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Premier stresses coordinating customs clearance with epidemic control

Updated: Jul 23,2021 13:58

Facing international situations and environment changes in the second half of the year, China should coordinate the facilitation of customs clearance with sound epidemic control at ports to maintain steady growth in foreign trade, Premier Li Keqiang stressed at the State Council’s executive meeting on July 21.

The meeting decided on measures to further facilitate cross-border trade and foster a more enabling business environment at ports.

This was the second time in a month that Premier Li made work arrangements in foreign trade during executive meetings. At the executive meeting on June 22, he decided to accelerate the development of new forms and models of foreign trade to push forward its upgrading and foster new competitive strengths.

Statistics showed that overall customs clearance time for imports and exports was cut by more than 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, from 2017, which is the result of reform to facilitate cross-border trade and improved business environment.

“Import and export has been an important support for the smooth operation of the country’s economy,” Premier Li said. "Import and export should be continuously upgraded to further facilitate customs clearance."

The Premier urged providing support for the construction of overseas warehouses and improving return policies for cross-border e-commerce exports, stressing the measures’ consistency with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Efficiency in customs clearance will be further enhanced, with policies to expand pilot trials of direct loading of exports and direct picking of imports upon arrival. Also, the average tax rebate processing time will be shortened to less than seven working days by the end of 2021. Import and export costs will be further reduced, no fees beyond the notified charging list should be levied, and pilotage fees for coastal ports will be lowered. Comprehensive services at ports will be improved via increasing distribution efficiency at airports, exploring direct transfer of goods from waterway to railway, and enhancing the capacity of international logistics, according to the meeting.