According to the Customs Law of the People's Republic of China and PRC Customs' Supervision and Management on Inward and Outward Passengers' Luggage, the luggage carried by inward and outward passengers shall enter or leave the territory at a place where there is a Customs office, and must be declared to Customs officers as required.
Unless otherwise specified by laws and regulations, no luggage carried by both inwards and outwards passengers shall be exempt from being inspected and released by China Customs. Customs inspection of such luggage is based on the principle of "clearing articles of reasonable quantity for personal use only". Different types of luggage carried by passengers shall be given different limited value and amount for levying and exemption of duties.
In the event passengers carry some articles which are required to be declared to the Customs for entry or exit, those passengers shall submit the form entitled "Declaration on PRC Customs Inward and Outward Passengers' Luggage" or Customs declaration documents at the declaration desk, such that they truthfully declare the luggage as required, and submit them to the Customs to handle articles entry or exit formalities. In a double-channel Customs office, the above-mentioned passengers shall choose the channel of "declaration" (e.g. "red channel") for clearance and passengers who carry articles which are not required to be declared to the Customs shall choose the channel of "non-declaration" (e.g. "green channel") for clearance.
Please note declaration documents with the Customs' inspection and signature must be kept properly, so that the passengers can handle relevant formalities well based on their production of those documents if needed for return or after entry.Luggage carrying a Customs seal cannot be unpacked. Likewise Customs seals affixed to luggage cannot be damaged or broken. A passenger may be committing an offence under the Laws of China in doing so.
Entry/Exit Inspections and Quarantines
Health Declaration at Border Crossings
1. When there is no major epidemic reported in China or abroad, inbound and outbound personnel do not need to fill out an "Entry-Exit Quarantine and Health Declaration Card". However, inbound and outbound personnel exhibiting symptoms of fever, vomiting, cough, breathing difficulty, diarrhea, contagious disease or psychiatric disorders or who may be judged to be carrying microorganisms, human tissues, biological products, blood or its products shall verbally declare their status to an quarantine officer at the passenger inspection lane and subject themselves to inspection and quarantine. (Excerpt from 2008 No. 62 Notice on Streamlining Health Declaration Procedures for Inbound and Outbound Passengers at Border Crossings Nationwide, issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China)
2. When there is a major epidemic reported in China or abroad, temporary compulsory inspection and quarantine measures announced by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China with regard to inbound and outbound personnel shall apply, and inbound and outbound personnel shall truthfully fill out the "Entry-Exit Quarantine and Health Declaration Card", enter or exit through the dedicated lane for inspection and quarantine, and have their luggage scanned by an X-ray machine. (Excerpt from 2008 No. 62 Notice on Streamlining Health Declaration Procedures for Inbound and Outbound Passengers at Border Crossings Nationwide, issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China)
Inspection & Quarantine Instructions to Inbound Personnel
1. A foreign national planning to reside in China for more than a year shall, when applying for an entry visa, present a health certificate issued by a medical organization designated by the government of his or her home country, or a health certificate issued by any medical organization and notarized by a notary public. The health certificate shall be valid for at least six months from the date of issuance. (Excerpt from The Rules Governing the Implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Entry and Exit of Aliens)
2. An inbound Chinese national who has resided abroad for more than three months or an overseas Chinese from Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan who has been approved to relocate back to China to take up residency or employment, shall present a health certificate issued by the inspection and quarantine authority or a public hospital in the country of his or her residence prior to returning to China (the health certificate shall include AIDS and venereal disease serology test results). If he or she is unable to produce a valid certificate, he or she shall undergo a physical examination at an inspection and quarantine agency after reentry; local public security authorities shall urge he or she to undergo the physical examination and provide necessary assistance to satisfy all relevant requirements assuring good health. (Excerpt from Health Inspection  No. 5 Notice of the Ministries of Health and Public Security on the Presentation of Health Certificates by Inbound and Outbound Chinese Citizens)
3. An inbound Chinese national who has resided abroad for more than a year shall declare his or her physical condition to the inspection and quarantine authority upon reentry. He or she shall undergo a physical examination at the nearest inspection and quarantine agency or hospital above the county level within one month of reentry. (Excerpt from The Rules for the Implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Frontier Health and Quarantine)
4. Passengers coming from areas infected by Yellow Fever shall present a valid vaccination certificate to the inspection and quarantine authority upon entry. (Excerpt from The Rules Governing the Implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Entry and Exit of Aliens)
Inspection & Quarantine Instructions to Outbound Personnel
1. An outbound passenger who has been approved to take up employment, pursue studies or reside in a foreign country for more than a year shall undergo a physical examination, receive vaccinations and health certification at an inspection and quarantine agency before his or her departure. (Excerpt from Health Inspection  No. 5 Notice of the Ministries of Health and Public Security on the Presentation of Health Certificates by Inbound and Outbound Chinese Citizens)
2. A passenger bound for a foreign country infected with Yellow Fever shall present a vaccination certificate on departure and return. (Excerpt from The Health and Quarantine Inspection Rules for Inbound and Outbound Personnel, SN/T 1344-2003)
3. An outbound passenger shall provide a relevant vaccination certificate according to the requirements of his or her destination country. (Excerpt from The Health and Quarantine Inspection Rules for Inbound and Outbound Personnel, SN/T 1344-2003)
Luggage Instructions to Inbound and Outbound Personnel: (Except from the No. 56 Decree of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China: The Administrative Provisions on Quarantine of Luggage Carried by Inbound and Outbound Personnel)
1. An inbound or outbound passenger carrying the following objects shall declare same to the quarantine and inspection authority and subject the objects to quarantine. Objects which have not been declared and quarantined are barred from entry or exit.
