CIQ – China Inspection and Quarantine: The Definitive Guide

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Exporting to China can be a challenging project for companies that have little knowledge of the market.

One of the biggest and most costly issues exporters experience is that their products get stuck at the customs, or sent back, as they don’t comply with local CIQ regulations.

CIQ is an authority that can reject imports of your products to China, if you don’t comply with local standards.

In this article, I explain all the essentials you need to know about CIQ when exporting to China.

For example, the most preventive way to avoid that your goods get stuck at the customs is to apply for a CIQ declaration before you export your products to China.

The topics we review today are:

  • What is CIQ?
  • What are the duties of CIQ?
  • Getting a CIQ Declaration
  • Documents Needed when Applying For a CIQ Declaration
  • CIQ Inspections
  • CIQ Marks and Labels
  • Fees Charged by CIQ
  • What information does the CIQ certificate include?

What is CIQ?

CIQ stands for China Inspection and Quarantine and operates directly under AQSIQ, The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, one of the major quality management authorities in China.

There are 35 so-called CIQ-offices located in 31 provinces around China, all acting as extended arms of AQSIQ.

Some of CIQ tasks include: to check labels, make sure that products have CCC marking and that exporters follow the local Chinese regulations.

The offices work closely with laboratories, local offices, and other entities, to secure the quality of products imported to China.

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What are the duties of CIQ?

One of the major duties of CIQ is to make sure that exporters follow import regulations in China. For example, they control and prevent that no infectious diseases enter/leave the country.

Simply, they inspect and control goods that arrive at airports and harbors.

CIQ also makes sure that persons working at the airports and harbors have suitable protection and are vaccinated against certain diseases if an epidemic breaks out.

Other examples of responsibilities include inspections, quality controls, making sure that animals and plants, leaving or entering the country, don’t bring any risks. If they do, CIQ will introduce safety measures and put these into quarantine.

As mentioned, AQSIQ is the authority that governs CIQ and decides its responsibilities. The list can be made longer, but I just want to give you a general knowledge over the duties that CIQ has.

Getting a CIQ declaration

One of the biggest obstacles you can come across is if the Chinese customs stop or seize your products.

In fact: the products can stand still for weeks, if not months, while you need to either:

  • Prepare to provide the missing documents
  • Request a third party to help you, even if this should be done before you decide to export to China, not when issues occur (!)

You also have a third option to minimize the risks of having issues at the Chinese customs, namely to:

  • Apply for a CIQ-declaration

A third party can help you to apply for a CIQ declaration, you can use this document as evidence towards the customs, showing why your products don’t need a CCC mark.

It’s preferred to prepare a CIQ declaration upfront, even if it costs a little extra. It can save you plenty of time and money, minimizing the risks that the customs seize your goods for a long time.  


Documents Needed when Applying For a CIQ Declaration

First of all, your importer should help you to confirm what documents are needed for the CIQ declaration, as regulations can change.

In general, you need to provide the following documents when applying for a CIQ declaration:

  • Information about your company
  • Information about the products you intend to export
  • Reasons why your goods can be declared
  • A quota certificate (if necessary)
  • Bill of lading
  • Invoice
  • Customs declaration
  • Sales contract
  • Import license
  • Inspection certificate
  • Other quality licenses
  • A safety compliance declaration, ensuring that your products conform to specific standards

The documents will be handed over from your import agent to the agents at the China customs. Working with an agent that is experienced and has personnel on-site will make the process much easier for you, it’s definitely worth the extra cost.

CIQ Inspections

Your products have to pass a quarantine inspection performed by CIQ before these continue to the customs clearance.

If your goods don’t pass the inspection, and there’s no way you can resolve the issue on-site, the goods will be sent back to where it came from, or be destroyed.

When your goods have passed the inspection, the inspectors will attach a clearance slip, showing that your goods are ready to continue to the customs and that it can be imported to China.  

So what can the CIQ personnel check during the inspection of your products?

Items Checked by CIQ

  • The labeling of your products
  • Packaging
  • Making a visual check that your products are the same as stated before
  • Information related to the product itself, such as product names, brand numbers/models, where the products have been produced

After the inspectors have approved your goods, the CIQ personnel will stamp the clearance slips.

This is crucial, as the customs will require that the clearance slips are stamped, before letting your goods passing through.  

Random Inspections

Sometimes, exporters are subject to additional random inspections done by CIQ.

If you’re chosen to do a random inspection, parts of your goods will be sent to a test lab, to verify that your goods meet the Chinese quality standards.

If parts of your products fail the test, countermeasures must be taken for that specific product/brand, after, a number of batches need to pass the test up to 5 times.  

CIQ Marks and Labels

A CIQ-labels are needed for many products and are attached before the goods enter the Chinese market. The process to make and receive the labels usually takes up to 2 weeks.  

