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Shanghai Airport Customs Brokerí»s Note: A Stuck DHL Parcel with 66kg í░Personal Itemsí▒

Since 1997, the year we started business, we have helped clear stuck lots of courier parcels/packages containing various items shipped by DHL, Fedex, UPS, TNT, SF, etc. At Beijing airport, Shanghai airport, Guangzhou airport, Shenzhen airport and Chengdu airport for individuals and enterprises . We are quite experience and professional in the field. We are also signing customs broker in China for some global companies. We help clients analyze the possibilities of customs clearance, locate the proper HS code(s), prepare required documents, provide import title and most importantly help them clear stuck parcels fast. But that does not mean we are able to clear all parcels. As a China customs broker, we must act pursuant to customs regulations. Each year, there are not a few parcels that can not be cleared. Hereunder, we share a recent case. 
On Oct 14, 2021, A man from UK sent me an email and claimed that he had a DHL parcel stuck at Shanghai customs. The parcel weighed 66 KG, and the contained items were all personal gifts for his friend in Shanghai. As below are the details of the contained items.

1 x compact discs box containing 25 pieces of CDs in which the client saved drawings and pictures on from work
1 x box containing approx 100 pieces of metal machine badges with company logo. The client purchase them more than 10 years ago.
Approx 30 x Machine user manuals, the client produced and printed them on his printer.  
1 x machine part, the client made it by himself many years ago 
The client claim that his business ceased trading 3 years ago. The above items were from his office which I wish to give as a gifts for his friend. They had no commercial value. They were purely gift items from me to him.
5 x new baby garments, these were gifts for his friendí»s new born baby.

Assuming all the client claimed was true and honest, the parcel still could not clear as personal items. China customs have strict definition and regulations for personal items. On one hand, the parcelí»s value had exceeded limitation on personal goods which was the key that it could not clear as personal items. On the other hand, one can tell that except the 5x new born baby garments, all other items had commercial feel. They were not used in human beingí»s daily life. Instead, they were used in office, company or machine. In another word, they did not meet China customsí» definition for personal items. 

When not possible cleared as personal items, the only alternative is to clear as company goods.  Unfortunately the parcel contained 25 pieces of CDs which needed import approval sheet for finished audio/video products to clear. But neither the client or we were able to obtain the import approval sheet. In china, only a few companies are qualified to import finished audio/video products.  In this case, the customs clearance for the parcel was not able to proceed. We suggested the client to get the parcel returned as soon as possible.  The client asked us would it work if he sends the parcel back to UK and re-sends as a commercial shipment. That will be another story. We decide to do a detailed solution after he sends us photos of each containing item. 

Hope it can provide some insight into the customs clearance in China for people who plan to ship parcels to Chinese mainland.

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