Pre-Trip Planning

Custom Regulations

  Information concerning regulations and procedures governing items that may be brought into China is available through the Chinese Embassies and consulates in the world. Students may bring into China only a limited number of items which are considered necessary for study and daily life. Some foreign citizens residing in China have been required to pay customs duty on certain high value items when they depart China, if procedures were not followed when the items were originally brought into China. Additional information concerning Chinese customs regulations is contained in the Department of State brochure, "Tips for Travelers to the People's Republic of China," which is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20420.
  Valid visas are required, and those who arrive in China without a visa may be fined at the port of entry and may not be allowed to enter China. The Chinese government does not permit foreigners to visit some areas of China. Reconfirmation of departure reservations is essential. Travelers have been stranded when outgoing flights are overbooked and reservations have not been reconfirmed. For information about entry requirements and restricted areas, travelers may consult the Embassy of the People's Republic of China. For more information regarding visas, contact the Visa Section of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China at (202) 328-2517 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  On departure, travelers must fill in Exit Registration Cards and have their passports and visas checked.        Articles registered on the Customs Luggage Declaration Form should all be brought out of China. If any item is missing, a certificate by the relevant department is required (for instance, a certificate from the police is required if something has been stolen); otherwise, the traveler must pay import duty according to the Customs regulations.
  Visitors who want to change CNY (Chinese Yuan) back to foreign currency at the airport before leaving China will be required to show the exchange slip provided when they exchanged foreign currency into CNY on arrival or at banks.

The best prevention from disease is to ensure maximum hygiene while travelling, especially in restaurants and roadside snack bars. Never eat raw, uncooked, or partially cooked food, including salads outside of top -end hotels. Animal or human excrement is still frequently used as fertilizer, so that bacteria on uncooked vegetables may be ingested. Also suggested if travelling outside of a tour group: acquire chopsticks and a tin bowl with lid for train journeys and meals in small roadside restaurants. Drink only boiled or bottled water, even though the tap water is drinkable in some places and hotels. The adjustment to different climate and different food frequently leads to cold or digestive problems that, although rarely serious, may impede one's enjoyment.

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travellers if arriving from infected areas.

Malaria risk exists throughout the country below 1500m except in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Beijing, Shanxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang(except in the Yili River Valley) and Tibet ( Xizang, except in the Zangbo River Valley in the extreme southeast). North of 33N, the risk lasts from July to November, between 33N and 25N from May to December, and south of 25N throughout the year. The disease occurs primarily in the benign vivax form but the malignant falciparum form is also present and has been reported to be highly resistant to chloroquine.

Rabies is present, although the Goverment policy which bans dogs and cats from main cities makes this less of a risk in these areas. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

Bilharzia ( schistosomiasis) is present in the central Yangtze river basin. Avoid swimming and padding in fresh water. Swimming pools that are well-chlorinated and maintained are safe. There is some risk of plague. Hepatitis E is prevalent in western China. Hepatitis B is highly endemic.

Precautions should be taken agaist Japanese encephalitis.

Tours to Tibet, the northwest, or the tropical province of Yunnan make particularly high demands on the health. Heart disease and high blood pressure can lead to serious problems in Tibet because of the high altitude. Along the Silk Road, expect high temperatures and dry conditions.

Medical costs are low. Many medicines common to Western countries are unavaiable in China. The hospital system is excellent. There are many traditional forms of medicine still used in China, the most notable being acupuncture. Medical insurance is advised.


Personal accident insurance can be applied for by members of foreign embassies, representative offices of foreign business firms, resident offices of foreign newspapers and news agencies, and other institutions, as well as foreign visitors and tourists, compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan coming to visit their relatives on the mainland and overseas Chinese. In addition, travel agencies can take the responsibility of tourist insurance. The People's Insurance Company of China is responsible for the insurance business.


1. The limit of total compensation is CNY300,000.00.
2. The maximum limit of compensation for each individual item is:
1) The compensation for the casualty of traveler is CNY180,000.00/p.p.
2) The compensation for the medical expenses of the traveler is CNY12,000.00/p.p.
3) The compensation for the cost to send the remains or ashes of the traveler to his country is CNY15,000.00/p.p.
4) The compensation for the loss or damage of the belongings brought by the traveler is CNY4,500.00/p.p.
5) The compensation for the responsibility of the third party is CNY88,500.00/p.p.
3.The time limit of insurance is within 20 days from the time the traveler comes to China.

