On 18 February 2019, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council announced the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area ("Outline Development Plan"). From the point of view of global and domestic trade practices, connectivity Of Customs supervision is an important measure for economy and trade integration.

President Xi cited a sentence from Guo Yu when addressed in the G20 Hangzhou Summit, "the governance of a country should be based on simple customs procedures, improved infrastructures, convenience for business transactions and preferential agricultural polices". Today, with the quotation of President Xi as the title of this Article, we will summarize and prospect the Customs supervision and administration on Greater Bay Area.

On February 18th, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the “Outline of Development Planning for Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao and Dawan District” ( “Outline ”), which made top-level design and comprehensive planning for the strategic positioning and development goals of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. According to the "Outline", the level of interconnection and interoperability in the Dawan District market will be further improved by 2022; by 2035, high-level interconnection and intercommunication will be realized, and various resource elements will be efficiently and conveniently flowed.

From the perspective of global and domestic trade practices, the interconnection of customs inspection is an important means of economic and trade integration. Dawan District involves three customs areas, three different customs governance systems, and coordination of the Bay Area regulatory system and innovative border cooperation model will be important measures.

When General Secretary Xi called for the revitalization of the two major engines of trade and investment in the global economic development at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in 2016, he quoted the phrase “light customs and trade, wide-ranging agriculture” in “Mandarin”, emphasizing the importance of customs clearance. Today, we use the introduction of General Secretary Xi’s title to summarize and look forward to the trade customs clearance system in Dawan District of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in the moment of the new development opportunities in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.

I. Trade customs clearance system in Dawan District of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao

Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have always had close trade cooperation and exchanges. In the long-term border cooperation, the three customs have followed different levels of institutional arrangements, forming a trade clearance facilitation system with different effectiveness and scope.

  • Trade facilitation system at the free trade zone level

On December 31, 2014, the Free Trade Zone was established in Guangdong with the approval of the State Council, including Guangzhou Nansha, Shenzhen Qianhai and Zhuhai Hengqin (“ Guangdong Free Trade Zone ”). On May 4 and August 14, 2018, the State Council and the Guangdong Provincial Government successively issued Guofa [2018] No. 13 "To Further Deepen the Reform and Opening-up Plan of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone"  and the Guangdong Government Office [ 2018] No. 34 "Deepening the Implementation Opinions on System Innovation of China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone"  .

The above documents put forward specific arrangements for the Guangdong Free Trade Zone to further enhance the level of trade facilitation and the comprehensive supervision mode of innovative trade, including: building a global customs declaration service system, establishing a traceability system for import and export commodities, innovating an international transit consolidation business and a transshipment supervision model. At the same time, it also simplified the customs clearance arrangements for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, promoted the reform of the “one inspection and one release” customs clearance inspection mode, explored the construction of the Guangdong-Macau port joint inspection area at Hengqin Port, and innovated the “one-stop” inspection mode.

  • Trade facilitation system at the CEPA level

CEPA refers to the "Regulations on Establishing Closer Economic Partnerships" signed by the Mainland and Hong Kong in 2003 and the Mainland and Macao SAR Governments in 2005. CEPA is a series of framework institutional arrangements around trade in goods, trade in services, and promotion of investment facilitation, including customs policies including customs policies and origin policies.

After the signing of CEPA, the General Administration of Customs has formulated and revised the rules of origin for import and export goods under the CEPA in the form of the General Directorate, and the Mainland Customs Administration and Hong Kong and Macao have implemented some specific measures, including: The “CEPA Origination Criteria” Hong Kong and Macao foods will be used as the basis for supervision of the origin, health certificate and risk monitoring results approved by Hong Kong and Macao. The port inspection and quarantine time will be shortened to 3 hours; the “cross-border lock” will be implemented at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen ports. The plan will reduce the double inspection rate of the same batch of goods entering and leaving Hong Kong and Shenzhen; the wines of all 42 customs areas re-exported to the Mainland through Hong Kong can enjoy immediate customs clearance.

The CEPA agreement between the Mainland and Hong Kong and Macao was upgraded on January 1, 2019. The goods imported from Hong Kong and Macao will enjoy zero tariffs. The CEPA agreement upgrades and optimizes the rules of origin rules, and it is expected that more products entering the mainland will be recognized as originating in Hong Kong and Macao and then enjoying zero-tariff treatment.

The upgraded CEPA chapter stipulates the “Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Dawan District Trade Facilitation Measures”, aiming to make the Dawan District dock with international high standard trade rules, facilitate the facilitation of cargo transactions, and highlight the core and pivotal role of the Dawan District.

The trade facilitation measures proposed by the upgraded CEPA include: building and improving “online customs”, exploring electronic data exchange of customs goods; further compressing the overall customs clearance time; promoting the inspection of low-risk goods other than animal and plant and animal and plant products. Mutual recognition of quarantine results, exploration of third-party inspection and testing results, acceptance of goods and institutions, and rapid customs clearance; the provision of raw materials from the Mainland and processed in Hong Kong to facilitate customs clearance measures.

  • Convenience measures at the special regional level

After the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, a key project in the Dawan District, was put into use, in 2018, the General Administration of Customs, the Customs and Excise Department, and the Macao Customs signed the Memorandum on the Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in Zhuhai  , on goods, articles, and transportation. Tools and personnel quickly flowed between three different customs zones to build a safe and convenient, high-quality and efficient customs clearance environment, and established a “cross-border one-lock” rapid customs clearance mode, the inspection results refer to mutual recognition, and the passenger car inspection results are referenced. Mutual recognition and mechanisms for investigation and cooperation in common areas such as currency, endangered goods and intellectual property.

