In order to encourage imports and economic and social development, and in response to rising consumer demand, the Ministry of Finance announced that China will apply lower import provisional taxes on more than 730 kinds of goods, with an average rate of 4.4% - over 50% lower than the most-favoured nation rates. The new rates became effective on January 1 2012.

The products affected are divided into five main categories:

  • energy resources products, including coal, coke, oil, rare earths, copper, aluminium and nickel;
  • key equipment and spare parts required for the development of high-end manufacturing equipment, next-generation information technology, new energy vehicles and other emerging strategic industries;
  • products related to agricultural production;
  • commodities used to promote everyday consumption and the improvement of civil livelihood, including frozen fish, special-formula milk powder, baby food, skincare products, tableware and kitchen untensils; and
  • products related to public health.

The ministry of finance has stated that it will continue to implement quota tariffs on seven kinds of agricultural product, including wheat, and quota tariffs and a 1% provisional tax on three types of fertiliser, including urea. China similarly applied provisional taxes on more than 600 kinds of goods in 2011 with an average customs duty rate of 4.5% - over 60% lower than the most-favoured nation rates.

For further information on this topic please contact Eugene Lim at Baker & McKenzie's Hong Kong office by telephone (+852 2846 2413), fax (+852 2845 0476) or email ([email protected]).