The following information was needed for labels attached to a cosmetic product with a net content of 15mg/15ml (cosmetics are currently exempted from CIQ labelling since 2012:

  • Name and content of the product
  • Name and of the producer
  • Ingredient list
  • Date when produced and shelf life
  • Instructions how to use it

The label requirements differ among products, for example, some of the information you need to include on food are, for example:

  • The name of the product
  • Ingredients listed in %
  • Information about the manufacturer: the name, address, distributor and agent
  • Date of production, best before date, how the food should be stored

Keep in mind that the label must be translated into Chinese and approved by CIQ.

You can visit CIQ’s website for more information or contact the third party to help you with CIQ labeling. You should also seek help from an agent that works with imports to China.

Fees Charged by CIQ

Generally, you need to pay the following costs when you apply to receive a CIQ certificate:

  • Cost for the application
  • Administrative charges and agent fee
  • Sampling/testing fee
  • Label filing (including translation and making design)
  • Inspection fee
  • (Decontamination treatment, if needed)
  • Consulting fee
  • Issuance of certificate to release the goods
  • Customs clearance
  • CIQ certificate
  • When CIQ has accepted your application, you’ll get a CIQ certificate.

What information does the CIQ certificate include?

The CIQ certificate includes the following information:

  • The declared value of your goods
  • Name and address of exporter
  • Site of CIQ inspection (in China)
  • Container number and seal number
  • Findings on appearance and package inspection
  • Result of price verification
  • Findings on testing / Complying with standards X, Y, Z
  • Conformity assessment opinion (Qualified / Not qualified)
  • Documents attached
  • The seal of the inspection body (stamp) and a signature by the inspector

In addition to above, you also need to provide information related to the product, such as:

  • Serial numbers
  • Product description
  • HS codes
  • Place of origin
  • Quantity
  • Unit standard (sqm, liters, etc)
  • Number and type of packages
  • Unit price (in USD)
  • Result of price evaluation
  • Result of total quantity and price evaluation

Consult with a credible agent to understand how the documents are filled in, to obtain your CIQ certificate.

What is a CR number in China?

The CR number referred to as CR code is a Customs Registration number that you receive after you have registered your products with the China customs. You have to include the CR code in your customs declaration to import the products into China.


CIQ stands for China Inspection and Quarantine and operates directly under AQSIQ, which is one of the major quality management institutes in China.

The main responsibility of CIQ is to assure that products leaving or entering China comply with local regulations and don’t bring any potential threats to the market or the nation.

My general advice is to hire a credible when applying for a CIQ declaration, or when exporting goods in general.

The extra cost is well worth, as you’ll reduce the risk of having your goods seized at the customs later.

How can you help me take the next step?

Do you need help with CIQ, CCC or setting up your first Tmall store? We work with leading consultants and service providers – that can help you through every part of the process:

a. CIQ, CCC, labeling and laboratory testing

b. Shipping and customs

c. Selling on Tmall, JD Worldwide & other platforms

d. Finding retailers and distributors for your products

What are you waiting for? Click here to request a free quotation.

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    • Selling on Tmall & Lazada
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    Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information about exporting products to Asia, e-commerce platforms, logistics, regulations, taxes, and other related topics. However, we don't guarantee that we keep the content up to date or that it's free from error. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice of any sort.
  • 27 Responses to “CIQ – China Inspection and Quarantine: The Definitive Guide

    1. piyush patel at 1:57 pm

      Dear sir, we wants to start business of metal scrape Import from china . kindly help us to checking materials and packing and inspections. how we will be secure from deceit party and fraud. we basically from INDIA and wanna know and assure about chinis company waiting fro your quick reply. thanks & regards from
      Tirth Exim

      Rajkot Gujarat INDIA.

      1. Ivan Malloci at 3:05 pm

        Hi there,

        If you want to import from China I suggest you to check our service

        You can also send as an email with more details using the following form:



      2. nelson at 5:45 pm

        Any interest in metal scrap from Chile? Copper and iron scrap available.

        1. tomone tanaka at 3:56 pm

          Please send me copper concentrate information for China
          This is Celeno Co., Ltd.
          Tomone Tanaka

          1. Marcus Sohlberg at 11:09 am

            Hello Tomone,

            Do you want to export copper concentrate or import from China?
            If you want to import from China, you can check

    2. Gleb Tryapitsyn at 5:47 am

      I am working on a contract with Chinese customer to export corn from Ukraine to China. They asked me to register with CIQ, does it mean CIQ certificate? if yes, your post suggests that for CIQ certification I need Quota certificates, Business license, Importing license. Does it mean I should request these certificates from buyer?

      Thank you,


      1. Ivan Malloci at 12:13 pm

        Hi Gleb,

        no, I suggest you to contact the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (

    3. Ali at 5:47 am

      Hi there,
      We are going to import fabrics to our country form china. Here in Iran we need standard certificate for our customs. I asked my supplier to do the inspection form china but unfortunately they have no experience regarding this manner. So it is like I have to do it in my country by myself. The question is do I still need to hand in the inspection doc to my Chinese supplier or they can simply send the goods from their port?

