China plans more tweaks in Customs procedure
Norms improved to minimize and offset export-oriented firms' financial losses
The government will further improve efficiency of Customs clearance to solve the difficulties for both exporters and importers to remove their burdens and enhance their motivation and vitality, officials said on Wednesday.
To minimize and offset export-oriented firms' financial losses caused by COVID-19 and the world's weak demand for goods, Customs authorities have vigorously shortened the overall Customs clearance time for both imported and exported goods.
They have also promoted "advance declaration" to diversify their services, said Dang Yingjie, deputy director-general of the National Office of Port Administration at the General Administration of Customs.
In response to the global pandemic, she said the GAC has strengthened the monitoring of port clearance times to mitigate the impact of the contagion on the overall Customs clearance time.
Monitored by the GAC, the overall Customs clearance time for imports across the country was 39.66 hours in June, while the time for exports was 2.28 hours, a significant reduction of 59 percent and 81 percent respectively from 2017.
Customs will utilize the internet to ensure the stable and efficient operation of the information system, she added.
Dang said China will continue to deepen its cooperation with related parties to promote the role of Authorized Economic Operator and other policy tools to boost trade activities between China and Europe via rail transport.
This will help companies resolve issues in both exports and imports, as well as encourage more companies from economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative to join the AEO certification program.
The program was advocated by the World Customs Organization to strengthen international supply chain security and facilitate the movement of legitimate goods.
Under the program, Customs from various regions form partnerships with industry to collaboratively reduce barriers to Customs procedures in order to enhance international trade efficiency.
Covering 48 countries and regions, China has signed most AEO agreements in the world to facilitate Customs clearance for companies.
Guiyang Customs district in Guizhou province introduced six policies in the region in the second quarter of this year to support the business growth of China Railway Express Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China State Railway Group Co Ltd, the nation's railroad operator.
The policies mainly support the construction of a logistics hub at Gaimao Railway Station in Guiyang, which is connected with the land-sea corridor in western China and the international combined transportation corridor of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Gaimao Railway Station has established a bonded area based on market demand, and relies on the bonded area's policy advantages to boost trade activities for exporters in Guizhou.
China's foreign trade declined 3.2 percent year-on-year to 14.24 trillion yuan ($2.03 trillion) in the first half of 2020, with the rate of decline falling by 1.7 percentage points compared with the figure in the first five months of this year, according to Customs data.
Eager to restore and enrich the country's developing ability, the State Council issued a guideline on Tuesday to further improve the business environment and better serve market entities across the country.
The document stresses six categories of policies and measures. They include more streamlined and efficient approval procedures for construction projects and their financing, easier approval processes and conditions for enterprises generally, and an optimized business environment for foreign trade and investment.
It also highlights support for employment and entrepreneurship, improved quality and efficiency of services provided to businesses, and a long-term mechanism for business environment improvement.
Yang Hongcan, head of the business registration bureau at the State Administration for Market Regulation, said the administration will take specific measures in the next step to further lower the market-entry threshold for the education, medical services and sports sectors. All unreasonable barriers will be removed.