The General Administration of Customs aims to cut average clearance times in half by the end of 2021, and implement more measures for speedier imports and exports, said an official on Nov 30.
“The general clearance time has been shortened by over 40 percent for eight weeks in a row,” said Zhang Guangzhi, a member of the Party group of General Administration of Customs, in a press briefing.
According to GAC, by the end of October, the average import clearance process took 50.14 hours, nearly half the 97.39 hours seen last December.
Export clearance times meanwhile took 6.3 hours on average in October.
Zhang said the GAC will continue to implement the 20 measures to optimize the business environment for cross-border trade the State Council has put forward earlier this year, including optimizing the process, increasing efficiency and lowering costs.
He added that the GAC has been working closely with other economies, and that China Customs has entered into mutual recognition agreements with nine business organizations and 36 countries and regions, including the European Union, South Korea and Singapore.
“The GAC is now working on mutual recognition with important trade partners and economies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative such as Kazakhstan, Belarus, Mongolia, and Canada,” he said.
According to a World Bank Report this year, China has been rated 65th out of 190 economies for its cross-border trade environment, up from 97 a year ago.
Li Xin, manager of automobile logistics in the North China branch of Sinotrans Air Transportation Development Co Ltd, said the company had benefited from the GAC’s quicker clearance process and lower costs.
“In the past, companies like BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd need to apply, collect and deliver documents every week. From applying for permission from the commercial bureau to clearance from the port agency, the whole process can take up to four working days,” he said.
“Now the company only needs to submit the application form online to the port agency, which takes only half a day,” he added.