      1. Marcus Sohlberg at 11:12 am

        Hello Ali,

        A little bit late reply, but for other who might have a similar question: You can check for questions related to imports from China.

    4. Raúl Hidalgo at 9:26 am

      Quality is need on product.

    5. Ali at 9:45 am

      Any reply?????

    6. Claudia Carpio at 9:46 pm


      Mi empresa es exportadora de productos Hidrobiológicos (pota, perico, pejerrey, calamar) y próximamente estamos por ingresar al mercado Chino, En cuanto al registro CIQ la planta en la que producimos si, figura en esta lista, pero también nos han indicado que nosotros como exportadores debemos de estar registrados, por lo que procedimos a realizar el registro y hace poco nos enteramos que en años anteriores ya teniamos registro CIQ, tendremos problemas por contar con doble registro o cual prevalece?, habra algun chat on line donde consultarlo?.
      Muchas gracias.

    7. Ms LIM at 7:23 am

      Hi Sir,

      Understand CIQ requirement changed time to time, unexpected. Few question:

      1. Is it the CIQ requirement is vary for different importing port (South China / Beijing / Shanghai / etc)?

      2. Shall an exporter send “sample” of the product to CIQ for registration? Is it physical sample with actual printing a must?

      3. Shall an exporter send only the “label” of the respective product to CIQ for registration?

      Thanks & regards,
      Ms LIM

    8. Leshan at 9:40 am


      We have additives from Singapore to Shanghai that our vessel transit at Hong Kong before arrival at Shanghai.

      What is the requirements for the FTA certificate or inspection requirements that we need to comply at Hong Kong. Understand that we are subjected to CIQ and we need to file the documentation within 3 working days before arrival of vessel at Hong Kong. Pls assist to confirm.

    9. Noohu at 4:53 am

      Dear sir,

      We want to export Aluminum Scrap to our client in India. Our client require PSI (Pre Shipment Inspection) certificate. Should this CIQ can do this kind of product? Also, CIQ is valid for india customs? Please someone advise me. Thanks.

    10. John fischer at 9:49 pm

      How do I get a product into China without giving up trade secrets.

      They want ingredient list which is no biggie but also want exact amount of each ingredient which is a trade secret. I feel that giving that info up, leaves my product open to being reproduced by someone else.

      1. Marcus Sohlberg at 3:46 am

        Hi John,

        Sorry for late reply. A way of protecting yourself is to register your trademark in China. I highly recommend this as China is a first-to-file country, which means that another person can register your trademark in their name, in case you don’t.

    11. prashant shah at 6:34 pm

      how to check CIQ certificate issue by China is genuine or not?

    12. Ondrej at 3:10 pm

      we are packiging company and we make wooden boxes that approve with the ISPM 15. Does the CIQ certificate relate to us? Our customer is sending his machines to China in our boxes.
      Thank you for answer.

    13. lenys at 6:57 pm

      hi im a company form venezuela, and i would like to export frozen shrimp to china qingdao port what kind of documents should i prepare?where should i required,apply? what kind of certificated do i need to have.

    14. RACHANA at 8:23 am

      hi we are company in UAE, and we are planning to ship some Chinese originmachines from China & from Dubai. Please do let me know what i need to do…

      Any contact details for the certifying team in dubai.

    15. ZIP2 at 3:24 am

      hello here!
      Could someone tell me how long does the CIQ take for clearance?
      In case they take long, can this go up to three weeks?

      thanks in advance

    16. Marcus Sohlberg at 11:11 am

      Hello Abhishek,

      I recommend that you read the article again as it’s been updated. It answers all your questions.

      Kind regards / Marcus

    17. ramu.E at 12:17 pm

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      Please provide information Ascorbyl Polyphosphate product will get vetenary Health certificate or not.

      Thanks & Regards

    18. NEO NGUYEN at 3:54 am

      Hello guides,
      I am exporting used machine to China from Vietnam
      Please advise me your office contact in Vietnam for further contacting. We need it urgently
      Thanks so much

    19. Fine Organics at 7:21 am

      Fine Organics offer our clients Natural Mentha Oil and its Products that is specially extracted from mint leaves. These are sourced
      from reliable vendors who are known for offering quality products.Manufacturer of Menthol
      Crystals in India
      are world’s leading Manufacturer and Exporter of Dihydromyrcenol (DHMOH), Natural Menthol Large Crystals IP/BP/USP,
      Dementholised Peppermint Oil (Tri-Rectified) and other Phytochemicals. We have a High-Tech Manufacturing facility sprawling over 10,000 sq.mts,
      capable of quality and quantity production at Rampur(UP, India).

    Comments are closed.