The US Construction Industry Manufacturers Association (CIMA) has issued guidance that seeks to clarify, at least in part, the restrictions on selling used equipment into China.

The Chinese government does not forbid companies importing used equipment but it does impose significant restrictions. The issue was raised by member companies at a CIMA China Construction Industry Forum recently, following which CIMA’s China office issued the following guidance:

• An application for importing used equipment must be approved by the Mechanical & Electronic Product Department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC). Local companies or importers must go through their local government department and then MOFTEC to process the import application.

• It is easier to get an import application approved for used equipment if its destination is a less developed region such as Xinjiang or Gansu Province or Inner Mongolia.

• Projects with foreign investment can import used equipment for the project only.

• It is easier to obtain a used equipment import licence for products that are not available in China from domestic manufacturers.

• Foreign investment enterprises can import used equipment for their own production, i.e. second-hand machine tools.

However, anyone shipping construction machinery to China is warned by CIMA to make sure that wooden packing crates have been fumigated, as the Chinese government has now banned wooden packaging that has not been treated for pest infestation.