Customs Policy Update - for the Period of July 2019
Customs Policy Update - for the Period of July 2019
Monthly Update on Customs Policies, July 2019
Announcement on Launching the Electronic Seal on the Online Processing Platform for Customs Administrative Permission (GAC Announcement No. 106 )
In order to fully implement the State Council's requirements for accelerating the construction of an online government service platform, facilitating permission services, and improving the efficiency of government services, the General Administration of Customs (“GAC”) has upgraded and improved the online processing platform for customs administrative permission. On 1 July 2019, the customs’ administrative electronic seal, the special administrative permission electronic seal, and other electronic seals were launched on the online processing platform.
Announcement on Issuing Instructions for Customs Clearance at the Second China International Import Expo in 2019 and Convenient Measures for the Second China International Import Expo in 2019 (GAC Announcement No. 115 )
Based on the convenient measures that were issued for the first CIIE, GAC issued a series of requirements and convenient measures for the purposes of supporting the second China International Import Expo (CIIE). These requirements and measures mainly include the following:
- By adopting the comprehensive integration customs clearance method, the National Exhibition and Convention Center (“NECC”) or its entrusted service providers will go through declaration formalities at Shanghai Customs, and port customs will implement the inspection and release procedures. For the temporary entry of CIIE goods under the ATA Carnet, the in-charge customs authority should review and endorse the goods, and the expiration date of re-exported goods should match the validity period of the ATA Carnet.
- Special channels will be set up for the CIIE at major ports, and priority will be given to customs formalities such as declaration, inspection, sampling, testing, etc. The imported goods will be released immediately after inspection.
- All animals and plants and their products imported for the CIIE that involve administrative permission for inspection and quarantine should be entrusted to Shanghai Customs and other nearby customs authorities.
- NECC will provide unified deposits to reduce the burden on overseas exhibitors.
- Exportation formalities will be simplified, and measures will be put in place to facilitate the post-disposal of exhibits. If exhibits under non-ATA Carnet that were temporarily imported for the CIIE will be sent to the special customs supervision area and bonded area after the CIIE, these exhibits can then apply for cancellation after they have completed the relevant customs formalities. Note: The exhibited car should be transferred to the special customs supervision area and bonded supervision area that can carry out bonded warehousing business.
Announcement on Issues Concerning the Catalogue of Encouraged Foreign Investment Industries (Version 2019) (GAC Announcement  No. 125)
National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce published the Catalogue of Encouraged Foreign Investment Industries (Version 2019) (hereinafter referred to as the “New Catalogue”), and the New Catalogue was effective 30 July 2019. GAC Announcement  No. 125 was released on 24 July 2019 to address issues related to the New Catalogue. The announcement specifies in article one that as of 30 July 2019, self-used equipment imported within the total investment amount and the technology, components, accessories and spare parts imported along with the aforementioned equipment in accordance with contracts under the foreign-invested projects (including capital increment projects) that fall into the New Catalogue’s encouraged category (excluding the goods listed in the Catalogue of Non-tax-exempt Goods for Foreign-invested Projects and the Catalogue of Non-tax-exempt Imported Crucial High-tech Equipment and Products) shall be exempt from customs duty. However, these items will still be subject to import VAT in accordance with the Notice of the State Council on the Adjustment of Tax Policies for Imported Equipment (Guo Fa  No. 37) and GAC Announcement  No.103. Meanwhile, the announcement also standardises the code for the project industry policy catalogue.
In addition, the announcement specifies the transition treatment for the application scope between the New Catalogue and the previous version.
Announcement on “Two-step Customs Declaration” Pilot Reform (GAC Announcement  No. 127)
On 31 July 2019, the General Administration of Customs (“GAC”) issued Announcement No. 127 to launch a “two-step import declaration” pilot program at 10 port customs in Huangpu, Shenzhen, Qingdao and other three cities, starting from 24 August 2019.
Under the “two-step import declaration” mode, importers can perform import declaration in the following two steps, instead of submitting all the declaration information before the imported goods are released by the Customs:
- Step one: Brief Declaration – Importers will declare to customs whether the imported goods are prohibited or restricted, whether the imported goods are subject to inspection or quarantine according to relevant regulations, and whether the imported goods are subject to taxes.
- Step two: Complete Declaration – Importers will submit all the necessary information and documents and pay import taxes within 14 days after the declaration date of entry declaration for means of transport.
For dutiable goods, the importer should submit an application for tax guarantee with the duty collection-related department of the in-charge customs authority.
