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Correct paperwork can mean companies clear Shenzhen customs before paying tariffs

By Pei Pei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-02-25 20:50
A Shenzhen Customs officer measures passengers' temperature in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Companies that provide valid bank letters of guarantee and insurance warranties can finish their commodities' customs clearance before paying tariffs in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, thanks to a pro-trade reform jointly launched by the city's customs and relevant banks and insurance companies.

With its longest moratorium set at six months, the longest in the country, the reform aims to ease enterprises' liquidity pressure that has been unavoidably aggravated by the novel coronavirus epidemic, allegedly the worst epidemic the country has experienced in more than seven decades, according to Shenzhen Customs.

Customs had masterminded the reform plan and obtained support from relevant parties, including banks and insurance companies, in a short time after all stakeholders felt it imperative to relieve the enterprises' financial stress after Spring Festival, At that time, as the epidemic gradually forced the country into a virtual standstill, it dealt a heavy blow to the real economy.

Through a video conference, Customs reached consensus with the banks and insurance companies on the details of the implementation of the reform, particularly compensation models if the enterprises default their duties.

The banks and insurance firms also vowed to accelerate credit extensions to needy parties to help them take full advantage of tariff reform.

Statistics show that more than half of customs' tariffs are collected in this model after the reform was carried out.

Zheng Dongyang, a Tariff Department official at Shenzhen Customs, said that it is estimated that more than 400 enterprises will benefit from the reform every month, which involves more than 7 billion yuan ($998.3 million) in tariffs.

He believes the flexibility the reform grants these enterprises will provide them with more space for growth to help them weather the current difficulties.

"That the bank letters of guarantee and insurance warranties are all it takes to apply for the moratorium means a zero-cost favor to us. It is nothing but a timely help to enterprises that can hardly make their ends meet for the time being," said a person who declined to be named who is in charge of Shenzhen Huafuyang, a logistics company, and who spoke highly of the concrete benefits of the reform.

Shenzhen Customs said it will continuously explore new paths to boost industrial and trade growth in the region.

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