Shooting in China: Permits, Timing, Costs, Taxes, and Crew

Essential Guide to Shooting in China: Permits, Timing, Costs, and Crew

Discover the crucial aspects of shooting in China that demand careful planning and preparation. From permits and timing to costs and crew, ensure a successful video production services with this comprehensive guide.

Key Considerations


  • All foreign film crews must obtain a permit from SARFT prior to shooting.
  • Include shooting details, crew info, script, and storyboard in the application.
  • Submit permit applications at least 60 days before the planned shoot.


  • Factor in longer shooting timelines due to permit and regulatory requirements.
  • Allocate sufficient time for permit applications and paperwork.


  • Production costs in China vary based on scale, location, and duration.
  • Budget for permit fees, location charges, equipment rental, and crew expenses.
  • Plan for contingency costs to address unforeseen delays or issues.


  • Foreign film crews face a 20% VAT on goods and services purchased in China.
  • Explore potential VAT refunds through proper documentation.


  • Engage local crew members familiar with local laws, customs, and regulations.
  • Mandarin Chinese language skills are crucial for effective communication.

In summary, successful shooting in China hinges on meticulous planning. Ensure permits, timing, costs, taxes, and a knowledgeable crew are well-organized. Allocate time for permit applications and paperwork, and collaborate closely with local crew to navigate regulations and maintain effective communication.

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