China's customs revenue hit a record high of 916.11 billion yuan ($134.03 billion) in 2008, up 20.8 percent year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said on Wednesday.
Revenue from exports totaled 177 billion yuan, up 23.6 percent, while that from imports hit 739.11 billion yuan, up 20.1 percent.
The total exceeded the target of 845.5 billion yuan.
Much of the improvement came during the first nine months of the year, before global financial and economic turmoil significantly affected trade.
Exports and imports fell in November and December 2008, reflecting weakening external and domestic demand.
Exports fell 2.2 percent year-on-year in November and 2.8 percent in December. Imports fell 17.9 percent year-on-year in November and 21.3 percent in December.
The first nine months, however, saw steady development in trade, with total imports up 29 percent year-on-year to $893.07 billion.
Imports of products for final use in China, a category that excludes components and other material imported for use in export products, rose 47.3 percent to $455.79 billion, boosted by strong domestic demand and consumption.
These imports generate the largest proportion of customs import revenue. However, a separate nine-month total for customs import revenue was not immediately available.
Customs export revenue also surged in the first nine months of 2008, exceeding 36 billion yuan, up 210.2 percent. The GAC said the jump reflected tariff hikes on energy-intensive, polluting and resource-based products. Exports for the first nine months totaled $1.074 trillion, up 22.3 percent.
China cut import tariffs on soybeans, pork, edible oil and nuts to boost imports as agricultural product prices and consumer prices soared. As a result, imports of such products rose 80 percent and customs revenue from those imports increased 61.5 percent.