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How to import stainless steel decorative sheets from china?

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Linda Wong

As one of the co-founders of Vigorss, I have been deeply involved in the decorative stainless steel sheet industry for over ten years, gaining extensive knowledge of product craftsmanship. I enjoy approaching issues from the customer's perspective, so the blog posts can address many customer pain points. Feel free to leave a comment to suggest topics for the next posts.

Do you have a construction project that needs decorative stainless steel sheet or are you in the business of importing and exporting cold-rolled stainless steel plate? If so, this article is for you! We'll walk through the process of importing these materials from China.

Table of Contents

There are three steps to getting your material imported. First, research what type of decorative stainless steel sheet you need. Next, find a reputable supplier in China who can provide it to you at an affordable price. Finally, import the product into your country with customs approval and get ready for installation!

Make it clear what kind of decorative stainless steel sheets you need

There are many different types of stainless steel sheet with various finishes, such as mirror, hairline, sandblasted, gold/rose gold/black titanium PVD coated, embossed, etched, and stamped, so it is important that you make it clear exactly what type of sheet you need. Decorative stainless steel sheets can be used for a variety of applications, such as backsplashes, countertops, and wall cladding. Please refer to the following details on how to find the stainless steel sheets that you need.

With ready-made samples or product pictures

Do you have samples or pictures of stainless steel sheet? If so, that’s great. All you need to do is to send the supplier an inquiry and ask for a price based on the sample or picture. Usually, the supplier will ask for the actual sample to be sent to them before confirming the order, because there are some color differences between the picture and the real one. If you only have a sample on hand, we suggest you cut them into several small pieces and keep one of them in your hand, then after doing some searching work, make sure to send the rest to different reliable suppliers.

Without ready-made samples or product pictures

If not, the rest job should be done during the communication with suppliers. Ask for catalogs or website links to select the designs or colors from the suppliers. If you still can’t find the styles you want, tell them the product details, including size, thickness, surface treatment, and application scenarios. A professional salesperson will give you the right solutions based on your needs, combined with his previous sales experience. Then ask them to provide you with their samples to confirm.

Supplier Selection

How could you find the right verified suppliers?

Searching Platform

The first place to start searching when looking for suppliers of stainless steel sheet online should be Google. Inputting words into the Google search bar related to your industry along with the keywords Stainless Steel Decorative Sheet Supplier in China will generate countless results which include websites where you may purchase this product. The second most popular engine used today is Bing, which also has an effect on finding information about companies offering products in this category.


How to Pick out the Right Stainless Steel Sheet Suppliers on Google

When looking for suppliers of stainless steel sheets, it is important to do your research in order to find the right company. There are many different suppliers out there, and not all of them offer high-quality products. By doing a Google search, you can compare the different companies and their products to find the best one for your needs.

First, check the About page of their website to determine if they are a manufacturer or a trader. Then look at the product page and study whether their product descriptions are detailed and professional. Finally, look through the blog page, if the articles have good content and are continuously updated, to some extent this can indicate that the company is doing well in the foreign trade business.

VIGORSS is a manufacturer of decorative stainless steel sheet in China with 10 years of export experience. Our website is Please feel free to check our several pages and we hope that the content of our pages will help you to get a deeper understanding of stainless steel decorative sheets.

VIGORSS workshop
VIGORSS workshops

Get Quotations from Suppliers

If you are doing the import for the first time, it is recommended that you ask for the CIF price, which includes the cost of the product, insurance cost, and the shipping cost of the goods from China to the destination port, and you can also save yourself the trouble of asking a freight forwarder for the sea freight cost. If you have worked with a shipping company before, then you’d better ask for both FOB and CIF prices so that you can compare which cost is more cost-effective.

In addition, it is recommended to carefully review the product information in the quotation, including stainless steel sheet dimension, thickness tolerance, unit weight, quantity tolerance, packaging, etc.


Contact VIGORSS for the quote sheet with full details of the stainless steel plate.


There are two conventional ways of stainless steel plate packaging suitable for export, wooden case and iron case. The packaging is sometimes determined by the order quantity.

A 20ft or 40ft container can usually hold about 18 to 25 tons depending on the rules of different countries. The following are pictures of stainless steel sheets packed in a wooden case and an iron case.

Wooden Case

If it is a full container order most customers choose to pack in wooden boxes because the cost is relatively cheaper. But the wooden box is made of solid wood, and many countries require fumigation treatment, so we advise you to confirm in advance with the local freight forwarder whether the fumigation certificate is a must for customs clearance.

Iron Case

In the case of trial orders, the quantity is less than one container, e.g. 50 pieces of stainless steel sheets. They will be arranged to be delivered in LCL. LCL means that your stainless steel sheets will be packed in a container with other people’s shipments. The chances of damage to the packaging are much higher during shipping, so you should ask your supplier to pack the stainless steel sheet in iron cases, which will protect the stainless steel plate well.

Payment Term

Please pay attention to the payment term on the quotation.


