Products Covered Under CIQ in China: A Complete Guide

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One of the most common questions I get regarding CIQ is what products are affected by CIQ when exporting products into China. And what you should prepare as an exporter, to meet the requirements of CIQ.

In fact, the information you find on the internet about CIQ is a bit vague and most websites only write about the organization itself, but not the practical information that you need to know as an exporter.

I think we can both agree that what’s most important for you is to learn how to get started, rather than information when CIQ was established.

Therefore, I’ve written this article explaining what products are covered under the CIQ.

What is a CIQ import license?

Let me explain this briefly first:

A CIQ import license will show that your products have been tested, meet Chinese standards and that you’re eligible to import your products into China.

This is not unique for China, but similar requirements apply in other countries.

Products that require a CIQ import license

You need to get a CIQ import license if you plan to export any of the following products to China:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cosmetics
  • Food
  • Grain samples
  • Plants, plant products and seeds
  • Jewelry

It doesn’t come as a surprise that food, beverages and cosmetics are required to have a CIQ import license, as these are consumed by humans or applied to the skin.

Food poisoning or allergic reactions can result in diseases, or in worst case death. To leave these products out would be a no-go.

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Products that require a CIQ and/or MOFCOM import license

  • Medical or dental supplies & equipment
  • Tobacco

Keep in mind that products registered at MOFCOM usually don’t need a CIQ import license.

If you haven’t heard about MOFCOM before, it’s the Ministry of Commerce in China.

Products that might require an import license from CIQ and MOFCOM, depending on the detail of information of the product

  • Communications equipment
  • Computer components and parts
  • Mobile phones
  • Mobile phone accessories & components
  • Telecommunications equipment
  • Machine and electronic parts

To confirm whether your specific products need an import license from CIQ and, possibly MOFCOM, I recommend you to seek help from a third party to help you through the CIQ process.

There are thousands of unique products out there, therefore, I’ve just covered a number of product categories.

CIQ Inspections

I’ve already spoken about CIQ inspections in my complete guide about CIQ. Inspections can be performed randomly and are generally mandatory for products subject to a CIQ importing license.

Keep in mind that if your products require a CCC mark, you need to prepare your CCC license in advance, before the goods arrive in China.

If you don’t comply with these regulations, your goods will either be sent back or seized by the customs. A costly and time consuming problem that every exporter wants to avoid.


Sanitary certificates

Your first shipment of products will be subject to an inspection by CIQ, in order to get a Sanitary Certificate. Overall, the processing time is up to 30 days and up to 30 products will go through this testing.

Products in the following categories are usually required to get a Sanitary Certificate.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cosmetics
  • Food
  • Grain samples
  • Plants, plant products and seeds

Fortunately, the remaining batches can be cleared through the customs, however, you’ll not be able to send these products to end customers, until you’ve got the green light from CIQ.

In addition to the Sanitary Certificate, you’re required to provide the following documents:

  • Certificate of Origin
  • Examining Report

At the same time, your beneficiary in China needs to provide the following documents:

a. A food label in Chinese, I recommend that you discuss with your importer in China, who should prepare these labels.

b. Veterinary & Plant Inspection and Quarantine Certificate might also apply.

I recommend you to read my separate article to learn more about which products that require a CCC mark.

Main duties of CIQ

As explained in my separate article about CIQ, they operate under AQSIQ and control the flow of goods entering or leaving China.

Some main responsibilities include:

a. To check that the packaging and products are marked correctly

b. That products are CCC marked (in case they need a CCC mark)

C. To check that food products are refrigerated under a certain temperature when arriving in China.

These are just some examples.


CIQ stands for China Inspection and Quarantine and is responsible to control the import of exports of products, into China. As you can see from its name, it’s responsible for performing inspections and give you approval, before you can sell your products in China.

They’re also responsible to control and prevent epidemics at the border (i.e harbor and airports).

It’s not easy to find information about CIQ on the internet, websites mostly write about the authority itself and how it’s operating. But there’s not much practical available, that’s crucial for SME’s.

One of the most common questions people asks is what products that are covered by CIQ.

Most products require a CIQ import license when exporting parts to China, followed by an on-site inspection. If you’re an exporter of food, you’ll also need documents such as: A sanitary certification, country of origin and an examining report.

I highly recommend that you work with a third party that can help you to manage the CIQ process more smoothly. Also, I recommend you to read my complete guide about CCC certification.

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.

  • (USA & EU)

    Free Webinar: How to Sell Online To China & Southeast Asia

    • Selling on Tmall & Lazada
    • Logistics & fulfillment options
    • Payment gateways
    • Incorporation & trademarks


    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.
  • 3 Responses to “Products Covered Under CIQ in China: A Complete Guide

    1. Agi at 4:08 pm

      Hi, can i check if i have passed the CIQ for the first time, subsequently do i still need to go through the CIQ again for my second shipment and so for? What if i will to ship to different harbour, do i need to go through CIQ again?

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