The frontier customs of border supervision, Shenzhen Customs and Gongbei Customs also issued direct supervision notices to the common supervision business. For example, in 2013, the Hong Kong/Macau cross-border highway passenger car supervision announcement was issued at the same time. In 2018, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Zhuhai Port Cross was also introduced. Land vehicle record announcement, etc.

2. Prospects for trade facilitation policy in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau

The "Outline" proposes to promote trade liberalization, speed up the construction of a single window for international trade, promote information exchange between ports of supervision, mutual recognition of supervision, mutual assistance in law enforcement, and study and optimize relevant management measures. The current policies and systems in the Greater Bay Area of ​​Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau have laid the foundation for the implementation of the above requirements. It can be expected and expected. During the implementation of the "Outline", the three places will focus on the promotion of the common proposition of trade liberalization, and open up more and more scope in the supervision of goods, goods, transportation vehicles and personnel. Cooperation.

  • Realize the sharing of information and facilities, improve customs integration and facilitation

Including promoting the customs, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao customs to transport, tools, goods, personnel and other declaration information, logistics monitoring information, inspection information, release information, corporate credit information and other comprehensive sharing and sharing; popular electronic declaration, paperless declaration and self-help channel Unified planning and construction of port inspection facilities, promotion of the same place to handle the entry and exit procedures of the two places / three places and even the "unilateral inspection and release" inspection mode. Promote bilateral/tripartite cooperation and mutual recognition in a wider range and at a higher level in areas such as inspection and quarantine, certification and accreditation, origin, and health certificates, and expand the scope of results collected by third-party inspection and testing institutions. Further improve the policy measures for the exchange and management of vehicles between the two places and three places.

  • Further lowering tariff thresholds and promoting freedom of movement of goods and goods in the Bay Area

At present, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have realized zero tariffs on goods originating in the three places according to the upgraded CEPA regulations. However, the current entry and exit goods from Hong Kong and Macao still carry out normal import and export goods tax. We understand that the further development direction is to achieve zero tax rate for the import and export tax involved in the expansion of goods from the cargo to the general inbound and outbound goods in the Bay Area. At the same time, it is possible to consider expanding the scope of the temporary entry system to reduce its tariff costs, such as medical equipment, scientific research equipment, and biological samples required for research cooperation projects specifically mentioned in the Outline, simplifying the procedures for temporary entry and considering extending Temporary entry area, usage and duration of use.

  • Co-constructing the cooperation platform between the three regions of the Free Trade Zone in the Bay Area, giving full play to the policy synergy

The "Outline" pointed out that Shenzhen Qianhai, Guangzhou Nansha and Zhuhai Hengqin should be used as a platform for cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. According to the "Notice on Supporting the Measures for Deepening Reform and Innovation in the Free Trade Pilot Zone" issued by the State Council on November 23, 2018 (Guo Fa [2018] No. 38), the Free Trade Zone will be superimposed to carry out pilot projects for parallel import of automobiles and to carry out art works. Special trade facilitation policies such as bonded warehousing, implementation of import non-special use cosmetics filing management, etc. All of the above policies may be implemented in the three free trade zone areas and apply to the special policies of the Greater Bay Area and CEPA.

  • Promote security risk prevention and control, and coordinate inter-regional customs enforcement

Including high-risk goods list, intellectual property border protection and other aspects to establish a normal coordination and cooperation mechanism in the three areas of the Bay Area, real-time sharing of monitoring and early warning data. Strengthen the cooperation between the three customs in the specific cases of cracking down on smuggling, cracking down on tax evasion, investigating and evading inspection and quarantine and preventing the entry and exit of counterfeit and shoddy goods, and establishing specific mechanisms including expert testimony, case transfer and risk notification.

  • Strengthening the construction of customs clearance system in the Bay Area

On March 3, 2018, the General Administration of Customs promulgated the "Measures for the Administration of Credits of Customs Enterprises of the People's Republic of China" (Order No. 237 of the General Administration of Customs), which further improved the "certified enterprise" (AEO) certification system. At present, there is an AEO mutual recognition and cooperation agreement between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao. The senior certification enterprises will fully enjoy the preferential measures for the convenience of customs clearance provided by the customs in the Bay Area. The next step will be to follow the overall deployment of the national social credit system, accelerate the construction and application of the enterprise's comprehensive credit database, share the information on the illegal activities of the inbound and outbound activities management, and deepen the differential customs according to the principle of trustworthiness incentives and disciplinary punishment. management.

Conclusion

Central and national planning and deployment of the Greater Bay Area is a national strategy and a millennium plan. It is the proper meaning of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Dawan District, which is open to trade and free to circulate, and is also a fundamental measure.

King & Wood has always paid close attention to the overall planning and related policies of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Dawan District, and published the "New Growth Pole for China and Jindu Development - Evaluation of the Development Plan of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Dawan District" . We will continue to maintain close communication with the Dawan District Government, relevant government departments and various enterprises, and provide legal services and business advice to investors from various industries in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, to help investors achieve more Guangdong. Investment objectives, cooperation opportunities and business models of Hong Kong and Macau Dawan District.