Tiles manufactured in China, because of their remarkable quality, are the most sought after in the world. Building on supplies and technology, cost-effective manufacturing methods and vast domestic and regional potential markets, China has become the world's top tile producers. Many importers choose the import of tiles from China as production costs in China are at least 50% lower than elsewhere. The reason is that, in most countries across the world, China tiles do not have an anti-dumping duty. Tile exporters also receive a tax rebate in China of 13 per cent, depending on the kind and source of the tile, from the Chinese government.
This guideline will be very beneficial if you want to import tiles from China.
1. Knowledge about Chinese Tiles, Its Classification & Different Types
You might feel puzzled when importing Chinese tiles as numerous descriptions of tiles are there. There are even multiple names to the same type of tile. The options majorly comprise of the following:
The size of the tile range between 2 to 18 inches, there are tiles in 24 inches too, which needs to be installed with special equipments. The most frequent forms of tiles are square and rectangular. Some tiles are offered in the forms octagon, hexagon and pentagon. The colour tone of the tiles refers to shades. During various tones of the same hue, distinct batches generally come. Choosing the same hue tone is crucial. Tiles differ in design, referring to the natural look of granite and natural stones. Tiles vary in pattern. Depend on the manufacturer, the pattern of porcelain and ceramic tiles.
2. Finding Right Manufacturers or Providers
When you decide to import tile from China, there are a few things to consider. It is also important to ensure that the manufacturer or supplier has all of the appropriate documentation for the import and shipping of the tiles. Ascertain that the manufacturer provides high-quality tiles and prompt delivery, as well as that he charges reasonable shipping rates.
To find the right manufacturers or suppliers in China, might not be a difficult task as the majority of Chinese tiles originate from one location i.e. Foshan, Guangdong Province, also known as the Worlds Capital for Tiles. There are other ways to find the right suppliers of manufactures such as through B2B services such as Alibaba or attending Trade Shows for the newest collection of tiles and ceramics.
Sourcing agencies may find tile manufacturers and suppliers, conduct factory inspections, negotiate pricing, and handle the lengthy and time-consuming import procedure. If you opt to work with an agent to source for you, keep in mind that they should be extremely knowledgeable about the items you need to import.
3. Ensuring Successful Import of High-Quality Goods
To ensure that the quality of the Tiles that are desired to be imported are of high standards, the buyer should be mindful of key phases that need to be carried out before the final purchase of goods.
Before placing your final purchase for Chinese tiles, obtain a sample for a comprehensive inspection. Ensure proper paperwork and warranties for the ceramic goods. As a vital element, always make sure that the Tiles are approved and tested for stain resistance, color consistency, water absorption, shock resistance, moisture expansion, and durability, among other qualities. And the materials and packaging adhere to guidelines of the buyer’s country.
4. Shipment Terms
For any importer, importing tiles for the first time can be a complicated procedure, and there could be concerns about shipping assurance, packing, delivery method, price, and so on. Before importing tiles into country, it is critical to choose a reputable shipper that can provide shipping insurance.
There are primarily two terms for Shipments:
=> FOB Shipments:
Suppliers are released from liability and complete delivery of their items to the buyer's designated Shippers. Suppliers fulfill their responsibilities by providing the ceramic goods, creating an invoice and packing list, and completing the forwarder shipment booking form. After the goods are handed to the forwarding agency, it is the forwarding agent's responsibility to contact the shipping line and get product insurance.
The buyer then chooses between two options for the forwarder's arrangements: prepayment or collection. Prepaid Shipments imply that the client will pay the freight charges before the shipment occurs. Buyers may pay for Collection of Shipments in their country once the products arrive at the port and notice of the shipment.
=> CNF Shipment:
The product vendors are responsible for any freight-related expenses. The only significant operational difference is that CNF secures product insurance for consumers. This agreement is mostly feasible if the parties, the supplier and the buyer, have a strong link between them.
New importers should avoid using the CNF/CIF terms unless they are familiar with the seller's procedures. This is especially true when dealing with Chinese imports. It is usually preferable to employ the services of a freight forwarder and, if possible, to use the FOB Incoterm. This is done to avoid unpleasant shocks when the cargo arrives.
5. Shipping Guarantees:
Shipping guarantees include transit from the warehouse to the nearest port as well as transportation in the target country till the buyer's warehouse, freight cost, and insurance. Ceramic product insurance in the event of late delivery or damage during transport, essential document dockets such as Pos, Packing Document, Product Details, Weight, and other requisites, custom clearance are also included in Shipping guarantees. Typically, all pricing and terms are agreed upon in writing between the customer and the supplier.
6. Payment Terms:
The usual payment terms adopted by most China tile manufacturers and suppliers are 30% down payment prior to manufacturing and 70% balance upon order fulfillment. Scams are common in China, so if you are a first-time importer of China tiles, it is advisable to start with a small order to get to know the manufacturer or supplier you are working with. To avoid being duped, you can also engage a sourcing agent.
Most commonly used, Safer and Accepted modes of payment transaction are:
❖ Telegraphic Transfer (T/T) - A Telegraphic Transfer is a standard bank transaction that may be completed either online or in a local bank branch.
❖ Letter of Credit (L/C) - A Letter of Credit allows the buyer to add an extra degree of protection by requiring the supplier to meet specific, pre-determined conditions before payment is released. The main aspect here is that no deposit payment is necessary, which significantly minimizes the buyer's risks. When paying by Letter of Credit, the question is under what conditions the payment will be ‘released.' Once these requirements are met, the bank will instantly release the cash to the supplier and subsequently credit the buyer.
❖ International Trade Finance Services - Trade financing company pays your supplier, and you will then pay the trade financing company at a later date. These companies normally charge an interest rate and fixed fees.
❖ Alibaba Trade Assurance - Alibaba Trade Assurance works in a similar way to a letter of credit in that funds are only issued until the supplier meets the following criteria:
1. Meet the deadline for the order (final delivery date is specified)
2. The items are in accordance with the authorised specifications and quality standards.
The only difference is that before the supplier can begin production, the customer must transfer funds into an Alibaba account through T/T or credit card.
❖ PayPal - PayPal payments are suitable for sample orders – or very small orders.