Archive | Export Guides

RSS feed for this section

Product Restrictions when Selling Cross-Border on Lazada


Click here to learn how you can start selling on Lazada

Selling cross-border on Lazada gives you access to six, or at least five, rapidly growing nations in ASEAN (sure, we can exclude Singapore when using that term).

Yet, before becoming excited and going into detailed planning, it’s important that you assure whether your products can even be sold on Lazada.

Not only does Lazada have requirements due to internal policies. As a matter of fact, ASEAN countries are not equally developed, have different customs processes, import regulations, religions, and cultures.

In this article, I explain about product restrictions when selling cross-border on on Lazada.

Just a comment before we start: Keep in mind that regulations change frequently and you should contact Lazada, or sign up to become a seller, for up-to-date information.

What products are not allowed to be sold on Lazada?

I’ve divided the sections into general prohibited items by country, country specific prohibited items, counterfeit/replica goods, and second hand goods.

This is for us to have a better overview and the same structure Lazada uses when presenting their requirements. Let’s have a look.

1. General prohibited items in all ventures (not exhaustive)

Continue Reading →

China Free Trade Zones (FTZ): The Definitive Guide for Exporters


Since the first introduction of the first Free Trade Zone in Shanghai, the Chinese government has added a dozen new zones to the list, and have plans to further expand and create new zones.

It’s an important brick of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, where China plans to develop infrastructure and invest in many countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

In this article, I explain the details you need to know about Free Trade Zones in China, what benefits these bring, why they were created in the first place, and more.

Definition of Free Trade Zone

Before we start, it’s important that you have a general understanding of what an FTZ is, and what benefits these zones brings.

In short words, FTZs are designated areas where foreign companies can engage in economic activities, that are generally not accepted elsewhere in the country.

Continue Reading →

How to Export Olive Oil into China: A Complete Guide

Click here to book a Free Consultation

The Chinese middle class is booming and the imports of foreign products reach higher levels.

I’ve written a number of guides, covering some of the most popular food products imported to China, for example, wine, meat, health supplements, and more.

Many believe that the olive oil market is small in China, in a way it still is, and will continue to grow much. Just giving you a number, from 2015-2016, Spain alone exported an impressing number of 32,100 metric tons of olive oil to China.

Before you start to export, or establishing contact with Chinese importers, it’s important that you understand the market a bit more in detail, what regulations that apply, how you should sell your products, and more.

In this article I explain the basics if you plan to export olive oil to China.

China’s olive oil market

The Chinese market has started to appreciate foreign olive oil for various reasons during the past years. Even if the global consumption of olive oil has decreased, it actually increases in China. With double digits annually.

Continue Reading →

Exporting Health Supplements & Vitamins to China: A Complete Guide

Click here to book a Free Consultation

The supplement industry has grown massively in China the past years and will continue to do so in the future. There are a number of outspoken reasons why this is the case, one thing is for sure, many companies have earned great profits by taking on the Chinese market.

But health supplements are edible and consumed by humans, which means that somewhat strict regulations apply. It’s important that you understand the import regulations and the exporting process beforehand.

In this article, I explain how you can start selling health supplements and vitamins in China.

Health supplement market in China

The health supplement market has grown much in China the past years, this is something you’ll see in other Asian countries as well, like Vietnam. And there are a number of reasons for that:

  • As people get wealthier and the middle class grows, they start to appreciate fitness, personal care, buying equipment and interesting products that comes with it
  • China has problems with food quality and air pollution, giving an incentive for people to spend some extra money on health supplements. Just quoting a Chinese friend I travelled with in China, he suddenly says: “You know, our air is so bad, so we need to drink a lot of green tea to compensate”
  • A higher online presence and a bigger appreciation of a Western lifestyle and products are also big contributors why the health supplement market is growing. Ordering a box with vitamins from Australia is so much easier nowadays compared to a decade ago
  • China has a problem with an aging population which drives the demand for health supplements
  • Increased nutritional awareness

Continue Reading →

Exporting Cosmetics & Skin Care Products to China: A Complete Guide

Click here to book a Free Consultation

Cosmetics and skin care products are in big demand in China, it will undoubtedly continue like that in the future.

Before you start exporting, it’s important that you understand what regulations and laws you need to comply with, to avoid time and cost some issues at the China customs.

In this article, I explain how you can export cosmetics and skin care products into China.

China’s skin care and cosmetics market

The market for beauty products have increased much the past years in China, and so it will in the future. Otherwise, I wouldn’t dedicate a complete article for the topic.

Just giving an example, the sales of cosmetics increased with a whopping 100% from 2011-2016.

Most Chinese buyers are born in the 80’s and 90’s, as they’ve been exposed to foreign culture and tend to be more brand sensitive.

You should also know that the sales potentials differ between beauty products, some have stagnated a bit and some will see great increases in the coming years.

Big potentials can definitely be seen in skin care products, makeup and children’s products.

Keep in mind that it’s getting increasingly popular for males to use cosmetic products, you don’t necessarily need to target the female customers. Products in demand for men include facial wash, lotions and face creams.

Which customer segments should I target?

