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China steps up efforts to facilitate international trade

Updated: Apr 23,2019 9:48 AM     People’s Daily Online

China is stepping up efforts to facilitate international trade in a bid to strengthen business growth.

In 2018, China halved the total customs clearance time taken for imports and exports, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

This March, it only took 42.08 hours for imports, saving 18 minutes, and 4.43 hours for exports, down by over half an hour when compared with last December, estimated the GAC.

Domestic enterprises have seen benefits as clearance documents subject to verification at ports were reduced from 86 to 46 last November and could also be checked through the network system.

“In the past, we traveled to offices which could issue certificates of origin an average of three times a week, and the closest office was 25 kilometers away,” said a manager surnamed Tian of a Beijing-based nonwovens-manufacturing company.

“But now, we can print certificates online. It saves us hundreds of yuan in travel expenses between those offices and our company every week,” Tian added.

Single-window customs clearance is now also in place throughout the entire Chinese mainland, allowing companies to declare cargo and taxes with a single submission on a web-based platform for free, improving efficiency and reducing costs.

“Declaring cargo and taxes in advance could cut customs clearance time by more than half. Last year, our company imports grew by more than 1.5 times,” said a staff member from a Shenzhen-based delivery company.

Apart from measures to expedite customs, China also rolled out tariff guarantee insurance to help businesses cut costs.

Data showed that since the trial started last September, a total of 1,463 companies across the country have bought tariff guarantee insurance. 10,306 insurance policies have been taken out worth a total of 33.96 billion yuan.

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