Culture Shock! China - A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette, 2nd Edition

(Kiana) #1
Settling In 97

When managing your move, whether with a professional
relocation agency or on your own, it is critical that you pay
great attention to the detail of the paperwork. To remind
yourself of items being shipped and the condition that they
are in, it is useful to create a photo inventory. This will provide
backup to make a case should they become damaged or lost
in the shipping process.
Make sure that you have the full documented value of your
household goods itemised on the insurance sheets. Although
at the time you are packing you feel confident that you know
each unique piece, months and miles later, it is difficult to
recall exactly which four small cabinets you were referring
to if you have not gone into sufficient detail. Be on hand
when the moving company is packing and moving boxes to
assure that each box is sequentially numbered and makes it
out the door. On your copy of the packing sheet, mark which
boxes important items go into that you will need as soon as
the shipment is unloaded at your new home. It is handy to
know where hammers, measuring tape, garbage bags and
other items are as you organise your new home.
There are some items that are either not cost effective
or are illegal to bring to China. Wine, liquor, cigarettes and
electronic appliances command high import duties and are
readily available in China. It is better to purchase them in
China than pay a premium to bring them in. The import duty
on furniture is much lower and is nil on personal effects.
Customs may confiscate CDs, DVDs and videotapes.
Sensitivities around pirating have led to liberal removal of
these items from shipments into China. You are unlikely to
have them returned and if you are able to get them returned,
the amount of administrative hassle and badgering will taint
your first few weeks in China.
Do not attempt to bring in pornography or sensitive books.
At best they will be confiscated, at worst they could seriously
limit your time in China.
Be mindful that there are three items that are particularly
hard to take out of China when you move onto your next
assignment. They are pets, DVDs and CDs and antiques.
Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations stay current and that

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