Global standards for bonded zones

China will introduce measures to upgrade its comprehensive bonded zones in line with advanced international standards.

China will introduce measures to upgrade its comprehensive bonded zones in line with advanced international standards, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided yesterday.

This will promote trade and investment facilitation, sustain steady growth in foreign trade and investment, and nurture new competitive advantages.

The Chinese government places great importance on the development of the comprehensive bonded zones and other forms of special customs supervision areas.

Li repeatedly called for efforts to expand and upgrade opening-up, substantively enhance trade facilitation and improve the business climate for overseas investors.

In the first three quarters of 2018, imports and exports in China’s special customs supervision areas, comprehensive bonded zones included, reached 3.668 trillion yuan (US$535 billion). This was up by 11.8 percent year on year and accounted for 16.5 percent of the country’s total foreign trade in the same period.

These special areas have also attracted investment from many leading global manufacturers and created more than 2 million jobs.

“The comprehensive bonded zones have served as a window in China’s opening-up,” Li said.

“Their special and important role in sustaining the steady growth of foreign trade and investment must be fully harnessed. We should also encourage these zones to actively expand the domestic market.”

Yesterday’s meeting decided on a number of supportive measures.

More efforts will be made to facilitate domestic sales by companies in the zones.

The general taxpayer status of VAT will be piloted in the comprehensive bonded zones. Processing and manufacturing companies in the zones will be permitted to undertake outsourced processing businesses from outside the zones of the Chinese mainland market.

No application for the automatic import license will be required for the selling of products made in the zones, such as cell phones and auto parts, on the domestic market.

Meanwhile, research and development, and innovation will be spurred. All goods and items that companies in the zones import for R&D purposes will be exempted from import licensing.

Newly established R&D and processing companies in the zones, once evaluated as having met relevant standards, will immediately be granted the highest credit rating.

Logistics will also be facilitated. In the course of corporate production and operation, any eligible item entering the comprehensive bonded zones and the bonded goods in transfer from one zone to another will be exempted from customs clearance procedures.

International services outsourcing will be supported to boost cross-border trade in services.

The policies for retail imports under cross-border e-commerce will be fully adopted in the comprehensive bonded zones in due course. Qualified comprehensive bonded zones will receive support to conduct bonded futures delivery.

The comprehensive bonded zones will be supported in applying the experience gained in the pilot free trade zones to realize the integrated upgrading of all special customs supervision areas.

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