China Customs & Routing Requirements

China Customs & Routing Requirements


China Customs Requirements

Customs requirements for shipments to China are very similar to requirements for shipments to the U.S.  Customs documents (Commercial Invoice and Packing List) must be produced in Tradestone.  The information regarding units shipped, value, customs description and China HTS # must be accurate on the Tradestone commercial invoice.

The one change impacting shipments to China applies to orders manufactured outside of China.  For goods manufactured outside of China and delivered to URBN on an FOB basis, the vendor should not provide a commercial invoice to the freight forwarder, only the Tradestone Packing list is required. The Tradestone commercial invoice should still be generated for the vendor’s export and A/P purposes, but is not to be provided to the freight forwarder.

For goods manufactured in China, vendors should still provide both the commercial invoice and the packing list to the freight forwarder.

Also, accurate safety hang tags and sewn in size/care/content labels are required for China Customs clearance.  Goods shipped without proper testing / hang tags / labels will delay entry and vendors may be charged back for non-compliance. Please refer to the China Testing & Product Marking requirements and the China Pre-ticketing requirements for additional information.

Please ensure that all goods are shipped with the proper labels and hang tags.  The information on the labels and documents (particularly fiber content, description and country of origin) must all match.

Please contact URBN Global Trade and Compliance at if you have any questions regarding China Customs requirements.

China Routing Requirements

Ownbrand and Market vendors should follow the below Routing requirements based on pre-established freight terms. If you’re unclear of the PO freight terms, please contact your buyer or production partner – this will be critical in ensuring the PO routes, clears customs, and is delivered to the correct location.

How do I ship to China?

Summary of Contents

  1. Shipment Terms
  2. Ship Date
  3. Delivery Time Frame
  4. Late Shipment
  5. Bookings & Approvals
  6. Service Providers
  7. Revised Booking Requirements
  8. Over/Short Shipments
  9. Ocean Shipment Procedures
  10. Air Shipment Procedures
  11. Documentation Requirements
  12. Forwarder Cargo Receipt
  13. DC Shipping Addresses
  14. URBN Routing Contact 

International Shipping

1.   Shipment Terms

  • URBN- also known by brand as Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, Terrain.
  • International purchase orders are generally issued on the terms of “FOB Designated Consolidator”. This means the cargo must be delivered to the URBN appointed consolidator in the designated country according to the stipulated Ship Date denoted on the purchase order.
  • It is deemed that URBN has taken delivery of the goods once the appointed consolidator accepts the cargo and issues a Forwarders Cargo Receipt or House Air Waybill.
  • All export clearances are the responsibility of the vendor/factory


2.   Ship Date

  • The Ship Date is stated on the URBN (by brand) Purchase Order as the latest date for the cargo to be at the URBN’s appointed consolidator’s facility.
  • This date represents a handover date to the designated consolidator. It is NOT a departure date. The departure date will be provided once the booking is approved.


3.   Delivery Time Frame

  • URBN’s consolidators will accept deliveries up to 7 days prior to the stipulated Ship Date. With the approval of the URBN Transportation Department, cargo can be accepted up to 10 days prior to the stipulated Ship Date.
  • Any storage charges associated with early delivery of 10 days or more will be the responsibility of the vendor.
  • Any delivery later than the closing time of the Ship Date at the URBN appointed consolidator will be considered “late” and subject to refusal, late penalties and further action. Orders are subject to cancellation if late.
  • The vendor cannot deliver the shipments to the Freight Forwarder until the booking has been approved. (see booking instructions below)


4.   Late Shipment

Cargo not delivered to URBN’s appointed consolidator by the Ship Date will be considered late. For late delivery, URBN reserves the right to:

  • Cancel the Order
  • Accept the order and initiate a late shipment penalty/chargeback in accordance with penalty schedule and or reduced price for the goods
  • Request for the goods to be transported by “air” at the vendor’s expense. URBN preferred carriers must be used in all cases.
  • Vendor may be responsible to prepay the air/ocean cost difference and pay the URBN air forwarder directly. In this case, the purchasing terms MUST be changed to CIF (Cost, Insurance & Freight).
  • Vendor will be expected to reduce the cost of the goods by the air/ocean cost difference and the air shipment will move collect. Purchase orders will be changed to reflect such changes.


