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How is Customs Clearance in China for Parallel-Import Cars Processed?

What are Parallel-Import Cars

Parallel-import cars refer to cars that merchants purchase from overseas market without authorization of brands and import into Chinese market for sales.

Parallel-import cars can be classified into USA-standard, Middle-East version, Canada version, EU version, Mexico version, etc., based on places of import, and be distinguished from China-standard cars that are sold via authorized channels.

The above mentioned different versions do not stand for manufacturing places of cars but sales areas of cars. Automotive OEMs will produce different types of cars in accordance with laws and regulations and climate conditions of different countries and regions and make sure them suit different targeted markets.

Cars, not matter imported via what channel, are from Automotive OEMs. They are just slightly different because different laws and regulations of different countries or regions. Parallel-import car are definitely fine in terms of safety. 

Common Parallel-Import Cars 

Take Dalian port for example,
1.Most are high-end SUV, for instance, Range Rover/Range Rover Sports Series, Benz G Class/GLS/GLE series, BMW X5/X6, Audi Q7, etc. 
2.PRADO(2700/4000), Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford Explorer, JEEP wrangler, etc. 
3.Commercial vehicle: Toyota Alphard, Toyota Sienna, etc.
4.Cars: Bentley, Maserati, Toyota Supra, etc. 
5.High-performance pickup: F150

Advantages of Parallel-Import Cars
í˝ prices
Parallel-import cars skip sales sections like sole distributors,  regional distributors and 4S stores. What is more, dealers of parallel-import cars are not restricted by Automotive OEMs at pricing. That is why parallel-import cars are around 10%-20% cheaper than China-standard cars. 

í˝ vehicle types and delivery. 
After hitting overseas market, some new car types may not come into Chinese market because of strategic planing of Automotive OEMs or domestic certifications, while parallel-import cars have natural advantages in this matter. They are freely purchased on overseas market, and are transported to domestic market, which save lots of waiting time .  

4S stores basically use deposit or bank guarantee to take cars, and manufacturers will allocate quota to every domestic 4S store in accordance with capacity, while imports of parallel-import cars will take cars at full payment which make car delivery very fast. 

í˝Model configuration
Another advantage of parallel-import cars is that people can buy overseas models that are not available in Chinese mainland. Normally, manufacturers will adjust /re-fit overseas car models after import to conform with Chinese market positioning strategy. And parallel-import cars are directed from North America, Middle East and other countries and regions, and their model configurations are not  necessarily consistent with China standard cars.  

The overseas sales strategies are to give you a basic configuration and you can choose and install other configurations based your own needs, while domestic cars are distinguished by high/medium and low configurations and consumers can not choose at their own thoughts. 

Customs Supervision Process (The Customs Clearance in China )
01 VIN Pre-verification
Before declaring to parallel-import cars, importers shall submit relevant document to customs. Customs officers will log in import vehicle VIN management system and verify the VIN codes.  

02 Declarations
Importers or their China customs clearance agents shall submit trade documents and vehicle specifications. The import tax es shall be automatically concluded and issued by custom system based on the declarations or be confirmed by customs officersí» price verification.

03 Container Opening and Storage
After arrival, landing container opening will be executed by customs officers for parallel-import cars shipped by container. Customs officers will carry out quarantine on the carrying tools and wooden packages. Customs will attend on board and do inspection and quarantine on parallel-import cars shipped by ro-ro. Subsequently, vehicles will be moved to the appointed supervision place.

04 Standard Conformance Revamp 
After inspection order is issued and before making inspection appointment, importers shall revamp parallel-import cars in accordance with domestic standards, laws and regulations. Meanwhile, the revamp process shall be video monitored so as to build a matching relationship between revamps and videos. The videos shall be kept for inspections. 

05 Testing on Safety Performances and Emissions
Parallel-import cars, after complete standard conformance revamps, shall be tested by third-party testing organizations trusted by customs to see if safety performance and emissions are up to China standards or not. 

06 Inspection 
Customs officer will inspect parallel-import cars shipment by shipment based on inspection orders and relevant standard requirements after they complete  standard conformance revamps.

07 Tax Payment
Importers shall pay import tax amount concluded by customs system or confirmed by customs officers. 

08 Customs Release and Doc Issuing. 
Customs will release parallel-import cars that pass inspections and are import taxes cleared, and shall issue Inspection Sheet for Imported Motor Vehicle and Certificate for Imported Goods for every single vehicle within three working day. 

09 Cancel VIN code after verification
After Inspection Sheet for Imported Motor Vehicle is issued, customs office shall log in VIN Management System for Imported Motor Vehicles and cancel the relevant VIN codes after verification. 

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