China - Country Commercial Guide
Prohibited and Restricted Imports
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The following items are prohibited from entering China: arms, ammunition, and explosives of all kinds; counterfeit currencies and counterfeit negotiable securities; printed matter, magnetic media, films, or photographs that are deemed to be detrimental to the political, economic, cultural, and moral interests of China; lethal poisons; illicit drugs; disease-carrying animals and plants; foods, medicines, and other articles coming from disease-stricken areas; old/used garments; and local currency (RMB). Food items containing certain food colorings and additives deemed harmful to human health by the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) are also barred.

In addition, China restricts or prohibits the importation of certain commodities related to the processing trade. The Catalogue of Commodities Which are Restricted or Prohibited from Importing for Use in the Processing Trade is designed to shift the direction of China’s processing trade toward handling commodities with higher technological content and greater value-added potential. The catalog identifies several types of “prohibited commodities”: used garments; used publications with licentious content; radioactive or harmful industrial waste; and junk and restricted commodities. This list was most recently revised in 2015.