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The color sorter achieved a market revenue of $2,236 million in 2019. It is a valuable tool to sort either agricultural or industrial materials. If you want to import color sorters from China for your business, this article is right for you. Let’s dive deep!

You must know your requirements before importing color sorters. Then, research for a trustworthy supplier after deciding the type of sorting machine. You should communicate your needs about the features, shipment, and costs. Finally, inspect the functionality of the machine after receiving it.

We’ve summarized for you the steps to import a color sorter from China. Pay close attention to the details, and you are good to go in buying a sorting machine!

Steps to Import Color Sorters from China

China is the main production center of sorting machines. You can get high-quality machines at an affordable price from China. There are also various shipping and payment methods to ease your imports. 

To import the right color sorters you need from China, the steps below are vital:

Step 1: Know Your Requirements

The first step is understanding your requirements based on your production goal. The sorting machines come in various features and types. It will decide how much your machine cost. 

You can also make a better comparison if you know your requirements.

Step 2: Choose the Right Color Sorter

It is crucial to buy a suitable color sorter based on your needs. You need to consider the types and materials of color sorters. The raw materials to sort and other key specifications are also essential factors.

Types of Color Sorters

The main types of color sorters are the belt-type and the chute-type sorting machine. 

The chute-type machine is more affordable compared to the belt-type sorting machine. It can sort all types of common materials. Whereas with the belt-type machine, you get efficient and easy sortings on crisp items.

We recommend the chute-type color sorter for most cases.

Materials of Sorting Machine

In general, the color sorters come in stainless steel and metal materials.

The steel color sorters are ideal for most sorting processes. The stainless steel sorting machines are better at preventing corrosion, hence pricier.

Technical Indicators of Sorting Machines

When choosing the color sorters, you need to compare a few key points. They include the selection accuracy, processing capacity, and carryover ratio. 

Selection Accuracy

It is the percentage of sorted impurities to the total number of impurities. Some factors affect the selection accuracy. They are the moving speed of the conveyor belt and the pureness of the raw materials.

With the advanced technologies, many suppliers can reach a 99% – 99.99% sorting accuracy.

Processing Capacity

It is the number of products you can process in a specific timeline. It is usually measured with the unit kg/h and ranges from 150kg/h to 10ton/h. 

The machine structure and features will affect its sorting capacity. For instance, the speed of the servo system and conveyor belt. The number of impurities and the variety of materials are the deciding factors too. 

Carryover Ratio

This is the ratio of the selected impurities to the number of normal materials. You can adjust it to high or low using an actuator, usually 1.3 to 1.5.

You need to note its effect on final production. A high carryover ratio will impact the processing capacity and the selection rate. Yet, a low setting could cause wastage.  

These are the critical criteria to consider when you choose a color sorter. You need to tell the condition of your raw materials and impurities with your suppliers. They will suggest a suitable model according to your needs.

Step 3: Understand the Auxiliaries & Voltage 

Now you know the types and specifications of the color sorter you need. It is time to understand more about auxiliaries and the voltage required.

The voltage needed for color sorters installation is single-phase 220V-260V in most countries. The frequency required is 50-60Hz. 

To be precise, the voltage for the European standard is 230V 50Hz. Whereas the USA standard is 240V 50Hz or 120V 50Hz.

Besides, you need an elevator to lift the air compressor, storage tank, and other materials. The elevator and air compressor need a voltage of three-phase 380V 50Hz in China. Other countries will need 440V / 415V / 220V 60Hz.

You need to check if the voltage complies with your country’s voltage. Besides, talk to the suppliers to see if they can cater to your voltage needs. Or else, you might damage your machine or find it fails to work at your place.

Step 4: Find a Reliable China Supplier

There are many Chinese companies selling color sorters, and you should find a reliable one. In this case, you can inspect the companies on indexes like skills and experience.

Some suppliers might be professional on certain types of sorting machines. For instance, some experts in chute-type machines. But, some focus on producing grain color sorters. 

Criteria to Consider to Find a Reliable Supplier

To find a color sorter supplier, you can consider the criteria below:

You can track their company abilities based on their portfolios and reliable testimonials. 

Besides, look at their years of experience and how they present their machines. Remember to examine if they have a reasonable price, features, and delivery timeframe. 

Also, you could know the quality of services they provide via pre-sales inquiries. You can ask all machines related questions and see if they are patient and professional. 

It is also essential to check to what extent they provide the after-sales services. You can ask their previous customers’ cases and somehow get an idea. After all, no one wants to operate an advanced machine without the guidance of experts. 

Ways to Inspect a Quality Supplier

Still, words are not enough. You must find ways to make verification of their product quality.

In this case, you can choose to travel to China and verify the supplier. It is the fastest way to know their manufacturing capabilities and product qualities. You can also have face-to-face negotiation and build better relationships. 

Yet, you need to spend time and money on traveling. It could also be challenging to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Besides, it is also workable to send samples to the factories and request machine tests. You could ask the person in charge to sort the materials and record videos on end products.

The videos are ideal ways to know the operational performance of the machine. You’ll also get to examine the suppliers’ words. It is a preferable choice by many customers.

The other way is to hire third-party inspection companies or sourcing agents. These agents are based in China. They are also experienced in inspecting factories and products.

Certification Requirements

You must take note of the certifications needed in your country. It is vital to know if your suppliers have experience importing color sorters to your area. If yes, get their advice on certifications needed for a smooth customs clearance.

