Provinces and regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt are working together to boost trade by reducing the red tape required for exports and imports, specifically targeting inspection and quarantine regulations.
The reform, which takes effect on July 1, includes the 10 provinces and regions that stretch the 4,000 kilometers from Qingdao, in East China’s Shandong province, to Alataw Pass in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Initiated by the Shandong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, the reform aims to “optimize and simplify inspection and quarantine procedures between places of origin and ports of entry, which help lower the burden of companies,” said Zhou Jian’an, head of the Shandong bureau.
An agreement signed on June 17 in the port city of Qingdao gives the green light to exported goods that already have gone through the quarantine and inspection process at places of origin, and to imported goods that have already completed the quarantine and inspection process at ports of entry.
After unifying quarantine and clearance standards, tens of thousands of shipments of goods can use a simpler declaration process, reducing clearance costs for companies by 20 to 30 percent.
“The integration of inspection and quarantine will help enhance the effect of international cooperation, and the fast and high-quality clearance will create a win-win situation for China and all of its partners abroad,” said Shi Jian, deputy director of the Xinjiang Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
The eight other participating provinces and regions are Shanxi, Henan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai provinces and the Ningxia Hui and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions.
Statistics show that exported goods from the other nine provinces and regions declared at Shandong port last year were valued at $1.67 billion, and imported goods into the other nine areas declared at Shandong port that year reached $3.5 billion.
Xinjiang is a vast region neighboring eight countries with a border of 5,600 km, so improving the efficiency of customs clearance and reducing costs for international trade and logistics companies will help Xinjiang play a more important role in the One Belt, One Road Initiative, Shi said.
Shan Wei, an official from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said the direct clearance for imports and exports will “achieve trade facilitation and unleash benefits of the reform to the largest extent”.