The tanker, "Seafrontier", was carrying 27 people and 38,000 tonnes of petrol, British authorities said.
But British authorities in Dover have sent two patrol boats and two helicopters to the area.
Britain's coastguard received a call shortly after 2am this morning, reporting the incident in the narrow Dover Strait - the world's busiest shipping lane.
The RNLI has reported there were no casualties.
The 220-metre (720-foot) carrier "Huayang Endeavour", with 22 people, collided around 33 kilometres north of the French port Dunkirk.
None of crew, mainly Chinese and Indian, on board the two ships were injured in the collision.
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The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Counter Pollution and Salvage divisions have all been informed and are all working to resolve the crash.
The 75,000-ton 738ft bulk carrier, Huayang Endeavour, also registered in Hong Kong, was en route to Lagos Nigeria.
The Channel between Britain and France is one of the busiest shipping corridors in the world with about 500 vessels passing through per day.
French coastguard teams were also sent to the scene and posted a picture of the damage to the tanker saying there was no risk of pollution and the ships' hulls were intact.
A spokesman for the RNLI said that both vessels suffered damage in the collision, with the Seafrontier having a hole above the water line and damage to the superstructure.
Both lifeboats were stood down at 5:44 a.m., by which time the tug was in assistance and the Seafrontier was taken under tow, according to RNLI.