5.   Booking and Approvals

  • Vendors should request a booking with the nominated freight forwarder via email (see Forwarder contact list). When booking with the forwarder please indicate that you are making a booking for “URBN Shanghai” regardless of what Brand you are working with. The Packing List # must be provided to the Freight Forwarder at time of booking.

The following details should be provided when requesting a booking:

Vendor Name
Product Description
Packing List #
Full PO# (including Master-PO#, if issued)
Style Number
Carton Quantity
HTS Codes
Piece /unit quantity
FOB Port of Lading
Gross Weight Kgs
Net Weight Kgs
Carton Dimensions
CBM’s (Cubic Meters)
Mode of transport (as listed on PO)
Freight Terms
Cargo Ready Date
Any Hazardous cargo must be identified with appropriate documentation

Failure to provide full booking details may result in the booking being rejected by the freight forwarder, and a subsequent late delivery with all the implications thereof.

Click image to enlarge TMall Booking process:

TMall Booking Process

CARGO Services AirFreight Document


6.   Service Provider

AllPort Cargo Services (ACS)
Please see attached origin contact list:

TMALL Origin Air Freight Contact Details


7.   Revised Bookings

Any amendments post booking approval will need to be submitted on a revised booking to the freight forwarder.


8.   Over/Short Shipment

A maximum of 5% over/short shipment is acceptable, provided the overage/shortage is proportionate to the original quantity ordered by style, color and size scale.

If a short shipment of more than 5% is anticipated, the Vendor must inform the appropriate Merchandising Department and the URBN Logistics Department. No split shipments of purchase orders will be allowed without approval from both of these URBN Departments.

For any short shipment greater than 5%, URBN reserves the right to raise a short shipment discount. If the short shipment percentage is high or out of ratio, the order could be subject to a cancellation.

For any split shipment, URBN reserves the right to initiate a split shipment penalty and to chargeback any additional expenses and costs incurred for processing multiple shipments.


9.   Ocean Shipment Procedures

To be updated. All shipments must ship via air until further notice.


10.   Air Shipment Procedures

Vendors should place bookings with URBN’s nominated Air Forwarder at least 7 days in advance of cargo delivery. The forwarder will provide vendor with standardize booking form as used by their facility in the country of origin.

It is mandatory for Vendors to use URBN nominated Air Forwarder(s). Failure to do so will result in Vendor’s full responsibility for compensation to URBN for loss of sales due to unnecessary delay at port of clearance or lack of visibility to shipment.

The merchandise must pass URBN Final Inspection before delivery to the nominated Air Forwarder(s) where consolidation will take place.

Under normal circumstances, freight should be arranged on a “collect” basis.

When merchandise must be air-freighted at Vendor’s own expense (prepaid), freight must be arranged at the vendor’s expense, but must still be arranged with the URBN nominated Air freight forwarder.



11.   Documentation Requirements

  • U-TURN: TS Packing list, TS Commercial Invoice
  • IMPORT: TS Packing list ONLY
  • China DDP: TS Packing list, Chinese Invoice


Additional documents may be requested on an ad-hoc basis as required.

All documents must be in English and presented when cargo is rendered to the forwarder.


12.  Forwarder Cargo Receipt

Freight Forwarders will issue the Forwarders Cargo Receipt (FCR) only once the supplier has:

Delivered all Cargo

Submitted all required documents

Paid all origin charges


13.   DC Shipping Address (U-turn and Import)

For vendors locate outside of mainland China, the shipping address is:
Itochu Logistics (China),Ltd Shanghai Branch
318, Shunfeng Rd. Nanxiang Town, Jia Ding District Shanghai, China 201802

For vendors locate inside of mainland China, the shipping address is:
Trade Service CO., LTD.
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Logistics Park
No. 41 Shenfei Road
Shanghai, China (Mainland) 200137

These addresses will be on each packing list.


14.  URBN Routing Contact

Please contact for any questions regarding the above routing guidelines.

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