Temporary tariffs on 110 export categories of products which are
energy-guzzling or resource-intensive have been hailed by experts as a major
step towards optimizing the national energy structure.
The regulation, which was issued over the weekend and takes effect on
November 1, will also help curb the country's soaring trade surplus, the
Ministry of Finance said.
Among the goods which will attract the temporary export tax are:
5 per cent on oil, coal, coke and crude oil.
10 per cent on non-ferrous metals, various types of minerals such as apatite
and rare earth minerals as well as iron alloy, raw iron, steel billets and 27
other iron and steel products.
Wooden flooring, disposable chopsticks and 19 other goods will be taxed at
the same rate.
15 per cent on copper, nickel and other metallurgical products.
"It is a very positive move, which is designed to enhance energy efficiency,
optimize the national energy structure and rationalize energy- and
resource-intense sectors," Zhou Dadi, director of the Energy Research Institute
affiliated to the National Development and Reform Commission, told China Daily.
Meanwhile, import taxes on 58 categories of commodities will be reduced.
Rates on 26 energy and resource products, such as oil, coal and alumina, will
be cut from 3-6 per cent to 0-3 per cent.
The policy is expected to rein in exports which rely heavily on energy and
resources, while encouraging their imports, Zhou said.
He expects to see results within this year.
"Rather than administrative and regulatory mandates, the authorities used a
market mechanism to restrain exports of certain commodities of strategic
importance and put a brake on the development of energy-intensive industries,"
Although some enterprises may suffer from higher export costs, the policy
will boost energy efficiency and keep manufacturers away from energy-intensive
sectors, Gong Jinshuang, a senior researcher with China National Petroleum Corp,
Some enterprises are already prepared.
"We will certainly witness our exports affected by the new policy. We will
adjust our business structure to cushion the negative effect," a manager with
Sinochem Guangzhou Import and Export Corp said on condition of anonymity.
China's trade surplus hit a new high of US$109.85 billion in the first three
quarters of the year amid concern over disputes with its major trade partners
and over-exploitation of resources.
Last month, the government cancelled or lowered export tax rebates on hundreds