Notice on the Fourth Batch of Chinese “Flag of Convenience” Vessels Enjoying the Preferential Import Tax
According to the Notice of the Ministry of Finance, General Administration of Customs, and the State Administration of Taxation on the Import Tax Issue for the Registration of Chinese "Flag of Convenience" Vessels Returning to China (Cai Guan Shui No. 42 ), to encourage some Chinese-funded "flag of convenience" vessels (i.e. vessels with a Chinese capital contribution of at least 50%) to return to China for registration, and to improve the safety of Chinese shipping, Chinese-funded "flag of convenience" vessels are exempted from customs duty and import VAT.
On 12 July 2019, the Ministry of Finance, GAC and the State Administration of Taxation issued their Notice on the Fourth Batch of Chinese “Flag of Convenience” Vessels Enjoying the Preferential Import Tax, which stated that the “Jiangyuan Taicang” and 34 other Chinese “flag of convenience” vessels will be exempted from customs duty and import VAT.
Announcement on the Final Ruling on the Anti-dumping Measures Imposed on Imports of Stainless Steel Billet and Hot-rolled Stainless Steel Plates (Coils) Originating in the EU, Japan, Korea and Indonesia (MOFCOM Announcement No. 31 )
According to Article 38 of the Anti-dumping Regulations of the People’s Republic of China, the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China ("MOFCOM") proposed that the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council impose anti-dumping duties. Based on the suggestion from the MOFCOM, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council decided to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of stainless steel billet and hot-rolled stainless steel plates (coils) originating in the EU, Japan, Korea and Indonesia for a period of 5 years starting 23 July 2019.
Local Customs Policy Updates
Tianjin Customs Announcement on Adjusting the Release of Information Inquiries (Tianjin Customs Announcement No. 6 )
In order to enjoy policy benefits and facilitate enterprises’ inquiries into customs clearance information, since 16 July 2019, import and export enterprises have been able to inquire about customs release status information via the "Internet + Customs" all-in-one online platform named “Let Me Check” and via “Query Statistics,” a sub-function of the China International Trade Single Window . Tianjin Customs’ website for inquiries regarding clearance and cancellation manifest information, and the website for inquiries regarding clearance and cancellation information have not been usable since 16 July 2019.
Ningbo Customs and the Ningbo Bureau of Commerce Announcement on Comprehensively Operating the Management System for Processing Trade for the Second Phase of the Golden Custom Project
Ningbo Customs and the Ningbo Bureau of Commerce issued their Announcement on Comprehensively Operating the Management System for Processing Trade for the Second Phase of the Golden Custom Project (“The System”) in Ningbo, which was effective 25 July 2019. The main content of the Announcement includes:
- The application for set-up and extension of the handbook/logbook in the Management System for Processing Trade in H2010 will not be acceptable. Except for residual material transfers, duty repayment for domestic sales, and other special situations related to extensions, the original handbook/logbook under H2010 can be completed normally. The handbook for non-evaluated equipment under H2010 will no longer be used for import declaration.
- For companies using the e-logbook that are temporarily unable to upgrade to the System, the upgrading time period can be extended as appropriate, but not past 30 November 2019.
- During the upgrading period, companies are exempted from paying deposits on their remaining amounts of materials that exceed the relevant regulatory requirements as a result of the early verification of the original handbook/logbook.
Ningbo Customs Announcement on Comprehensively Implementing Electronic Power of Attorney
In order to deepen paperless reform for customs declaration and facilitate trade, Ningbo Customs issued its Announcement on Comprehensively Implementing Electronic Power of Attorney (“POA”), with the approval of the GAC. Since 1 August 2019, except for in cases in which companies are unable to sign the POA or enter the POA series number due to computer, network or other technical issues, Customs will not accepted hardcopies of POAs.
Shenzhen Customs Announcement on Revising Relevant Normative Documents (Shenzhen Customs Announcement  No. 2)
On 4 July 2019, Shenzhen Customs revised its Announcement No. 3 of 2009. The details are as follows:
- Article 3 was revised to state, “The Administrative Measures of the Customs of the People's Republic of China on Tax Reduction and Exemption for Imports and Exports (GAC Decree No. 179, based on the GAC Decree No. 235 and No. 240 revisions).”
- Article 5 was revised to state, “The Follow-up Management System for Tax Reduction and Exemption will use the International Trade Single Window for pre-declaration.”
- Article 6 was revised to state, “The department responsible for the follow-up management of tax reduction and exemption is Fuqiang Customs under Shenzhen Customs.”
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