Importing Masks & Gloves Into The UK

Importing PPE

If you have been trying to get PPE into the UK you may have already discovered the complexities and issues surrounding this process. There is an obvious massive demand for PPE equipment – masks, face shields, gloves, protective equipment etc in the UK at the moment with a lack of supplies.

With social distancing being common place and retail shops and industry starting up again in June, this demand is going to increase. This will create a marketplace opportunity for traders to import PPE to distribute across the UK.

Whether you are experienced in importing from China, or you are new to the market, there may be questions that you have about the process.

Some of the questions that you may be asking are:

  • Where can I source PPE?
  • How do I get it here?
  • What taxes will I have to pay?
  • Will I have to deal with customs in the UK and China?
  • Should I do air freight or sea freight?

China is a huge place, with many different ports and manufacturing locations. ‘Shipping from China’ is quite a generic term and without knowing the port locations or requirements of different authorities in the different areas of China you may end up with longer wait times, incorrect documents, fines, or even seizure of goods.

PPE Disposable Gloves

Gloves are a major part of a persons PPE equipment and proper usage of gloves dictates they are used once for only a short period of time, then disposed of, never to be used again. The current situation has made demand skyrocket.

“Based on WHO modelling, an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID-19 response each month. For examination gloves, that figure goes up to 76 million, while international demand for goggles stands at 1.6 million per month.”

Source: World Health Organisation website

Imports of PPE gloves are coming from all over the far east including China and Thailand which is helping to create competition in the supply chain, keeping prices affordable to importers.

K&L Freight have the expertise, knowledge and contacts to help source and import PPE gloves from all over the far east, helping you identify the best locations and shipping methods for your PPE imports.

Rules and regulations regarding importing PPE from China

Import Goods From India
Make sure you understand the rules and regulations regarding importing from China

K&L freight have dealt with these issues for many years and know all the rules, regulations and best practices for all factors involved in dealing with shipping goods from China and the far east to the UK.

All PPE equipment (masks, gloves, gowns, medical equipment etc) from China will be thoroughly inspected by Chinese authorities in the search for faulty, sub-standard, fake or mis-declared items. If you are found to have ordered these items that are sub-standard they won’t be shipped. This means that you will lose your investment! Buying your products from a reputable supplier that you trust is vital to prevent yourself falling victim to this.

Due to our history, experience and expertise in importing PPE from China we know we can help import the correct products from the correct place. We can also negotiate with customs procedures for you to avoid falling foul of Chinese of British customs. For example, we have in-depth product knowledge about different face masks – medical and non-medical face masks, N95, KN95, FFP2, FFP3 etc. If these are unknown to you, talk to us before making a major purchase.

Our expertise with PPE products means that we deliver from Chinese factories & ports to UK addresses seamlessly. We deal with all customs documents, inspections, various duty and VAT rebate schemes available and are very familiar with shipping to the UK by air freight, charter freight or sea freight.

Trade routes from China to the UK

Air freight

Importing from China using air freight is the fastest, but most costly method to import PPE products into the UK. With the current COVID-19 pandemic most aeroplanes are still grounded.

Cargo planes are still in action, but as most airlines send cargo in the hold of passenger planes, which lowers the price of cargo freight, they are an expensive option to import goods as there is no cross-subsidy from paying passengers. Costs for air freight increased by around 500% since January 2020, but with recent demand, the good news is that prices are reducing on a weekly basis and (as of June 2020) are less than half of the price they were in March 2020.

At this moment in time, booking imports via air freight is feasible again after being un-economical only two months ago. As you can imagine, the industry is changing rapidly as it responds to global events. We are monitoring the situation and pricing on a daily basis in order to offer up-to-date information to our clients, sp please speak to our import / export team for the most current details.

Sea Freight

Another knock on effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the lack of demand for fuel. This has driven prices down to record levels.

This means sending freight by sea is more cost effective than ever.

You may of heard bad news regarding how COVID-19 has badly affected the transport industry, but sea freight had been a benefactor with great sea freight rates and lots of space availability.

For all enquiries regarding importing PPE from China, speak to our experts. We have been dealing with mass amounts of imported PPE since the pandemic first broke in China and there isn’t a situation we haven’t dealt with. Call us on 01606 272 880 or email our support team through the website or on