Visa and Passports

Traveling in China requires a visa. If you are a part of a group, the tour operator will often obtain it; group visas will usually be issued for groups with at least 10, and the guide accompanying your group will keep the visas. An Individual traveler can apply for one at any Chinese embassy, and the procedure is usually straightforward, taking about a week. The duration depends upon current regulations and also upon your own country's regulation for citizens visiting China. Tourist visas are usually good for two months, but can be extended for an extra month at the Foreigners Section of the Public Security Bureau. Passports must be valid for at least six months before you travel to China.

You will need to send in two 2X2 pictures along with the application form and appropriate fees to your nearest Chinese embassy or consulate.

If you are attending a trade show or traveling on business and need a formal invitation letter to apply for a Chinese visa, you will need to fill out the Formal Invitation Application Form.

Major Chinese Embassies and Consulates around the World

Country Address
Australia 14 Federal Highway,
Watson, Canberra, A. C. T. 2602
Tel: 412448

Austria 1030 Wien Vienna,
Metternichgasse 4
Tel: 753149

Belgium 19 Boulevard General Jacques,
1050 Brussels
Tel: 6482886, 6496773

Canada 415 St. Andrew St.,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada KIN5H3
Tel: 2342706

Consulate-General of the PRC,
Town Inn Hotel, 620 Church Street,
Toronto, M4Y 2G2
Tel: (416) 9647575, 9647260

Consulate-General of the PRC,
3380 Granville, B.C. V6H 3K3
Tel: (604) 7363910

Denmark Oregards Alle 25,
2900 Hellerup, Copenhagen
Tel: (01) 625806

France 11 Avenue George V,
Paris, 8 EME, France
Tel: 7367790

Federal Republic Kurfuerstenallee 12,
of Germany 5300 Bonn-BAD Godesberg
Tel: 361095, 96, 97

Italy 56 Via Bruxelles,
00198 Roma
Tel: 8448186

Japan 4-33, Moto-Azabu 3-chome,
Minato-Ku, Tokyo
Tel: 4037955, 4033383

Mexico Av. Rio Magdalena 172,
Colonia: Villa Alvaro Obregon,
Mexico 20, D.F., Mexico
Tel: 5482821

Netherlands Adriaan Goekooplaan 7,
The Hague
Tel: 547516

New Zealand 2-6 Glenmore Street,
Tel: 721383

Norway Tuengen Alle 2B,
Vinderen, Oslo 3
Tel: 110053

Spain C/Arturo, Soria No. 111-113,
Tel: (91) 4152031

Switzerland Kalcheggweg 10,
3006 Berne
Tel: (031) 447333

Sweden Bragevägen No. 4,
114 26 Stockholm
Tel: 217539

United Kingdom 31 Portland Place,
London WIN3AG
Tel: 6365637

United States 2300 Connecticut Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 328 2517

Consulate-General of the PRC,
3417 Montrose Blvd.,
Houston, TX 77006
Tel: (713) 524 4311

Consulate-General of the PRC,
520, 12th Avenue,
New York, N.Y. 10036
Tel: (202) 330 7409

Consulate-General of the PRC,
1450 Laguna St.
San Francisco CA 94115
Tel: (415)563 9232

Consulate-General of the PRC,
104 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 900
Chicago,IL 60603
Tel: (312) 803 0097

Consulate-General of the PRC,
443 Shatto Place, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Tel: (213) 380 2506

What may not be taken to China
  1. Arms, imitation arms, ammunition and explosives of all kinds;
2. Counterfeit currency and counterfeit negotiable securities;
3. Printed matter, films, photos, gramophone records, cinematographic films, loaded recording tapes and video-tapes, compact discs (video & audio), storage media for computers and other articles which are detrimental to the political, economic, cultural and moral interests of China;
4. Deadly poisons of all kinds;
5. Opium, morphine, heroin, marihuana and other addiction inducing or hallucinatory drugs;
6. Animals, plants and products made thereof infected with or carrying diseases, insect pests and other harmful organisms;
7. Foodstuffs, medicines and other articles coming from epidemic-stricken areas and harmful to humans and livestock, or those capable of spreading diseases.


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