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AFRICA: HK Customs Extends FTA Transhipment Scheme to LDCs

The FTA Scheme–Transhipment Cargo heading for the Mainland will be extended from 1 August 2019 to those countries covered by the Special Preferential Tariff Treatment to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) trade agreement of the People’s Republic of China. The move was announced in an update published on 29 July 2019 by the Customs and Excise Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (C&ED).

LDCs under this agreement are mainly African nations. Specifically, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.

The extension allows Hong Kong traders to voluntarily apply for Certificates of Non-manipulation for cargo coming from the beneficiary countries transhipped through Hong Kong to the mainland. Such shipments are considered eligible for the preferential tariffs under the agreement, subject to complying with certain conditions, such as maximum period of stay in third party ports, cargo storage and processing arrangements. In the case of LDCs, the maximum permitted stay is six months.

Applications for Certificates of Non-manipulation should be made at least one day before consignment arrival. The application form and supporting documents can be submitted by email. Based on the transportation mode and processing required, the C&ED will calculate the fee and issue a General Demand Note to the applicant. After payment of the fee by the applicant, the C&ED will process the application and provide supervision services if applicable.

On completion of application processing, the certificate will be issued to the applicant. The trader then has the responsibility of providing the importing country with the certificate and any other documents that support eligibility to apply for preferential tariffs.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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