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Shanghai receives maiden tax-free import of art

By Cao Chen in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-12-15 10:39
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Five ancient Chinese paintings owned by a Japanese collector were imported to Shanghai without taxes on Dec 9,2020. [Photo/cnr.cn]

Five ancient Chinese paintings owned by a Japanese collector were imported to Shanghai without taxes on Wednesday, weeks after they were exhibited at the third China International Import Expo in November.

This is the first batch of artworks imported to the city without taxes, courtesy of a new policy implemented in October which allows each exhibitor at this year's CIIE to bring five pieces of cultural relics into the country tax-free, according to Shanghai Administration of Cultural Heritage.

The tax-break policy for exhibits of the third edition of the expo was jointly issued by the Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs and the State Taxation Administration on Oct 12.

CIIE exhibitors stand to enjoy some tax exemptions, including preferential Customs duties, value-added taxes and consumption taxes, according to the policy.

A list detailing the quotas for five specific categories -- machines and instruments; tractors; ships; medical equipment; artwork, collectibles and antiques -- was published on the government's website.

In compliance with the tax-break policy, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and Shanghai municipality signed a pact on Nov 10, which removed the existing six-month legal window for imported artworks and antiques at the bonded art warehouse in Shanghai's Free Trade Zone. It also allows foreign auction companies to sell artworks created before 1949 by foreign artists who died after 1949.

Experts said the policies mean consumers who purchase cultural relics exhibits at the expo can enjoy tariff exemptions and import-tax related deductions.

The policy will also help artworks, especially Chinese antiques from overseas, find their way back to China and be procured by Chinese collectors, and encourage more international exhibitors at the expo to enter the Chinese market.

Source: China International Import Expo Bureau

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