Continue Reading →

How to Export Baby Formula to China: A Complete Guide

Click here to book a Free Consultation

Baby formula is one of the most imported products in China, some people makes thousands of dollars a week(!) by simply buying overseas and selling back home.

But stricter regulations apply to this product, it’s important that you confirm that you comply with the local regulations, before you start exporting.

There’s also little information about what freight option to use and how to pack the products.

In this article, I explain how you can export baby formula to China and increase your sales massively.

Market for baby formula in China

As mentioned in previous articles, Chinese people often choose to buy foreign food products as they don’t trust the quality of local brands. Baby formula is not an exception.

I completely understand them as a number of scandals have evolved over the years, the most infamous one is the melamine scandal that occurred in 2008.

Continue Reading →

How to Export Beer to China: The Ultimate Guide

Click here to book a Free Consultation

The Chinese appreciation of foreign products has grown fast the past years, beer is not an exception.

With a population that becomes both wealthier and younger generation, local liquors and beers have made way for products imported from abroad.

But it’s not easy to know where to get started, and often, there’s not much information out there, explaining the exporting process, or what regulations you need to comply with.

Therefore, I’ve written this guide that explains everything you need to know when exporting beer to China.

China’s beer market

The same as it goes to the wine market in China, the beer market is growing fast.

I’ve experienced the transition myself, when I lived in Shanghai in 2009, craft beer and foreign beer brands were rarely seen. People mixing 18 year old Chivas with cheap green tea in bars were pretty common though.

Let me explain:

Continue Reading →

How to Export Wine to China: A Complete Guide

Click here to book a Free Consultation

The wine market has grown much in China the past years and will continue to do so in the future.

The middle class and many younger people have started to appreciate foreign products, including wine, giving great opportunities to foreign exporters.

But wine is considered a food product and relatively more regulated.

Therefore, it’s important that you learn about the local standards that apply and make sure that you understand the exporting process beforehand.

In this article I explain the necessary information you need to know when exporting wine to China.

China’s wine market

China’s economy has grown much the past decade, despite that the growth has started to slow down, the wine market continues to move forward.

Nowadays, wine is not only bought as expensive gifts or consumed by wealthy Chinese who have traveled much, or spent a couple of years abroad. Young people have also shifted from drinking local liquors (such as baijiu or yellow wine) to appreciating foreign grape wines.

Worth mentioning is that the Chinese government has cracked down on bribes and politicians who spent vast amounts of money on expensive wines, this is another reason why the demand of wines has decreased recently.

So: Cheaper and more ‘simple’ wine bottles with modern labels get increasingly popular.

Having that said, expensive wines will also be in high demand as more and more people join wine drinking courses, using wine drinking as a way of socialising and to expand their network among the ‘right’ people. Continue Reading →

How to Export Food Products into China: A Complete Guide

Click here to book a Free Consultation

China will soon become the biggest importer of foreign products. I think this speaks for itself. In fact, foreign food producers pour in trying to grasp a share of the Chinese market.

You often read about larger corporations that make decent profits selling food here, but this doesn’t cut you off as an SME owner. There are great opportunities for smaller businesses to export food products to China, especially as it’s becoming more online based.

In this article, I explain the essentials you need to know when exporting food products to China.

Why is the demand for food imports increasing in China?

Many people wonder why the imports of food have increased much in China the past years.

Many know that the middle class grows fast. With a population that’s around 1.4 billion people, it’s natural that a large amount of people tends to appreciate foreign products over time, at the same time as wealth increases.

Add on the food scandals that China has experienced the past years, even resulting in deaths. With (nearly) every person walking around with internet access 24/7, information like this spreads fast.

Continue Reading →

How to Export Clothes & Textiles into China: A Complete Guide

Click here to book a Free Consultation

The middle class is growing fast in China. Nowadays people are focusing more and more on how they can penetrate the Chinese market, rather than finding cheap manufacturing.

It’s important that you are up-to-date as the market changes quickly, not only due to the fact that the Chinese find most of their products online, but also due to a stronger appreciation of foreign brands.

A product that gets increasingly popular is clothing. If you only sell locally, in the European or the American market, you’ll miss a lot of opportunities to earn decent profits in the Chinese market.

In this guide I explain all the essentials you need to know if you plan to sell clothes in China.

Why would China import clothing and textiles from overseas?

Some of you might wonder if there’s really a market, exporting clothes to China. My answer is: Yes.

Previously, the Chinese went to local stores, or even fake markets buying clothes, as these were the choices they had. Slowly, bigger brands like H&M, Zara and Uniqlo set up physical stores in China (I witnessed it while there).

Nowadays, you rarely find any Chinese going to the local stores or ‘fake markets’, buying clothes, as many foreign brands, like H&M and Uniqlo, cost equally much.  

Even if wealthy Chinese appreciate more high-end brands like Gucci, LV and Hugo Boss, many people can’t afford these clothes and look for cheaper brands.

Some examples are: Daniel Wellington watches (I see a couple of them everyday here in Asia), Fjällräven backpacks (popular among girls, see them everywhere in Asia), Fred Perry piquets and Nike shoes.   

Continue Reading →