1 June 2003
Speedy Customs Clearance at Yantian Port
The Shenzhen Customs and Yantian International Container Terminals recently signed a memorandum of cooperation on speedy customs clearance in respect of the management of customs supervision areas, empty containers for temporary import, and supervision over goods in international transit. From now on, provided that 12-hour advance customs declarations are made, Customs will release empty containers for temporary import as soon as they arrive at the terminal, and enterprises can complete the clearance procedures within 48 hours afterwards.
As a major international transit port in south China, Yantian has increased its cargo handling capacity at an amazing speed in recent years, reaching 4.28 million TEUs last year, up 56%. So far, 1.55 million TEUs have already been handled by the port this year, an increase of 38% year-on-year.
Traditional customs control could no longer meet the needs of terminal operators and shipping companies in the face of the rapid growth of Yantian Port and the burgeoning logistics industry. For example, empty containers account for 70% of the total number of import containers at Yantian. Traditional customs control treated empty and loaded containers in the same manner, i.e. they could only complete customs declaration, inspection and clearance procedures after entering the container yard. This meant empty containers were kept at the terminal for several days. This old practice not only took up container yard space, it also failed to meet the needs of terminal operators and shipping companies for rapid turnover of empty containers.
The new operation mode is based on the principles of "report in advance, release on arrival, centralised declaration and ex post facto verification". Formulated by Shenzhen Customs and Yantian International after consultations, the new speedy customs clearance measures are aimed at greatly increasing the turnover of containers at Yantian Port, whereby:
Customs will expedite inspection and clearance procedures at the terminal by handling loaded and empty containers separately. Empty containers do not have to enter the container yard and are released upon arrival, thus speeding up the turnover rate.
Import and export containers are allowed to enter and move about at the container yard round-the-clock. Loaded import containers that have cleared customs are allowed to leave the container yard 24 hours a day.
For import goods in international transit, Customs are required to implement online management and advance declaration.