How to Import Fertilizer from China?

You want to expand your fertilizer marketing share and brand influence. You’re interested in ordering fertilizer from China, but you have no idea how to import fertilizer. How is it done? Where do you start?

These are good questions, and this guide is your answer. Here’s everything you need to know about importing fertilizer from China successfully!

To import fertilizer from China, follow these steps:

  • Find a reliable fertilizer supplier
  • Test the product
  • Send out the order
  • Manage customs clearance

In this article, we’ll talk further about importing fertilizer from China, including why you should do it and what regulations you’re subjected to when sending products from China to the United States. Keep reading! 

Why You Should Import Fertilizer from China

Why get your fertilizer imported from China, especially if the country is clear across the world from where you are? There are plenty of reasons, so let’s discuss them now.

The Fertilizer Import & Export Industry Is Growing in China

According to crop protection consultancy group Dextra International, in 2019, China had a banner year in both exporting and importing fertilizers. By July of 2019, China’s rate of fertilizer export went up by 75.9 percent, and the country’s importation rates spiked by 32.4 percent per stats from China Customs.

Between January and July of 2019, China had exported a large amount of chemical fertilizers, 14.96 million tons. The increase in exportation rate was more than 28 percent. In United States dollars, the 14.96 million tons of fertilizer exported was valued at $4.2 billion.

The most significant chemical fertilizer that China imported in 2019 was potassium chloride, in which the country sent 860,000 tons in July 2019 alone. That led to a year-on-year increase of 187.6 percent, which is quite a steep jump! 

Other chemical fertilizers imported steadily from China in 2019 include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium or NPK, potassium sulfate, diammonium phosphate or DAP, and urea. 

Although these stats are from two years ago, what’s undeniable is the significant and consistent level of growth from China in importing chemical fertilizers. 

Trading Economics shows that, in 2021, the trend of importing fertilizer in the country seems to still be on the upswing despite some dips. 

When you decide to import your plant fertilizer from China, you can assure you’re selecting a high-quality product. Our fertilizer is known as micronutrient granular fertilizer. These small pellets are loaded with the nutrients that plants need to grow. 

Imports Are a Good Business Decision 

China is a known exporter, and the country specializes in all nature of goods even outside of fertilizer. The prices are usually lower as well, which can allow you to set a competitive resale price that other companies in your industry cannot match. 

How to Import Fertilizer from China

You’re convinced that Chinese fertilizer could be just what your have been looking for. Per the intro, here are the fertilizer importation steps to follow. 

Find Reliable Chinese Suppliers

The first step in importing fertilizer is to find a reliable supplier from China. You have a multitude of options. 

  • Online B2B Marketplaces

One such option is to explore the Internet. Sites such as Made-in-China, Global Source, or Alibaba could introduce you to viable suppliers. 

  • Google Search

In recent years, more and more Chinese manufacturers are focusing on building their websites and promoting them on Google, so a direct Google search is another good option. 

  • SNS

Don’t forget to expand to social media too, including LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and Facebook.  Many Chinese manufacturers also have a presence in these channels.

  • Industrial Exhibition

You can also seek industrial clusters where suppliers could be as well as wholesale markets. Attending trade shows and handing out business cards can foster strong supplier relationships as well. 

One of the premier trade shows for fertilizer in China is the FSHOW. It’s the fertilizer zone of China International Agrochemical & Crop Protection Exhibition (CAC), it’s the world’s largest agrochemical exhibition which is also a UFI approved event. This expo attracts attendees from more than 120 countries. With 1,500 exhibitors and more than 90,000 exhibition areas, the FSHOW is a can’t-miss event. 

Research Suppliers

Through the above means, you should have a sizable list of suppliers to explore. Once you’re back at the office, go through each supplier and research them. You need to run your own background check on every supplier so you can be certain they’re a viable option.

Disqualify any suppliers you’re uncomfortable proceeding with. Of the batch that survived the first round of cuts, request quotes from each one. The most used quotes are FOB(free on board), CFR(cost and freight), and CIF(cost, insurance, freight). 

Once you have the quotes, you can compare the prices of one supplier and another. You don’t necessarily want to select the cheapest supplier. Instead, use their pricing as the context in your decision.

For example, if there’s a supplier that was at the top of the list and their prices are reasonable, then you might select them. 

Confirm the Product Details

Before proceeding, you need to be sure of the imported product specs, including:

  • The fertilizer ratio
  • The type of packaging
  • The shipping method
  • The testing standards

Regarding the packaging, some importers will require custom packaging and others standard packaging, so both options should be available. You must have a variety of shipping methods available as well since fertilizer can be shipped in bulk by sea or by air for smaller samples.

Testing standard options are crucial as well. Each customer will have their own testing standards. Some will do the tests themselves while others will request third-party testing like SGS

Select the Best Supplier

By this point, you should be ready to select your supplier. When determining which supplier is the best, you want to consider these factors:

  • The quoted price
  • Their level of service
  • How communicative they are
  • Their shipping method options
  • Their lead time
  • Quality control measures implemented
  • Whether they offer original equipment manufacturing (OEM) or original demand manufacturing (ODM)

Confirm Samples Before Releasing the Order

Before shipping any products, you need a sample of the fertilizer sent to your doorstep first. Ask the supplier to send the sample. You might test the sample yourself or hire a third-party service to do it, but don’t forego testing. 

Ship the Order and Manage Customs Clearance

Finally, to import fertilizer from China, you need to prepare some documentation before shipping out the order, documents include:

  • Contract
  • CI (Commercial invoice)
  • PL (Packing list)
  • BL (bill of lading)
  • Other documents for example you want to include the test results and a full material safety data sheet or MSDS as well. 

The paperwork required for customs clearance varies by country, you should be better confirmed with your forwarder agent.

After ensuring the fertilizer passes customs, the package is ready to be shipped to its destination. 

What Are the United States Regulations on Imported and Exported Fertilizer from China?

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA dictates the rules on importing and exporting chemicals into the country, of which fertilizer does count as a chemical. It’s thus subjected to the US’s Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which is abbreviated as the TSCA.

To import fertilizer under TSCA rules requires making either a negative or a positive certification. This allows the fertilizer to enter the US. Certifications can be done in writing or electronically through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection or CBP. For electric certifications, they go through the Automated Commercial Environment or ACE.

If the certification statement is negative, that means the imported product was not able to be clearly identified. Such products can include ammunition and firearms, nuclear materials, some drugs, and pesticides, so fertilizer should not fall into a negative certification statement category.

When giving a positive statement, when you say the following, it’s true: “I certify that all chemical substances in this shipment comply with all applicable rules or order under TSCA and that I am not offering a chemical substance for entry of TSCA or any applicable rule or order thereunder.”


Chinese fertilizers include micronutrients that, in addition to the macronutrients in the granular fertilizer, can support the growth of outdoor and indoor plants. Now that you understand fertilizer importation rules, sending this fantastic product across the world just got easier! 

At OFertilizer, our granular fertilizer produced in Hunan Province, China benefits houseplants, outdoor plants, garden grass, oil palm trees, and more. Our company has more than 20 years in the fertilizer industry, so we’re a trusted choice for many who want to see their marketing grow. 

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