OptimalShip's Helpful Shipping Tips

Exporting COVID-19 Relief Goods from China

Posted by C. Keers on Jun 4, 2020 1:26:40 PM

For several months now special restrictions have been in place for exports of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical, and general COVID-19 relief supplies from China. Although these restrictions have been in place for some time, businesses are still experiencing delays as a result of incorrectly processed shipments. In this post we will cover in detail how to correctly process a shipment affected by this restrictions.

If you are already familiar with these restrictions please note that the only change is the lifting of the China/ Hong Kong weight restrictions. You may now process shipments that are above 150 lb (70 kg) per piece and 660 lb (300 kg) per shipment. However, the 1100 lb (500 kg) cap per account number is still in place. Shippers will need to follow the cap guideline in order to have their shipments picked up.

You may now process shipments that are above 150 lb (70 kg) per piece and 660 lb (300 kg) per shipment. However, the 1100 lb (500 kg) cap per account number is still in place.

What is considered relief goods?

The China Ministry of Commerce, China Customs, and China FDA have specifically listed the following items as under special export restriction.

Announcement No. 5:

  • Surgical/ medical face masks including masks labeled and/or known as non-medical masks.
  • COVID-19 testing kits.
  • Ventilator.
  • Thermometers; specifically mentioned are the infrared type.
  • Protective clothing, PPE, or similar clothing.

Announcement No. 53:

  • Surgical/ medical operation caps, gowns, shoes, and shoe coverings.
  • Surgical/ medical gloves and goggles.
  • Patient monitoring devices.
  • Disinfectants; specifically mentioned are disinfectant towels.

To avoid shipment delays it is recommended that you follow these special restrictions for any items like those listed here.

Are personal shipments restricted as well?

Yes, personal shipments are also restricted but have different requirements:


Shipment quantity should be a reasonable amount for personal use and the information declared on the documents must exactly match the physical shipment. Uppercase, lowercase, abbreviated, or completely spelled out matters! Make sure your documentation exactly matches the physical shipment.

Clearance Document Requirements by Shipper:

  • Copy of shipper’s ID and/ or passport.
  • Power of Attorney (POA) for Personal Effects Clearance.

Declaration Requirements:

  • Value limit is CNY 1000 (CNY 800 if to Hong Kong/ Macao/ Taiwan).
    • 140 USD and 112 USD respectively.
  • Shipment must be from private individual to private individual. No B2P or P2B allowed using the personal process.
  • COVID-19 testing kits, ventilators, and other medical specific supplies are not allowed using the personal process.

DHL has provided us with templates of some of this documentation. You can find these documents available for download at the bottom of this post under the Business Clearance and Declaration Documentation section.

Business Restrictions

Restrictions on export of business (non-personal) shipments will vary based on the products you are attempting to ship. For example, if your products are listed in Announcement No. 5 they will need to be processed differently than products listed in Announcement No. 53. To keep the process simple it may be best to process separate shipments for products regulated under Announcements No. 5 and No. 53, instead of attempting to export both types in the same shipment.


  • The exporter must insure that all information listed on the declaration documentation must be absolutely consistent with all documentation and packaging of your shipment. This includes but is not limited to business name(s), phone number(s), address(es), license numbers, certifications, and labeling on the product packaging itself. Here are some in depth examples of what to watch out for:
    • Company names must be consistent. Don’t abbreviate some names and leave others fully spelled out. Don’t use a parent company name and then a subsidiary on some documentation. Don’t supply different phone numbers or addresses for the same company, use one consistently.
    • Product labeling and packaging must be consistent with your documentation and declarations. For example, if your exporting under the restrictions from Announcement No. 53, product packaging must not state supplies are China Quality Standard. If they do you must start over and process the shipment according to Announcement No. 5.
  • If applicable to your shipment the exporter must provide:
    • Joint declaration of exporter and importer signed by a designated China exporter and destination importer.
    • Copy of the manufacturer’s China Medical Device Registration Certificate.
  • The exporter must insure that products with the China Quality Standard mark or labeling are checked against China’s SAMR blacklist: www.samr.gov.cn This website is in Chinese only.
  • The exporter must insure that products with quality or standard marks from other countries are checked against China’s MOFCOM whitelist: www.cccmhpie.org.cn This website is in Chinese and English only.
  • The exporter is required to provide the actual manufacturer’s full Chinese company name and their China Uniform Social Credit Code.
  • The exporter must provide additional documentation based on the type of shipment. This could include certifications, licenses, screenshots of the manufacturer and/ or medical devices listing on China’s FDA website, and testing reports.

Please note that this is just a summary of the requirements. If you would like a complete walk-through of the process, DHL has provided us with a detailed PowerPoint which is discussed in the next section. We have also made a handy quick reference guide that you can download from the Other Carriers section below.

Getting overwhelmed? Need to ship to or from China? We can handle the entire process for you!

Give us a call at 1-800-418-2273 or send an email to customerservice@optimalship.com.

DHL Specific

DHL has prepared a PowerPoint presentation that walks you through the entire export process. If you are using DHL as your shipping company you may want to keep a copy of this presentation:

As of the 5th of June, 2020, DHL will be operating under the As-Is export process for all shipments originating from China. The As-Is pre-check process is all done via email. You will need to contact DHL Express for the appropriate region and they will provide you with the email to use:

Region Number
Customer Support Hotline: 95380 (Mainland China)
North China CS International Hotline: 86-10-59522899
East China CS International Hotline: 86-21-55514777
South China CS International Hotline: 86-20-86669288

Other Carriers

We have also made a guide based off this PowerPoint that you can download and print for quick reference. This guide is designed to be carrier-agnostic and contains all the vital export restriction information in one place. Please note that we are not responsible if your shipping company requires additional documentation. You should check the information provided here with your carrier:

The following quick reference guide has a copy of every new export document. You can use the PDF version as a quick reference and the Word Document version to edit and print the documents you need for your shipment:

Business Clearance and Declaration Documentation

DHL has provided us with templates of the clearance and declaration documentation. Well these templates should work for other carriers you should double check this information with your specific carrier before using them:

Topics: Exports, China, restrictions, covid-19