Thursday, January 23, 2014

Exporting out of China during Chinese New Year

Exporting out of Shenzhen during Chinese New Year?  For the decade plus we've been exporting from China, Shenzhen Customs is always the first to leave for the holidays, that's despite the official holiday schedule as posted by the Chinese central government.  This "leave-early" ritual has become a regional way of life in Shenzhen.

For the very same reason, all shipments going through Shenzhen customs will needed to be "greased" more than usual.  That's also early "red envelopes" for these customs officials.  We've had shipments not able to squeeze into export warehouse and had to pay-off customs officials.  And then we've also had to pay the same officials for shipments already sitting in export warehouse waiting to be loaded onto ships.  No matter where your shipment is, just be prepared to pay through your nose to get them out.  No...  Not just before the Chinese New Year, but thanks to these people leaving their posts earlier, they've artificially created a rush to ship environment where it kind of justify greasing their palms.

The new leadership in China had promised to cracked down on corruption and seems to be doing just that.  But that's right at the top of the food chain.  The underlings see this crack-down as their count-down timer to the extra earnings that might eventually disappear.  This may account for why they are so much more aggressive now than ever.

In our situation, as of this writing, it is already too late to ship anything out of Shenzhen.  We had to spend our own money to truck the shipment from Shenzhen to be exported through Shanghai.  And yes... Shanghai customs officials are still working, right up to the designated government sanctioned holidays.  The problem now is all the traffic on the highway may not make trucking shipments around very efficient...

Oh... Chinese New Year...  Worst time of the year for exporters.