9 June 2015
China Customs’ 16-Point Policy to Support “Belt and Road”
China Customs has formulated a 16-point policy aimed at strengthening trans-departmental, trans-regional and international customs cooperation as well as achieving all-round, dynamic, network-based connectivity to support the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative.
On enhancing broadly-based trade and economic cooperation, five initiatives will be taken which include further opening of various regions, going out of enterprises, development of new trade formats, proposal to jointly construct free trade zones in countries along the Belt and Road, and giving full play to preferential policies implemented in special customs supervision and bonded supervision areas. Specifically, they include giving full play to comparative advantages of various regions to raise the level of openness of the economy, and improving management measures related to processing activities offshore and provision of repair services within China. They also include implementation of measures for the assessment of dutiable value of goods return in line with Chinese enterprises’ "going out" and promoting industries and production capacities that command clear advantages to “go out”, as well as promoting the adoption of China’s technical standards in other markets. Qualified cities along the Belt and Road will be given support to develop new trade formats such as cross-border e-commerce, financial leasing, futures bonded delivery as well as testing and repair and maintenance services. Favorable policies will be given to special customs supervision areas set up in regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt.
On deepening broadly-based cooperation, five initiatives are taken which include enriching the scope and mechanisms of international cooperation, promoting key aspects of bilateral and international customs cooperation, deepening regional and international customs cooperation, active participation in multilateral cooperation in expanding the influence of customs and creating a number of cooperation projects as model of connectivity. Specifically, they include advocating international customs cooperation, jointly studying measures to promote customs cooperation and trade facilitation, forming a consensus among customs authorities of the countries along the route in serving the Belt and Road initiative. Cooperation with customs authorities in countries along the route in personnel training and information sharing will be strengthened. Proactive review of international customs cooperation experience in the "Chang'an" and other westbound international freight trains will be carried out, establishing rail freight transport and customs clearance coordination mechanisms between China and Europe and building China-Europe rail freight services as a brand.
Some analysts believe that as China presses ahead with the Belt and Road strategy, economic and trade exchanges with countries along the route are set to become closer and more frequent. Customs initiatives will play a positive role in China's foreign trade development, from which cross-border e-commerce business will also draw much benefit. In addition, guidelines for the promotion of cross-border e-commerce development are also expected to be issued soon.