The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states, consisting of countries primarily based in Europe. It’s a single market based on four freedoms – people, goods, services and capital. And all four can move freely between all member states.

What is an EORI number?

‘EORI number’ is short for ‘Economic Operators Registration and Identification Number’ and is a system of unique identification numbers used by customs authorities throughout the European Union.

How do I get the products shipped from China to Europe?

There are two primary options; Sea freight or Air freight.

Air freight is faster, taking only around 7 days. However, you pay for that speed. The cost is often around $4 to $5 per kilogram.

Sea freight takes longer than air freight, 30 to 32 days to be specific, to most ports in the European Union.

On the other hand, the cost per volumetric unit is much lower, as long as you ship more than 2 cubic meters.

You can either book the shipment through your supplier, or work with a European forwarder, with offices in China or a local forwarder in China.

I strongly recommend the latter, for the following reasons:

  • Most Chinese suppliers ship according to CIF terms, which results in high port fees when the goods arrive in Europe. Shipping quotations are based on Incoterms, so you need to know what’s included. Instead, I suggest that you only order according to FOB terms from your supplier.
  • If you work with a forwarder, you have much more control and transparency of the process. You can book shipping all the way to your address, make sure the goods are properly insured and so on.
  • You should work with an EU forwarder that knows how to declare the customs value, and how the import duty and VAT declarations should be handled.

How and when do I pay VAT, import duties and other taxes?

First, the import VAT and other taxes are calculated based on the customs value. In the European Union, the customs value includes the following:

  • Product cost
  • Shipping cost (to the EU)
  • Insurance
  • Product samples, tooling and samples
  • Design fees and other fees paid to the supplier (or related party)

Import Duties

The import duty is a percentage that is calculated based on the customs value. How much you pay, depends on the HS code. For example, for Product A, you may pay 4%, while you pay 2% for Product B.

Most products are in the range between 2% to 6%.


Customs Value: €10,000

Duty rate: 5%

Total: 10,000 x 5% = €500


As you may already know, the VAT rate is set by each member state. The VAT you must pay is based on the sum of the customs value and the import duty. You can find out more information about your VAT obligations by contacting


Customs Value: €10,000 Duty rate: 5% (€500) Total: 10,000 x 5% = €500 VAT = 20% Total: (€10,000 + €500) x 20% = €2100

I recommend that you let your forwarder manage the customs and VAT declaration for you. Thus, they will handle all the paperwork and send you an invoice that include both the VAT and the import duty.

Main Seaports

Europe has many ports, and five important container ports are Hamburg in Germany, Rotterdam in Holland, Felixstowe in UK, Antwerp in Belgium, Le Havre in France. Almost all the goods are transported via these five ports.

The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, located in the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands. From 1962 until 2004 it was the world's busiest port, now overtaken first by Singapore and then Shanghai. In 2011, Rotterdam was the world's eleventh-largest container port in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled. In 2012 Rotterdam was the world's sixth-largest port in terms of annual cargo tonnage.

The Port of Hamburg is a sea port on the river Elbe in Hamburg, Germany, 110 kilometres from its mouth on the North Sea. It's Germany's largest port and is named the country's "Gateway to the World". In terms of TEU throughput, Hamburg is the third-busiest port in Europe (after Rotterdam and Antwerp) and 15th-largest worldwide. In 2014, 9.73 million TEUs (20-foot standard container equivalents) were handled in Hamburg.

The Port of Antwerp in  Belgium, is a port in the heart of Europe accessible to capesize ships. It is Europe’s second-largest seaport, after Rotterdam, Antwerp stands at the upper end of the tidal estuary of the Scheldt. As a result, the port of Antwerp has become one of Europe's largest seaports, ranking second behind Rotterdam by total freight shipped.

Main Airports

London Heathrow International Airport, Aéroport international Charles de Gaulle and Frankfort International Airport are the three biggest airports in Europe. Besides, there are so many airports can be taken as international delivery terminals.

Heathrow Airport, also known as London Heathrow (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL), is a major international airport in London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world (after Dubai International Airport) by international passenger traffic, as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. It is one of six international airports serving Greater London.

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (IATA: CDG, ICAO: LFPG), also known as Roissy Airport (name of the local district), is the largest international airport in France and the second largest in Europe.  In 2018, the airport handled 72,229,723 passengers and 480,945 aircraft movements, thus making it the world's tenth-busiest airport, and Europe's second-busiest airport (after London Heathrow) in terms of passenger numbers. In terms of cargo traffic, the airport is the twelfth-busiest in the world and the second-busiest in Europe (after Frankfurt Airport).

Frankfurt am Main Airport (IATA: FRA, ICAO: EDDF) is a major international airport located in Frankfurt, the fifth-largest city of Germany and one of the world's leading financial centers. Frankfurt Airport is the busiest airport by passenger traffic in Germany as well as the 4th busiest in Europe. It also had a freight throughput of 2.076 million metric tonnes in 2015 and is the busiest airport in Europe by cargo traffic. As of summer 2017, Frankfurt Airport serves more than 300 destinations in 5 continents, making it the airport with the most direct routes in the world.

What we can do for you?

Our Logistics Services

  • 1. Steady rate air cargo freight to Europe
  • 2. Daily tracking report
  • 3. Cheap courier price, more than 50% discount from courier company
  • 4. Door to Door delivery service (DDU/DDP)
  • 5. Consolidation (we can pick up the goods from different suppliers all over China and consolidate the cargo in our warehouse for one shipment for you)
  • 6. Customs clearance
  • 7. Export license
  • 8. Documentation: (C/O,FA,FM,Fumigation,ISF,AMS,EMS and so on)
  • 9. Commodity inspection
  • 10. Document works for concealing the true ID of real shipper or real consignee
  • 11. Drop shipping. (ship without to use the name of factory and without any invoice or paper documents from the factory)
  • 12. Insurance: 0.5%*110% goods cost (MIN USD30)

To be continued…