Importing machinery from China: a good option for developing your own products

When we talk of importing, most people think of the purchase of ready-made products from another country. These international purchases are manufactured goods that are then “branded” with extras like user instructions, boxes, or packaging, before being made available for sale. They still represent a great saving as far as production costs are concerned.

However, some companies in the industrial sector go even further and choose to import the machinery so that they can manufacture or develop their own products. They make a higher initial investment to acquire the machinery but gain full control over their own production in exchange.

At S3 Group, as experts in industrial sourcing, we often support requests like this and can confirm that importing technical equipment is indeed a reasonably frequent operation.

There are various and varied sectors that choose to import production lines from China so that they can manufacture their products in the country of destination. A quick Google search will provide clues to some of the most popular trends such as importing fitness machines, sewing machines, tattoo machines and ice cream machines.

Even when it comes to products that companies usually buy from China, some companies choose to import the machinery that allows them to manufacture their own products. An example of this from last year shortly after the pandemic started, is that of one of our customers who asked us to import machinery for the manufacture of surgical masks.

Machines not only for manufacturing.

When it comes to importing machines, the possibilities are almost endless. In fact, the question is simple: if my business needs that machine for its production, why not buy it in China at a better price and quality?

Many companies choose to import machinery that, although does not manufacture products, is necessary in the production process. Examples of this include the rice milling machine that we saw in our last corporate newsletter or this testing equipment for respiratory resistance.


Most of the products we see in the window of a shop or an ecommerce store, as we have previously mentioned, are made in China. Although perhaps less obvious, much of the machinery that we see around us, from the hot tub in a hotel to the plotter in the office or even the drinks vending machine at the train station is also made in China.

What to consider when importing a machine from China?

When a company decides to import any kind of product, one of the most important concerns, certainly for the first time of importing, is the selection of suppliers. The size of a machine is a further consideration.

As in all sourcing operations, it is imperative to be meticulously selective when choosing suppliers. It is, therefore, vital to know the market really well. Remember, we are not only looking for a manufacturer capable of making the ordered machines, but one that can provide a maintenance agreement that acts as a guarantee that if the machines have any kind of problem no financial investment will be lost.

Technical specifications as well as the characteristics of the machine to be imported must be defined before manufacture can start. Expectations of the machine in terms of use, functions, power, control system, etc. must be clearly defined to avoid any serious importation problems with missing information.

Certification cannot be overlooked either. Many machines manufactured in China are intended for the local market and therefore do not comply with foreign safety regulations. Thorough technical inspections are essential in order to verify this.

Another important factor is quality control for any imported machines. As we have already seen in the article we wrote on this subject, both mandatory and voluntary inspections are needed in order to ensure that the machinery is functioning perfectly.

Transport and customs control is the final step when importing machinery from China. This factor must have been researched and calculated prior to purchase as any complication in the final phase can ruin an import.

Sourcing companies; your best ally when importing machinery.

It is common to seek external assistance when carrying out this type of operation despite the process of importing machinery from China being similar to importing any other product.

Import companies, particularly those specialising in industrial sourcing, such as S3 Group, are accustomed to working on this type of order and can offer the additional guarantee of being able to solve any unforeseen circumstances that may arise for their clients.

After more than 15 years of working in this field and providing solutions for importing industrial products from China to countries in the European Union and America, regardless of machine size, we have extensive experience in all the necessary processes, including supplier selection and product development, quality control, logistics and shipping of the final product.