Do’s and Don’ts in China

Getting a visa

As a foreigner if you want to travel in China you should apply with the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country of residence, or a diplomatic organization empowered by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the event of a group tour of upwards of five persons, an application for group tourist visas is made through the travel agency responsible for such a tour.

If you are from a country, which has concluded a visa agreement to the Chinese government, you may have your visa formalities handled according to such an agreement (such as mutual exemption of visas for tourist groups).

If you want to go to Tibet for a visit you can apply for a visa only with the consent of the Tourism Administration of the Tibet Autonomous Region or any one of its foreign representative offices.

Foreigners requesting to visit the special economic zones of Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Xiamen may apply directly with the visa authorities in these zones for “tourist visas to special economic zones”. Those going to Hainan Province for business, travel or visiting relatives for no more than 15 days may apply for entry visas at Haikou or Sanya upon their arrival. Foreign tourist groups from Hong Kong on a 72-hour visit to the Shenzhen Special Economic zone are exempt from entry visas.

If you want to travel in China with your own vehicle ?bicycle, motorcycle, automobile, boat or aircraft ?you should apply approval beforehand. If you want to continue your travel in China after the approved term of your stay expires, you should apply with the local public security organ for elongating your stay.

Clearing the Customs

For your convenience, the following is a brief introduction to relevant stipulations of the Chinese customs.

  1. Passenger Clearance
  2. restricted Articles
  • Cigarettes and Liquors
Type of passengersSet bounds to duty-free Tobacco productsSet bounds to duty-free 12 proof liquors
Inbound, outbound HK/Macao;To and from HK/Macao200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or250 grams of cut tobaccoOne bottle (less than 0.75 liters)
Forth, back in 24 hours; to, from China and HK/Macao repeatedly in a short period40 cigarettes, 5 cigars, or40 grams of cut tobaccoNot allowed for duty-free entry
Others400cigarettes, 100 cigars or500 grams of cut tobaccoTwo bottles (less than 1.5 liters)
  • Articles for your own use

A passenger entering China is allowed to carry one camera, one portable cassette tape-recorder, one small cine-camera, one portable video-camera, and one portable word-processor. Those who have brought more than the limited quantities should truthfully declare with the customs.

  • Gold and Silver and Their Products

A passenger entering China is allowed to carry a reasonable amount of gold, silver and articles made of them for his own use. Those who carry more than 50 grammes should declare with the Customs for relevant formalities, and take them out of China on their return journey. The gold, silver and products made of gold and silver(including inlaid jewerly, utensils and new arts and crafts) bought with the foreign currency the inward passenger has brought with him, are allowed to be carried out of China after they have been checked by the Customs with the special Invoices from the people’s Bank of China.

  • Foreign Currencies and Bills

Passengers entering China are allowed to carry an unlimited amount of foreign currencies, traveler’s checks and credit cards, Resident passengers carrying foreign cash currencies exceeding the equivalent of 2,000 US dollars ( or non-resident passengers carrying 5,000 US dollars) should declare to the Customs, and the foreign currency or bills to be brought out of China on the passengers?return journey are subject to Customs examinations according to the amount previously declared.

  • RenMingbi

A passenger entering or leaving China is allowed to carry no more than RMB 6,000 yuan.

  • Cultural Relics

If you have carried cultural relics into China and wants to take them with you on your journey home, you are requested to report the details to the Customs. The cultural relics to be brought out of China by a passenger are subject to inspection and appraisal by a cultural administrative department in China. When carrying cultural relics out of China you should make a specific declaration about them to the Customs. The Customs may refuse to release the cultural relics in question unless they bear a seal authorized by a Chinese cultural administrative department and an invoice indicating that they can be sold to foreigners. Cultural relics obtained through other channels may be taken out of China if they bear a seal and an export permit authorized by a cultural administrative department.

  • Chinese Medicine and Patent Drugs

Passengers leaving China for foreign countries are allowed to carry no more than 300 yuan worth of traditional Chinese medicine and patent drugs; those bound for Hong Kong and Macao, no more than 150 yuan. The value of an individual parcel of traditional Chinese medicine and patent drugs to be mailed to a foreign country should not exceed 300 yuan; if such a parcel is to be mailed to Hong Kong or Macao its value should not exceed 100 yuan. Inbound passengers taking out of China an appropriate amount of traditional Chinese medicine and patent drugs purchased with their own foreign currency for their own use are related upon Customs examination of the invoices and exchange memos.

  • Souvenirs

With the exception of those whose export is subject to export permits or custom duties, inward passengers are allowed to carry, on their return journey, unlimited value, variety and quantity of souvenirs, arts and crafts bought with their own foreign currencies; the Customs release these articles after examining the relevant invoices and foreign exchange memos.

  1. Banned Articles

1.all articles whose entry into China is forbidden by the country’s law; 2. Manuscripts, printed matters, films, photographs, gramophone records, movies, recording tapes, videotapes, VCDs, computer data and other articles whose contents are related to state secrets; 3. Valuable cultural relics and other cultural relics not allowed to leave China by law; 4. Endangered and valuable species of animals, plants (including samples), as well as their seeds and breeding materials.


Those who carry such special articles as microorganisms, human body issues, biological products, and blood and its products, should declare to a quarantine department, and subject these articles to quarantine inspections. Passengers from yellow fever-infested areas should, when entering China, display to the quarantine department effective certificates showing that they have been inoculated against yellow fever. He who does not have such a valid certificate shall be retained for observation for six days beginning from the day he left the infested area, or he shall be inoculated and retained until the certificate comes into effect. It is the task of the Chinese quarantine authorities to prevent foreigners suffering AIDS, venereal diseases, leprosy, mental diseases and open tuberculosis from entering China.