(1) Inbound: animal and plant products and other objects subject to quarantine;
(2) Inbound and outbound: microorganisms, human tissues, biological products, blood, blood products,
and other special objects;
(3) Inbound and outbound: skeletons, ashes, corpses, and coffins;
(4) Inbound and outbound: luggage and objects originating from epidemic areas or contaminated by a
contagious disease or deemed likely to transmit a contagious disease;
(5) Other carry-on luggage which shall be declared to the quarantine and inspection authority and be subject to quarantine.
2. The following objects are prohibited from entry: objects listed in Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Quarantine of Inbound and Outbound Animals and Plants, in the Catalog of the People's Republic of China for Plants Prohibited from Entry, and in the Catalog of the People's Republic of China for Animals, Animal Products and Other Quarantine Objects Prohibited from Entry into China as Carry-on Luggage or Postal Parcels, and blood products, wastes and other objects expressly prohibited from entering China by the Chinese Government.
Passenger Clearance & Customs Declaration: Luggage and goods carried by inbound and outbound passengers should be for personal use only and in a reasonable quantity and should be declared as actual personal items to the Customs and subjected to inspection by the Customs officials. The duty-paid value of inbound and outbound goods is determined by the Customs officers according to the law. Short-term passengers (those approved to stay in or outside China for not more than one year) may carry the following goods into or out of China, subject to the following restrictions:
Fabrics, clothing, shoes, hats, objects of art, and other personal effects worth not more than
Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.
Personal effects worth more than RMB 1,000 but not more than
Goods in Category I should be for personal use only and in a reasonable quantity. An inbound passenger may carry 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars or 500 grams of tobacco and two bottles of alcoholic beverage (of higher than 12 percent alcohol and less than 1.5 liters) free of duty.
An inbound passenger with Category III goods will be subject to customs duties: Each inbound passenger may carry a camera, a portable tape recorder, a small movie camera, a portable video camera, and a portable word processor for personal use. If exceeding the pre-stated scope, he or she should make a declaration to the Customs officials present.
Inbound and outbound passengers carrying more than RMB 20,000 or more than USD 5,000 or an equivalent amount in other foreign currencies, in cash, or who are carrying more than 50 grams of gold or silver and/or their related products should make a declaration to the Customs officials. For foreign passengers who undertake multiple trips to and from Hong Kong or Macao over a period of 15 days and for persons undertaking frequent inbound and outbound trips, the Customs officials will only release articles they need for their journey.
Inbound and outbound passengers holding a diplomatic or courtesy visa granted by the competent authority of the Government of the People's Republic of China, are not required to fill out the declaration form; however, they should show their valid identity papers to the Customs officials so that Customs can exempt them from inspection. A passenger may not carry more than RMB 150 worth of Chinese medicinal materials and prepared Chinese medicines if bound for
Hong Kong or Macao and not more than RMB 300 if bound for a foreign country. Long-term visitors (those approved to stay in or outside China for one year or longer) may import and export articles for personal use according to the procedures set forth in the Provisions of the Customs of the People’s Republic of China on the Importation and Exportation of Articles for Personal Use by Non-Resident Long-Term Visitors. To bring articles for personal use into China, a visitor should file a written application with the responsible customs office in person or through his or her appointed customs declaration agency, and the application should be supported by the following documents:
1. Identity papers
2. Long-term residence permit
3. Completed Application Forms of the Customs Office of the People's Republic of China for Importation and
Exportation of Articles for Personal Use
4. Bill of lading (waybill), packing list and other required documents
Customs levies duties on dutiable articles imported by non-resident, long-term visitors that are designated for personal use in accordance with the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Import and Export Duties. The Customs Office does not levy duties on articles which are imported by long-term, non-resident visitors for personal use and which are exempted from duty under intergovernmental protocols. (For more information, please visit the China Customs website at www.customs.gov.cn)
Domestic articles, in a reasonable quantity, which are imported into China by staff members of foreign consulates, the United Nations and its affiliations, and representative offices of international organizations in China, as well as by their family, are exempted from duty and inspection. Books and teaching and scientific research materials/objects in a reasonable quantity which are imported into China by foreign experts (including experts from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) serving in the nation's educational institutions are exempted from import duty.
Foreign exchange: Foreign currencies, traveler's checks and credit cards carried into China by passengers are unlimited. If more than 1,000 USD or an equivalent amount of other foreign currency is carried into China by residential passengers (5,000 USD by non-residential passengers), it should be declared to the Customs. The Customs will release the same amount of currencies declared when the passengers go out of China. The foreign exchange in excess of the above amount carried out of China by passengers will be inspected and released by the Customs in light of the "License for Carrying Outward Foreign Exchange" issued by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.
RMB: No more than 6000 RMB is allowed to be carried into or out of China by passengers.
Tourist commodities: If passengers carry tourist souvenirs and crafts (excluding articles in need of export license or export duty as required by the State) bought in China with foreign currency out, they will be released by the Customs in light of relevant invoice and foreign exchange memo.