Usually, most suppliers would show the term as ‘By T/T, 30% as deposit, and 70% before delivery’. The deposit is to show good faith on the part of the buyer. It also serves as a guarantee that the supplier will not sell the product to anyone else in the meantime. The final payment is usually made when the goods are ready to be shipped or delivered.

Payment Term


If you feel that paying a 30% deposit for the first cooperation is risky, then you can choose to do L/C. After the goods are shipped, the supplier will submit all the needed documents to the bank, and if there are no problems with the documents, the bank will release the money. In this way, your risk is greatly reduced.

Ask for Samples

Once you have confirmed all details with a few suppliers, contact them to request samples. Most companies will be happy to send you some samples so that you can test the thickness, grade of material, color, design, and other features of their products. This will help ensure that you are getting what you expect from your decorative stainless steel sheet. In addition, it is sometimes possible to select the most suitable supplier by comparing the quality of the samples and the service of the sales staff.

Contact VIGORSS for free samples today! We can courier the samples of regular patterns within 24 hours after receiving your request.


If it is the first time for you to import, we suggest you take a small number of stainless steel sheets, which can reduce trial-and-error costs.

Work before Confirming the Order

After getting the supplier’s quotation, there are five more things to do before confirming the order.

Identify Import Right

It is important to recognize your import rights as an individual or a business. The import right is the share of your product that you are allowed to sell in the local market. It can be a percentage or a fixed amount, depending on different countries and regions.


Check Import Duty

You should also check how much duty the imported stainless steel plates will be subjected to after they arrive at your country’s port. The combination of import rights and duties often determines whether it makes sense for you to do business with this supplier or not.

Import Duty

Find a Local Freight Forwarder

A local freight forwarder can help with the customs clearance process and make sure that all the necessary documents are in order. Generally speaking, you need to provide the following documents:

– Commercial Invoice

– Packing List

– Certificate of Origin (if applicable)

– Bill of Lading/Air Waybill.

Bill of Lading

Be sure that you have all the required documents provided by the supplier or your shipment will be delayed. For more information on what documents are needed for Customs Clearance, please contact your local freight forwarder and they will help make sure that all procedures run smoothly.

Cost Calculation

After understanding the cost of the product, transportation, customs clearance, and import duties, you can now know the total cost of importing stainless steel sheets. So now that we have gone through each element of the calculation above, let us work out an example: Suppose you want to buy 100pcs of Decorative Stainless Steel Sheet at $100/PC from China. The total estimated cost of the import will be:

Product Cost: $10,000

Insurance Cost: $50

Transportation Cost: $1,000

Customs Clearance Fee: $500

Import Duty (20%): $2,000

Total Import Cost =$13,550

This example gives you a clear idea of the cost of imported stainless steel sheets, and then you can compare it with the local market price and finally decide whether it is workable to import from China.

Goods Delivery

When ordering decorative stainless steel sheets, it is important to consider how you will have them delivered. By sea is the most common way to transport large items or heavy items and stainless steel product is one of them.

Cargo shipping


If the trade term is FOB, the supplier will send the packing list to your appointed freight forwarder, which includes some information such as net weight, gross weight, number of packages, and total volume after the stainless steel sheets have been packed well. Your freight forwarder will book the container to the shipping company according to this packing list and will send a shipping order to the supplier to arrange delivery to the warehouse after successful booking, and then your freight forwarder will find a customs broker to do the customs declaration of goods.


If the trade term is CIF, all the shipping things they will do with their cooperative freight forwarders, you only need to ask them for customs clearance documents.

Track Cargo and Prepare Documents

Cargo Tracking

After the ship leaves the port, the supplier will receive the bill of lading draft from the forwarder and will request you to confirm the consignee information on the draft. You should provide accurate information because you will have to pay an additional fee of approximately $80 if you want to make changes after the draft is confirmed by you.

Cargo Tracking

Once you receive the bill of lading, you can track the cargo by contacting your freight forwarder or shipping company. Most companies have online tracking systems that allow you to monitor the status of your shipment in real-time.

Documents Preparation

The supplier is supposed to prepare all of the required documents for customs clearance. This includes a commercial invoice, packing list, bill of lading, and any other documents requested by your country’s customs authority. Once the documents are ready, let the supplier scan them all for you to confirm one last time. If they are completely error-free, they will courier you the original documents.

Customs Clearance

Once you have all the required documents, it is time for customs clearance. You need to cooperate with a local freight forwarder to do this. They will help you submit the documents and handle all the procedures.

The forwarder will charge you a fee for their services. Make sure you understand what this fee includes before you sign any contracts. Ask them about their experience with customs clearance in your destination country, as well as any potential delays that could occur. Doing your homework upfront will save you headaches later on.

When everything is approved, the goods will be released by customs and delivered to your door.


Now you have all the knowledge needed to successfully import from China! Importing stainless steel sheets from China is neither too difficult nor too simple, and finding a reliable supplier can help you avoid the various problems that can occur in the process.

VIGORSS is 24/7 online. Give us a call or send us a message at phone number 0086-1371-548-4114 or email us at [email protected]. Contact us now!

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