Customs Policy Update - from January 2016 to February 2016
The State Council issued new circular promoting innovation and development of Processing Trade
On 4 January 2016, the State Council issued a new circular named “Several Opinions on Promoting Innovation and Development of Processing Trade” (hereinafter referred to as “The Opinion”). The Opinion clearly stipulates the guidelines and basic principles in promoting innovation and development of processing trade, as well as the development goals and policy measures to be taken by the year of 2020. Following the release of the Opinion, the Ministry of Commerce will work together with relevant authorities to further establish a coordination mechanism, ensure proper allocation of tasks, devise new policies where required, and encourage local governments to introduce respective promoting measures on processing trade according to their own situations.
12 pilot cities including Tianjin to set up comprehensive experimental zones for cross-border e-commerce
On 15 January 2016, the State Council issued the Notice Guohan  No.17, granting the approval to set up comprehensive experimental zones for cross-border e-commerce in 12 pilot cities including Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu and Shenzhen etc. The provincial governments of the pilot cities shall be responsible for the issuing and publishing of the detailed implementation rules respectively.
Revisions on People's Republic of China Import and Export Tariff Sub-section Interpretations
People's Republic of China Import and Export Tariff Sub-class Interpretations (the "Interpretations") provides a legal basis of commodities classification referred to by relevant government departments of customs, import and export trade-related enterprises, non-profit organizations and individuals. General Administration of Customs issued Announcement No. 10 on the 2016 revisions of the Interpretation, adding four new subsections - polyamide 6, non-processed SSBR, filling oil-soluble poly styrene-butadiene rubber, Z-steel, injection molding machine and revising 6 subsections - spherical graphite, silica gel, non-processed styrene-butadiene rubber (except the dissolved type), oil-filled styrene-butadiene rubber (except the dissolved type), redwood, and car. The new Interpretations will become effective on March 1, 2016. Enterprises engaged in import and export of goods should pay attention to the changes and consider whether adjustment of classification of goods is necessary for them.
Adjustment made on the Catalogue of Entry-Exit Goods to be Inspected and Quarantined by Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Authorities
Recently, the State Quality Inspection Administration and General Administration of Customs (“the GAC”) jointly issued a notice announcing an adjustment made on the catalogue of entry-exit goods that shall be inspected and quarantined by entry-exit inspection and quarantine authorities. The major adjustment are made on product categories namely the other natural water, the composite rubbers and various chemical products. The adjustment would become effective starting from 1 January 2016 and 1 February 2016 respectively.
New rules on tax collection and price assessment of imported aircraft
The GAC released Announcement No.6 on 29 January 2016 introducing that taxes will be imposed on maintenance guarantee fee under the mode of maintenance guarantee for aviation supplies instead of taxing the actual imported and exported aerial equipment. Domestic airlines shall voluntarily declare their business of maintenance guarantee for aviation supplies, and local customs shall review such declaration. Further, the GAC also released Announcement No. 8 on the same day, making amendments on the review of the dutiable value of airplane under operating leases. Announcement No. 8 aims to further standardize the valuation review of the airplane under operating leases and also further smooth taxpayers’ customs declaration procedures as well as the customs administration procedures.
KPMG China published China Alert on this captured matter and for the detail introduction and analysis please refer to the below link:
The Customs of the People's Republic of China Issued New Rules on Tax Collection and Price Verification of Imported Aircraft (PDF 314.3KB)
Five ministries including the Ministry of Finance launched notice on the policies for Port Duty Free Shops
To further regulate the operations of Port Duty Free Shops, five ministries including the Ministry of Finance and the GAC jointly launched the new notice “the provincial administration measures on Port Duty Free Shops” (“The Notice”) and one new Announcement “Announcement on the policies for Port Duty Free Shops” (“The Announcement”). The Announcement stipulate the qualified target customers, the applicable tax to be exempted, the applicable products category subject to duty-free policies, the limitation on shopping amount as well as the shopping procedures. Both the Notice and the Announcement will become effective starting from 18 February 2016.
Adjustment on duty-free policy for Hainan-leaving passengers
On January 29, 2016, General Administration of Customs issued Announcement No. 7, representing adjustments on the "Interim Measures on Duty-free Shopping of Hainan-leaving passengers" (General Administration of Customs Announcement No. 7 of 2015). The announcement lifts restrictions on the number of duty-free shopping by non-residents visitors, only provides for an annual cumulative amount of duty-free shopping per person of no more than 16,000 RMB Yuan (inclusive). It is emphasized that guests making duty-free shopping through special windows have to present their IDs and boarding passes to pick up the goods at the airport isolated control points before leaving the island. The policy is expected to further promote the development of tourism in Hainan Province.
The nationwide implementation of paperless customs clearance for goods under automatic import licenses
In order to further improve the trade facilitation, the GAC, together with the Ministry of Commerce, jointly issued the Announcement No.5 on 25 January 2016, promoting the implementation of paperless customs clearance for goods under automatic import licenses on a nationwide basis. The covered goods include all goods implementing “one license for one batch of goods” management of automatic import licenses (crude oil and fuel oil products are however excluded). Each declaration form of the imported goods are required to link to one automatic import license only. All qualified companies could apply for the electronic license and make declarations to the Customs in a paperless way, while the paper-copies of the automatic import licenses would no longer be required in the on-going declarations. The customs will verify the electronic licenses through the online automatic import license checking system and there would be no paper endorsement issued further.
Certain goods originally produced in New Zealand will be subject to special rates measures
In January 2016, General Administration of Customs issued Announcement No. 1, 2, and 4, providing special rates safeguard measures for butter and other fats and oils, cheese, solid form and concentration milk and cream originating from New Zealand. The special safeguard measures aim to restore the MFN rates levied against goods originating from New Zealand. The policy is expected to curb the import-of related goods, which may affect relevant import businesses.
Eight departments including GAC released Guidelines on Restricting Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products
In order to control and reduce environmental pollution from disposal of electrical and electronic products, eight departments, including the Ministry of Finance and GAC, have jointly issued Guidelines on Restricting Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products. The guidelines will become effective from July 1, 2016, superseding the Electronic Information Products Pollution Control Regulations issued on February 28, 2006.