Long gone are the days when you had to give in your mobile phones before entering the country. Rules are much more relaxed than many think, with cameras, phones, and many other electrical items being absolutely no problem.
Nevertheless, it is important to read the guidelines and be prepared on what you can and cannot take into the country before going on a tour.
What can I take in?
Many are surprised to know that you can take a surprising amount of things into the country. Contrary to popular belief, you can bring in films, music, and media storage devices. You can also take alcohol and cigarettes into the country – without being limited on amount as many Western countries are. You may want to take in some gifts for your guides, and this is strongly encouraged!
All this, as well as all the normal things you’d want to bring in on holiday (such as clothing, makeup etc).
Customs checks vary, but they may want to search your bags upon arrival. They may also want to see all of your electrical devices. This is a simple procedure and just requires you showing them what you have, which they may then record.
See the list of things below for things you should watch out for for the customs check –
What should I watch out for?
There are a few items that are either prohibited, or are better being left at home.
Devices with GPS (does not apply to smartphones)
Certain electronic devices (drones)
Camera lenses of more than 250mm
Maps of North/South Korea
Tour guides for N/S Korea & Japan
Some films (including pornography)
– What can I take out of the country?
Anything that you can buy in the country, you can take out! This includes alcohol, cigarettes, propaganda posters etc. Arriving back into China with these items is no problem, and the amount you can take with you is usually limited only to however much you can carry. This means you can buy as many souvenirs as you want! (There’s a great range to choose from!). However, do make sure to check the customs regulations if you’re moving onto another country or returning home after China.