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Mainland extends zero tariffs on Hong Kong goods

Oswald Chan
Updated: Jun 27,2018 7:50 AM     China Daily

The Chinese mainland has extended zero tariffs to include four additional product categories of goods of Hong Kong origin, pursuant to the provisions of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and its supplementary agreements.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council issued a notice on June 15 regarding the implementation of zero tariffs on certain goods under CEPA in the second half of this year, according to an update on the Ministry of Finance website on June 26.

The circular said that the tariffs will come into effect starting from next month.

Zero tariffs will be applied in four product categories — pineapples prepared or preserved in a substance other than vinegar, medicines containing vitamins or other products of heading 29.36, titanium powder and hydraulic motors.

The main text of the CEPA agreement was signed between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong on June 29, 2003.

It covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment, and economic and technical cooperation.

Since the implementation of CEPA, the mainland and Hong Kong have reached agreement on the rules of origin for 1,897 mainland tariff codes, according to Hong Kong’s Trade and Industry Department.

At present, all products of Hong Kong origin, except for a few prohibited articles, can be imported to the mainland tariff-free under CEPA.

A cumulative number of 161,237 products with a Certificate of Hong Kong Origin, based on 23 product categories, have been approved since the signing of CEPA in 2003 as of the end of May, the Trade and Industry Department data said.

The signing of the CEPA agreement has greatly enhanced trade links between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

Around 58 percent of Hong Kong’s re-exports were from the Chinese mainland last year and 54 percent were destined for the mainland, according to Hong Kong government statistics.

Hong Kong was the third-largest trading partner of the Chinese mainland after the United States and Japan, accounting for 7 percent of its total trade last year, according to the General Administration of Customs.