Chinese Product Label Generation

Customs Registration and Chinese Label Application for Imported Products

  • Fill Out KYC Documents for Product Labeling;
  • Prepare Application Documents;
  • Submit Application to Government Departments;



GACC Filing and Registration

Register the manufacturer, distributor, and other relevant entities for the purchased products with the General Administration of Customs (GACC).

  • Confirm the origin of the goods and their position in the supply chain;
  • Identify the manufacturers, distributors, and other relevant entities of the goods;
  • Assist in checking the completeness and legality of the application documents;



  • Register the information of the food manufacturers (approximately 2 months processing time);



  • Register the information of the food exporters (approximately 2 months processing time).



Hongda’s All-in-one Business Solution Package

Chinese Representative Agent Services

As the authorized representative in China, we communicate with upstream parties of the imported products to obtain necessary documents and assist in resolving issues during the application process.

  • Contact manufacturers, distributors, and other relevant parties to obtain the necessary supporting documents;
  • Assist in completing document certification and other related procedures;
  • Complete customs registration;
  • Complete the registration for Chinese product labeling.


(not include government fees)



Why Choose Hongda

  • Rich Industry Experience:

Over the past 17 years, Hongda has been dedicated to providing our clients with high-quality, high-success-rate import and export license applications, accumulating extensive industry experience and numerous success stories. We will provide you with professional application advice to help you obtain your license smoothly.

  • Good Government and Public Relations:

Over the years, Hongda has established good public relations with customs authorities and other government department, allowing us to process your application even more quickly. While maintaining smooth communication with relevant departments, Hongda can resolve any issues you may encounter promptly.

  • Comprehensive Support

We offer full-process support from initial consultation to post-approval compliance, ensuring your business can operate seamlessly by providing all necessary support throughout the entire process of obtaining your import and export license.


Hongda’s Promises 

  • Efficient Processing

We have systematized the application process for import and export licenses to ensure that you can obtain approval in the shortest time and with the least effort, allowing you to focus on your company operations without excessive worry. 

  • 100% Compliance

Hongda is always staying updated with the latest changes in related regulations and laws, thus to provide you with the most recent industry information and application guidelines, hoping to keep your application legal and compliant.

  • Team assistance

Throughout the application process, our team of experts will offer you complete assistance and advisory services to help you manage and overcome any obstacles.

  • Trackable Process

In the near future, Honda will introduce an online information portal that will allow you to monitor the real-time status of your application.



Let Hongda know and Solve Your Problem!


Hongda consultation

Our Promises


Doing business with HONGDA is getting a share in our know-how, expertise and dedication. Our determination leaves our customers with peace in mind, as they know our passion and strive for perfection in all that we do.

To ensure that we keep pushing the boundaries of what our market can expect, we relentlessly strive for increased benefits of doing business with HONGDA. To declare our efforts, our daily work is based on 4 tangible, practical promises to our customers - and just as much to ourselves.

Everything You Need To Do


Consult and confirm proposal

Book a free consultation with our experts and receive our comprehensive proposal for you to confirm.


Contract Signing and make payment

Sign the service contract and make payment.


Preparing Documents

We will send everything that you need to prepare, not hard at all.


Wait for the good news

Leave rest of the work to Hongda and we will inform you in 1-2 weeks.


Sound United

Jack Peng
Sound United Vice President > Asia Pacific

Sound United is the leading designer and manufacturer of consumer audio products in the US. Sound United has been using Hongda since 2013. Moving one’s operation to China is not a small task, But Hongda’s expert services helped us set up a company and deal with tax issues so we could get on with growing our business in no time at all, and that’s why we continue to use them today.


Business service Guidance

Hongda Business Services helps foreign businesses looking to establish in the PRD (Pearl River Delta, Guangdong), Shanghai and Hong Kong take advantage of everything that China has to offer. We typically work with companies in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.



How do I set up a company in Shenzhen or the PRD?

Prepare the shareholder certificate, letter of good standing from the bank. Find an office in China. Make the application (of course better find a professional agent in China to help you).

Do I need to have a foreign company to start a company in China?

No, you could also use your personal name to start the company in China.

What are the drawbacks of a WFOE / rep office / JV?

Rep.Office:High tax, could not hire Chinese employees directly.

WFOE/JV: Slow registration time.

The benefit of all is that if you aim to run a business in China, any will allow you to do so. 

Do I need to personally go to China to set up the company?

No, you dont. Hongda Business Services
can help you to do this while you are abroad.

Do I need an actual office space to register a WFOE / rep office / JV?

Luckily now, you dont. Hongda Business Services can provide the office address for registration. 

Which documentation do I need for a WFOE / Rep Office / JV?

Oversea investor's certificate, bank reference letter and office in China are the key documents for each company type. 


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