For instance, European countries need CE certification for color sorters imports. You’ll need the COC/ PVOC/ ETCN certificates if you are from African countries. Importation of color sorters to the United States requires a CSA certificate. 

After checking on the criteria above, you can compare and decide which supplier to go for. If you are new to importing color sorters, we recommend you make small orders first. After successful orders and operation of machines, you could make more orders. 

Step 5: Arrange for Packaging

If you ignore the packing methods, you might end up receiving a spoilt machine. Sorting machines are of advanced technologies and need good protection in packaging.

You need to request using an aluminum foil package for the inner packing of the machine. It ensures waterproof and moisture-proof, especially if you are shipping via sea. 

It is best to pack in a wooden box for the outer packing to ensure safe delivery. 

Step 6: Select a Suitable Shipping Method

You can ship either by sea or by air for small color sorters.

Sea transportation is cheaper than air freight in general, but it could take longer. Ensure secure packaging to avoid the damping of machines over long sea transportation.

Airfreight will be safer and faster for small sorting machines. Yet, you need to expect higher costs.

You’ll need to choose either rail or sea freight for big sorting machines. Airfreight is less practical due to size limitations and high costs. There are also a few location factors you need to take note of. 

Both rail and sea transportation is available for importing color sorters into Europe. Customers in middle Asia can choose either road or rail freight. The only option to deliver to Africa is to ship by sea.

Step 7: Calculate the Costs 

Cost is one of the most important factors when you import something. It decides whether the product you buy is worthy and profitable. 

Throughout the steps you take to import color sorters, you need to check the costs. You’ll incur the product costs, shipping costs, customs duties, warranties, and others. 

You need to compare before spending. Survey a few suppliers, shipping companies, transportation methods, and warranty types. You should also learn the customs clearance procedures and the customs duties.

By having a thorough understanding of costs, you can make a better purchase decision. It helps prevent unnecessary losses when importing color sorters from China.

Step 8: Delivery of Machine

It is crucial to understand the delivery timeframe to plan your schedule. After the delivery, you should track your cargo and check on arrival notice regularly.

The first lead time is the production lead time. In general, it takes about seven days to produce a small color sorter of fewer than seven chutes. For large sorting machines of more than seven chutes, you need to expect 10-15days to build. 

Once they are manufactured, you need to check the shipping lead times. It varies by type of shipping method and location. To ship from China to Asia countries, you can expect seven days via sea transportation. It might take up to 30 days by sea for countries outside Asia. 

Remember to inspect the machine upon delivery. After inspection, read the user manual and install the color sorters. 

If you find it defective or different from what you order, you must inform the supplier fast. It will cause extra shipping costs, and the supplier has to bear it if it’s their mistake. 


  1. How long does a color sorter last?

A sorting machine can work for ten years or more, provided you conduct good maintenance. You have to do simple cleaning using compressed air every time before using it. Besides, you should check the ejectors every six months of use.

  1. What is the manufacturer warranty for the color sorter?

It is a guarantee of the machine’s working performance. You need to check with the suppliers if they offer the warranty. In most cases, they will provide a 1-year warranty.

Enquire if you’ll get free accessories for the damaged ones during the warranty period. You should also ask about the arrangement for free on-site installation and commissioning. 

Online support and accessories stocks are essential. You have to know their availability even after the warranty period. Note that some services after the warranty period may incur charges.  

  1. Do I have to get a license to import color sorters from China?

To import from China, there is no general license or permit required. Yet, you might need an import license from the federal agency of your country. There will be different requirements based on different imported products.

  1. Do I need to pay import duty from China?

Yes, you will incur import duties when importing color sorters from China. It is calculated based on the product costs and which country you are importing to. You should check in advance and count them into your expenses.

  1. How can I calculate the customs duties?

You need to add the goods’ value, transportation, product insurance, and other costs. After summing up, you should multiply the amount by the percentage rate of customs duties.  

  1. What is the cheapest method to deliver color sorters from China?

Sea freight is the cheapest shipping method to import in bulk or large quantities. Still, it depends on your product value and weight. You should also note that sea freight takes longer than air transportation. 

  1. Does the supplier compensate for my damaged goods?

Damages rarely occur due to redundant inspections by the factory. If you are still worried, hire a third-party inspection company to inspect on your behalf. 

Still, if your machine is damaged in the shipping process, you can claim your insurance. For the wrong supply of products, the supplier is responsible for the replacement. 

  1. What are the possible risks to importing color sorters from China?

The first risk is low-quality machines. To prevent this, you should do proper research and inspection on the suppliers. It is also an excellent choice to hire a third-party inspection company.

Besides, you might face damaged or lost products during delivery. That is why you should insure your products with insurance. 

You may also face problems during the installation and operation of sorting machines. You must check with the after-sales service provided while negotiating. You should also state important information in the contract with suppliers.


Color sorters are game-changing machines for many industries. It is efficient, accurate, and cost-savers in separating impurities from raw materials. Whether for agriculture, food processing, plastic recycling, or mining, you can use it.

I hope this article is helpful with the guidance to import quality color sorters from China. Feel free to contact us should you have more inquiries.

Edon Zheng

Edon Zheng

Hi, I'm Edon, the co-founder of, I've been running a factory in China that makes and exports color sorters for 8 years now, and the purpose of this site is to share with you the knowledge related to color sorters from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

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