The State Council recently released a circular on the fourth wave of promoting the experiences of 11 pilot Free Trade Zones (FTZs) in all regions, covering a wide range of sectors.
According to the circular, further opening-up will be in place in the services industry, highlighting the wider scale in establishing partnership-type law firms jointly owned by partners from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao, and more opening-up moves in international shipping services, management, and agencies, as well as international maritime cargo handling services, container yards, and storage yard businesses.
The investment management sector is also a field where the pilot FTZs have attained much success, such as the integrated approval and completion management of three shipping credentials, namely, the supervision, registration, and fishing licenses, the innovative international shipping registration system, and the combined filing management for foreign trade proprietors and enterprises established in the regions of origin.
The circular also referred to experience obtained in the sphere of trade facilitation, featuring the trans-departmental one-time joint inspection, an innovative mode of streamlining railway transportation manifests, and facilitation measures for inspection and quarantine investigation of empty inbound shipping containers.
Additionally, the 11 pilot FTZs set benchmarks for the rest of China in the field of regulatory measures taken during and after the process of conducting business, covering the collective sharing mechanism of information regarding enterprises’ delivery, mobile border control services, innovative management of inland-waterway ships’ arrivals and departures at ports, and the all-around paperless online customs registration for enterprises and access to electronic ports.
The circular tasked a slew of departments under the State Council, including the Supreme People’s Court, the State Administration for Market Regulation, the Ministry of Transport, and the General Administration of Customs, with multifaceted assignments to promote the pilot FTZs’ experience.