New rules to stream­line cus­toms process

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By YU RAN in Shang­hai

yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone un­veiled a raft of mea­sures and rules to im­prove cus­toms ser­vice for high-tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies in the zone, as a part of ef­forts to sup­port the city’s drive to be­come a global in­no­va­tion cen­ter.

Eight mea­sures aim­ing to sup­port high-tech in­no­va­tive en­ter­prises and eight rules to sim­plify the cus­toms clear­ance process and ef­fi­ciency for all FTZ-based en­ter­prises were re­leased by Shang­hai Cus­toms at a re­cent press con­fer­ence.

“These new mea­sures and reg­u­la­tions are mar­ket-ori­ented and based on en­ter­prises’ needs, and aim to tackle ac­tual prob­lems and boost trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion,” said Zheng Ju­gang, vice di­rec­tor of Shang­hai Cus­toms.

Ac­cord­ing to the eight mea­sures, an air cargo ser­vice cen­ter will be set up in Zhangjiang High-Tech Park in Shang­hai’s Pudong New Area to pro­vide one- stop cus­toms ser­vice in­clud­ing de­liv­ery of im­port man­i­fest, cus­toms dec­la­ra­tion and cus­toms in­spec­tion.

The pro­posed cen­ter will re­duce cus­toms clear­ance time to be­tween six and eight hours from the pre­vi­ous at least two work­ing days, ben­e­fit­ing about 900 high-tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies in Zhangjiang and neigh­bor­ing ar­eas.

Zhangjiang will be the core car­rier of the plan that will make the city an in­ter­na­tional in­no­va­tion cen­ter with global in­flu­ence, equipped with a se­ries of high-tech in­fra­struc­ture and func­tional plat­forms, said Zheng.

Cus­toms for­mal­i­ties for im­ports of reagents, sam­ples and equip­ment by high-tech com­pa­nies, bio-phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal firms and mi­cro­elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ers will be stream­lined.

Cus­toms has also pledged to cut the thresh­old for small and medium-sized firms to of­fer off­shore out­sourc­ing ser­vices and en­cour­age clus­ters of ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing such as air­craft and new-energy ve­hi­cles in the FTZ.

Other mea­sures in­clude in­tro­duc­ing cus­tom­ized cus­toms ser­vices for high-tech com­pa­nies, set­ting up bonded ware­houses from small busi­nesses and strength­en­ing in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty pro­tec­tion.

“Those more trans­par­ent mea­sures will im­prove the trad­ing en­vi­ron­ment with higher ef­fi­ciency and of­fer more sup­port for the de­vel­op­ment of new trad­ing forms such as bulk com­modi­ties and off­shore out­sourc­ing in the zone,” said Jian Da­nian, deputy di­rec­tor of the ad­min­is­tra­tion com­mit­tee of the Shang­hai FTZ.

Mean­while, the Shang­hai Cus­toms also an­nounced another eight rules to solve prob­lems and pro­vide su­per­vi­sion for en­ter­prises to level up the trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion.

As one fo­cus and a first at­tempt in the coun­try, two rules re­lated to the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of goods will be in­tro­duced to help en­ter­prises

A pre-rul­ing sys­tem on clas­si­fi­ca­tion of im­ported goods will be car­ried out be­fore the ar­rival of car­gos on the port, which will al­low the en­ter­prises or im­porters to es­ti­mate the prime costs, in or­der to come up with more rea­son­able prices.

An online in­for­ma­tion plat­form will also be set up to of­fer cus­toms clas­si­fi­ca­tion in­for­ma­tion and pro­fes­sional ser­vice for en­ter­prises to clas­sify and de­clare their goods more ef­fi­ciently and ac­cu­rately.

“It is a break­through to launch our own ad­min­is­tra­tive rul­ing on clas­si­fi­ca­tion of trad­ing goods, to speed up the clear­ance pro­ce­dure of goods in dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories for lo­cal com­pa­nies,” said Zheng.

In ad­di­tion, five of those eight reg­u­la­tions in­clud­ing one-stop dec­la­ra­tion and ex­am­i­na­tion ser­vice, and sim­pler cus­toms pro­ce­dures for im­ports of art sup­plies are pro­posed to of­fer a more sim­pli­fied clear­ance sys­tem for en­ter­prises de­clare their goods.

In the first five months of this year, trade in the FTZ to­talled 287.1 bil­lion yuan ($46.3 bil­lion), ac­count­ing for 26 per­cent of the city’s to­tal.

“The short­ened cus­toms clear­ance process will en­able those trad­ing com­pa­nies within the zone to im­port and ex­port goods more ef­fi­ciently,” said Chen Bo, sec­re­tary-gen­eral in the free trade zone re­search in­sti­tu­tion of the Shang­hai Univer­sity of Fi­nance and Eco­nom­ics.

Chen pointed out that Shang­hai is now ideally po­si­tioned to be­come the eco­nomic en­gine of the Yangtze River Delta with its pi­o­neered poli­cies. At the same time, the city also will re­al­ize the tar­get of tak­ing the lead in the new round of re­form.

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