City slashes ports red tape

Shanghai has introduced a range of measures to cut fees and speed processing for imports and exports.

Shanghai has launched 22 measures to cut red tape and costs at its ports to improve trade, a top official said on Thursday.

The reforms follow public concerns about the efficiency and costs of cross-border trade services.

Announcing the reforms, Wu Wei, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, also serving the function of the Shanghai Office for Port Services, said the city would push forward in-advance declarations for imports and exports. This would allow faster customs clearance.

A fault-tolerant mechanism for the in-advance declaration in import will also be set up, which will allow enterprises to be mitigated or exempted from punishment for the irregularities that can be corrected in time if they are not caused intentionally and the company takes the initiative to report them to the Customs.

Documentation is being simplified, reducing paperwork and increasing paperless processing.

With the changes, the process for the declaration and payment of customs duties and the exchange of bills of landing and delivery orders will be cut to less than four hours from days. 

Port fees are also being cut, agents will be encouraged to reduce their rates and price supervision will be boosted. Harbor dues on cargo will be slashed 15 percent and terminal security fees by 20 percent.

The city will also seek to boost supervision of operating service charges by the port operator, shipping and container yard companies, inspection stations, and other agencies.

All operators must publish their rates and not impose additional charges.

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