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China's customs rolls out new measures to support bonded area development

China's customs authority on Monday rolled out new measures to support bonded area development amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

Pilot free trade zones (FTZs), eligible national-level pilot zones, economic and technological development zones, and high-tech industrial development zones are encouraged to establish comprehensive bonded zones, giving full play to the combined advantages of various zones, said the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on its website.

The new bonded areas should increase their establishment in central, western, and eastern areas with great momentum and are encouraged to establish comprehensive bonded zones to serve regional opening-up economic development, said the GAC.

Meanwhile, bonded areas should fully promote global maintenance and re-manufacturing business to support the diversified development of the area.

The GAC also stressed the importance of innovating regulatory models. Online surveillance should be implemented for qualified enterprises with management system including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Warehouse Management System (WMS). Enterprise in the zone applying to the customs for registration, filing or change should be processed online.

In addition, the GAC said it will enhance the credit cultivation for enterprises. The certification process for enterprises in the zone applying for advanced certification should be accelerated to help more enterprises become Authorized Economic Operator (AEO).

The comprehensive bonded zone has played a significant role in China's open economy development, especially in serving the industrial transfer of central and western regions and the industrial upgrading of the eastern region.

In 2019, the total value of imports and exports in China's comprehensive bonded zones reached 2.9 trillion yuan (about 414 billion U.S. dollars), a year-on-year increase of 11.9 percent, 8.5 percentage points higher than the national foreign trade.

The customs authority also said on Sunday that it will simplify customs clearance procedures, reduce inspection and quarantine fees and optimize the port business environment. Local authorities should resolve difficulties facing enterprises to minimize the impact of the epidemic on foreign trade.

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