Frontier inspectors making strides with 'dual circulation'

Tian Shengjie
The National Immigration Administration was established three years ago, and under its control and management frontier inspection departments in Shanghai continue improving.
Tian Shengjie

Ever since the National Immigration Administration was established in April 2018, frontier inspection departments in Shanghai have been continuing to improve under its guidance and management to better serve “dual circulation" — domestic and overseas markets reinforcing one another with the domestic market as the mainstay, such as “zero waiting time” in customs clearance for international ships and promoting online “single window” application to save clearance time by an average 40 minutes.

Although foreign trade in the first half of 2020 was stagnant due to the coronavirus pandemic, total exports last year in China reached 17.93 trillion yuan (US$2.73 trillion), a year-on-year increase of 4 percent. However, because of the lack of cargo coming from foreign ports, a large number of empty containers could not be returned to the country.

According to administration requirements, shipping companies and local ports accelerated the manufacturing new containers, and borrowed containers from other countries and regions to satisfy demand in the city.

At the end of last month, a ship from Liberia with 1,700 empty containers docked at Yangshan Port. To reduce customs clearance time, local departments requested the agency to carry out the pre-check online, because the tracking of the ship and the health of its crew had been established before it docked.

A manager of a container-port company surnamed Xi said this process can knock off averagely one hour of clearance time per ship.

According to administration data, nearly 1.4 million empty containers were imported to the city during the first two months of 2021.

Meanwhile, the capabilities of air transport in the city are also improving.

In 2020, the international cargo throughput at Shanghai Pudong International Airport was about 3.4 million tons, an increase of 2 percent year on year.

In the past year, local departments have checked more than 72,000 import and export air freighters, an increase of 110 percent year on year.

The process for declaring flight information prior to landing in the city can save around 40 minutes for each plane during customs clearance, an air cargo agent surnamed Zhou said.

Based on administration guidelines, numerous drills for police working in local frontier inspection departments have been carried out, and more police are participating in inspections to make the process more efficient.

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