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Importing from China to Chile: Basic Guide for Importers

Updated: May 9

Bilateral trade between China and Chile has steadily grown in recent years, largely due to the Free Trade Agreement between both parties, which came into effect on October 1, 2006, making China Chile's main trading partner.

In 2022, Chile's exports to China amounted to US$38.447 billion, with copper minerals and concentrates, cherries, and refined copper cathodes being the main exported products. Conversely, imports from China totaled US$24.146 billion, with smartphones, passenger cars, and data processing machines being the primary imported products.

This document provides logistical recommendations for Chilean importers looking to bring goods from China. To achieve this, it is recommended to consider the following factors:

Factors to Consider in Choosing Suppliers:


The supplier should have extensive commercial experience.


Seek references from current clients to gauge opinions and satisfaction levels with the supplier.

Product Quality

The supplier must guarantee that its products and services are of top quality.


The supplier should be willing to negotiate prices and offer discounts for large purchase volumes.

Factors to Consider in Transportation Modes:




- Greater volume and storage capacity.

- Competitive and economical.

- Ships can navigate easily in adverse weather conditions.

- Greater variety of transportable products and materials.

- Greater reach.

- Faster delivery speed.

- Extensive coverage.

- Reduced risk of theft, loss, or misplacement of goods.

- Fewer and simpler procedures compared to maritime transport.


- Relatively lengthy process.

- Longer delivery time than air and land transport.

- More expensive compared to maritime and land transport.

- Limited storage and loading capacity.

- Limited variety of transportable products and materials.

- Susceptible to weather conditions.

It is essential to mention that for companies importing small volumes of goods that do not require extensive space, there is the option of consolidated cargo shipping. This involves sending cargo in a shared container (LCL) with goods from other shippers, which can be cost-effective and space-efficient.

Pre-shipment Inspection: The Importance of Quality Verification.

Another crucial consideration in importing is pre-shipment inspection, which involves examining goods before shipment to detect irregularities, prevent damage, and verify the consistency of the necessary documentation for the destination. This process helps reduce costs related to storage or delays in merchandise.

Compliance with Regulations and Customs Documentation:

To ensure smooth entry into the country, it is necessary to comply with the regulations and customs documentation required by the receiving country. Chilean regulations include the payment of taxes (VAT) and ad valorem customs duties, which are applied to all imported goods based on their value, international transportation cost, merchandise insurance, product type, and country of origin. Additionally, adherence to sanitary and phytosanitary requirements established by Chilean authorities is crucial to protect human health and plant and animal health.

The documentation required to be presented to Chilean customs authorities includes:

  • Commercial Invoice: Details goods or services, including invoice number, shipment date, means of transport, delivery terms, and a complete list of goods with prices, discounts, and quantities.

  • Certificate of Origin: Certifies the origin of the goods, allowing for tariff preferences under the Chile-China Free Trade Agreement.

  • Transport Document: Verifies the transport of imported products, including maritime (MBL/HBL), air (Airway Bill), and land (Bill of Lading).

Cargo Transport Insurance: Why It Matters

Importers should also consider available insurance options. Transport insurance covers damages to goods during transportation, while liability insurance allows importers to cover damages to third parties during transit.

Packaging in Cargo Transport

Proper packaging enables importers to:

  • Preserve and protect their merchandise.

  • Adapt the merchandise to the conditions and characteristics of its packaging during transit.

  • Represent their company to consumers.

  • Comply with the labeling policies in each country.

Advantages of Working with SPARX Logistics

SPARX Logistics offers international logistics services tailored to the needs of exporters and importers in China and Chile. The company manages and coordinates all logistics operations, ensuring the best route, price, and means of transportation. Their deep market knowledge optimizes costs and times while complying with laws, regulations, and documentation required for international shipments. Contact them to optimize your supply chain:



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A new sourcing location? Looking for potential savings? A tricky logistic situation you just can’t solve? Send us a message and we’ll respond within 48 hours of receiving your inquiry.
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