The General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) rolled out 10 measures on February 16 to support foreign-trade businesses’ resumption of business and production, in line with the government’s requirements to ensure both effective control against the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and national socioeconomic development.
Here are the 10 measures:
1. Simplify business registration and help with clearance formalities.
To further simplify the formalities of business registration, the GACC decided that if there is a change to a business’ registration information, the business will not be required to apply for registration adjustments until the outbreak ends (except for business name, which will require an online application). Customs will provide timely help for businesses (especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) with their import and export problems, guiding them to minimize declaration errors and avoid procedural noncompliance.
2. Expedite the clearance of imported equipment and raw materials.
The Customs will fast clear imported electro-mechanical equipment and raw materials that are urgently needed for domestic production. In the case of customs inspection, the use of inspection machines will be increased to reduce manual interference; consignees can be absent from the inspection site by entrusting the operator of the inspection yard or the person in charge of the transport conveyance to be on site, or by notifying the Customs of their absence through e-mail or online platforms. For the purpose of fast clearance, laboratory testing of goods can be minimized on the strength of third-party certificates, test reports or enterprise self-declaration on quality and safety.
3. Facilitate the import of food and agricultural products.
The GACC will speed up the process to grant market access to more categories of agri-food products from more countries and register more establishments. The quarantine approval process will be further shortened. Green lanes will be set up at key ports in the country to provide around-the-clock clearance for foreign agri-food products on the reservation basis. At inspection sites, imported food and agricultural products will be inspected with priority over other goods and, if the inspection result is normal, be released as soon as possible. Products suspected to contain pests or disease will be sent to lab testing with priority.
4. Support businesses in export expansion.
The Customs will optimize pre-export control and certification services, ensuring the issuance of quarantine certificates, disposal certificates, origin certificates and sanitary certificates for export goods. The Customs will also expedite the administrative approval for registered exporters and, in support of their export, provide them with further training on dealing with technical trade barriers.
5. Simplify sanitary approval for imported special medical supplies.
Customs will directly release imported special medical supplies used for curing, preventing and diagnosing the COVID-19, such as vaccines, blood products, reagents, among others, on the strength of certificates issued by relevant competent authorities, provided that the sanitary risk is controllable.
6. Simplify extension formalities for processing trade enterprises.
If, due to delayed resumption of production, processing trade enterprises (including those in customs special control areas) could not have their manual (or account book) be written off on time, or find themselves overdue for declaration of transfer of bonded goods for deep processing, taxation on domestic sales, etc., Customs will extend the deadline if the enterprise submit a statement, before other required documents are submitted.
7. Simplify write-off formalities and reduce on-site audits.
If processing trade manuals (or account books) need to be written off, Customs will handle write-off formalities based on the inventory data provided by enterprises, without checking it in the factory. Enterprises should keep well relevant documents. If conditions allow, Customs will conduct off-site audit via video or electronic data transmission to minimize interruption to enterprises’ production and operation.
8. Simplify and expedite administrative penalty procedures.
Customs will handle law-breaking cases involving anti-epidemic supplies in a fast and simple way, and will not detain the involved goods, items, transportation conveyances or account documents under usual circumstances. The involved party’s written confession, if proven by key evidence such as inspection records, can be used as evidence by Customs. With prior consent of the involved party, Customs can send the legal document of administrative penalty by fax, e-mail, mobile phone or other means of communication where receival can be confirmed.
9. Enhance international coordination and cope with external trade restrictions.
Customs will closely monitor, collect and analyze external restrictions on China’s imports and exports due to the epidemic outbreak, and publish relevant information in a timely manner. Import and export businesses will be provided with tailor-made consultation services.
10.Ensure efficiency with support of “Internet + Customs”.
When a paper document is required for verification, its electronic copy (photo, scanned copy, etc.) can be accepted by Customs upon approval before the submission of the paper document. Meanwhile, the Customs will, by means of the service hotline “12360” and new media platforms, answer queries from enterprises and publish customs policies and measures.
General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China
Address: No.6. Jianguomennei Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China Postcode: 100730