The State Council issued a circular on April 17 to improve government work on ports to further develop foreign trade.
The circular gave instructions to improve port work in five major areas: service, construction, cooperation, opening up and operating mechanisms.
First, service offered at ports should be optimized to ensure steady growth of foreign trade. More powers will be delegated to lower levels and more administrative approvals canceled in services related to exports, imports and customs clearance.
On-the-spot law-enforcement work will be reduced to as little as possible to improve clearance efficiency. Inspection of cargo will be conducted in a nonintrusive manner and without leading to delays. Goods that attract fees will be published in a list. Intermediate service agents with government background that charge fees without providing practical services will be abolished. Advance paperwork clearance will be done online to raise the efficiency of tax rebate procedures.
Second, constructions at ports shall be strengthened to upgrade and transform foreign trade. By 2017, a “single window” service will be provided at all ports nationwide. A self-service system that allows tourists to file for clearance will be promoted in addition to a one-stop check system for vehicle inspections. Local governments are encouraged to build port-oriented economies that integrate processing, trading, logistics and tourism.
Third, cooperation among ports will be strengthened to improve the environment for foreign trade. The reform to integrate the customs clearance system nationwide will be pushed forward to build a unified workflow. A mechanism that deals with customs clearance procedures at ports across different administrative regions and government departments will be established at a faster pace.
Fourth, the opening up of ports should be pushed to a higher level. Inland ports should operate in accordance with the strategy of the Silk and Belt Initiative. The establishment of key ports along the Silk Road Economic Belt will be hastened. Several key clusters of ports with water and air connectivity and international competitiveness will be built in coastal areas.
Fifth, mechanisms should be improved to raise ports’ capability to contribute to economic and social development. Supervision and analysis of traffic, clearance efficiency and development at ports should be enhanced to predict the volume of passengers and cargo in the medium and long term to provide the statistical basis for the opening up and optimization of ports.
The time frame for different administrative procedures will be clarified in a streamlined supervision system at all ports to improve their efficiency. Relevant regulations and laws will be revised to build a better legal system for development of ports.