International Trade and Customs Affairs Newsletter, March, 2021

Release time:2021-04-25 15:23
Hainan Free Trade Port’s Own-use Production Equipment "Zero Tariff" Policy Is Implemented on A Trial Basis

On March 4, the General Administration of Customs issued the Announcement on Customs Implementation Measures for the "Zero Tariff" Policy for Self-use Production Equipment in Hainan Free Trade Port (Trial) (hereinafter referred to as the "Announcement"), which will take effect on the day of publication.

The announcement made it clear that before the island’s close operations, for enterprises registered in the Hainan Free Trade Port and that have independent legal personality to import production equipment for their own use, except for goods that are clearly not exempted by laws, regulations and related regulations, or that are prohibited by national regulations, or the equipment listed in the “Negative List of ‘Zero Tariff’ Production Equipment for Self-use in Hainan Free Trade Port”, imported self-use production equipments are exempt from customs duties, import VAT and consumption tax.

Self-use production equipment that enjoys the "zero tariff" policy is subject to negative list management, which will be dynamically adjusted by the Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs, the State Administration of Taxation as well as relevant departments.

China Officially Approves the “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership” (RCEP)

On March 8, MOFCOM stated that the Chinese government has formally approved the “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” (RCEP) and it hopes that relevant countries can accelerate the progress of approval.
The official approval of the RCEP means that, after signing the agreement, China has completed all the domestic legal procedures, and the next step will be entering the technical preparation stage. At present, relevant departments of the State Council are accelerating technical preparations, including tariffs, certification of origin and other issues. China is negotiating and docking with relevant countries, striving for an early confirmation.

On November 15, 2020, at the Fourth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement Leaders’ Meeting, the ten ASEAN countries and other five countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand formally signed the “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” (RCEP). RCEP includes 20 chapters, covering comprehensive market access commitments for goods, services, and investment, which is a comprehensive, modern, high-quality, and mutually beneficial free trade agreement.

Measures for the Administration of Approved Exporters Has Started the Process of Soliciting Opinions

On March 4, 2021, the General Administration of Customs published on its website the "Measures for the Administration of Approved Exporters of the Customs of the People’s Republic of China (Draft  Opinions)" (hereinafter referred to as the "Draft Opinions"). The Draft Opinions is open to the public for comments until April 5.

The "Draft Opinions" consists of five chapters and 26 articles, mainly including the certification standards and procedures of approved exporters, the rights and obligations of approved exporters and relevant management measures. The application and management of approved exporters are all related to the enterprise customs credit rating, and the enterprise applying for an approved exporter should be in accordance with the requirements of the General Administration of Customs on the credit rating and type of the enterprise; If the competent customs finds that the approved exporter no longer meets the requirements of the General Administration of Customs on the credit rating and type of the enterprise, the certification as an approved exporter shall be cancelled and a written notice shall be issued. In addition, the customs may collect relevant behaviors of approved exporters as information reflecting the credit status of the enterprise and incorporate it into customs credit management.

China Customs Issues the Catalogue of Management Measures for AEO Certified Enterprises

On February 25, 2021, the General Administration of Customs’ Notice on Issuing the Catalogue of Management Measures for Customs Certified Enterprises (Shu Qi Fa [2021] No. 16, hereinafter referred to as the "Catalog") issued by the Department of Enterprise Management and Inspection of the General Administration of Customs will further supplement and refine the management measures of law-abiding enterprises.
The "Catalog" subdivided the management measures for customs certified companies into 5 categories and 22 items. 14 items are separately applicable to advanced certification companies, 1 item is applicable to general certification companies, and 7 items are collectively applicable to all certification companies. The main contents are as follows:

1.The "Catalogue" adds and refines a number of management measures, including 11 measures for the preferential application of the customs reform and innovation system for advanced certification companies, and 3 measures for reducing inspection and quarantine approval time limits for general certification companies.

2.The proportion of inspection and quarantine batches of goods that are not listed in the negative list of high-risk goods, and the proportion of spot checks on the origin of imported and exported goods have further reduced.

3.For advanced certification companies, the self-inspection result recognition mode can be implemented for the verification items (content) that meet the conditions. In addition, the customs may adopt the credit commitment submitted by highly recognized enterprises to substitute for laboratory testing of goods other than food.

MOFCOM Public Notice No. 3 of 2021:Measures of MOFOM’s Handling of Trade Remedy Cases Related to the EU and the UK after Brexit

The UK officially withdrew from the European Union on January 31, 2020, and its Brexit transition period ends on December 31, 2020. After the above period, the EU-related trade remedy investigation measures are dealt with as follows:

1. The trade remedy measures that have been implemented against the EU before December 31, 2020 continue to be applicable, and the implementation period remain unchanged.

2. For the EU trade remedy cases currently under investigation, the UK is still treated as an EU member state

3. For new trade remedy investigations and review cases initiated by the EU after December 31, 2020, the UK is no longer treated as an EU member state.

Zhao Jing
Ma Ronghua

Zu Jiapei

Edited : Li Kexin    

This is legal information provided by DHH to clients and other lawyers. The information contained in this letter shall not be regarded as a legal opinion of DHH or its attorneys. If you are interested in learning more about the content of this newsletter, please contact an attorney practicing in this field.