Customs duties

Normal rates and notification requirements

Where are normal customs duty rates for your jurisdiction listed? Is there an exemption for low-value shipments, if so, at what level? Is there a binding tariff information system or similar in place? Are there prior notification requirements for imports?

There is an import and export tariff inquiry system on the GAC official website (www.customs.gov.cn/publish/portal0/tab67735/). Normal customs duty rates, most-favoured nation (MFN) rates and relevant requirements for imports are listed there.

As for the low-value exemption level, a regulation of 8 April 2016 provides that one cross-border e-commerce retail transaction with a value below 2,000 yuan may be exempted from custom duty, and the annual exempted value for one customer shall be limited to 20,000 yuan. For more details, please refer to http://gss.mof.gov.cn/zhengwuxinxi/zhengcefabu/201603/t20160324_1922968.html.

Special rates and preferential treatment

Where are special tariff rates, such as under free trade agreements or preferential tariffs, and countries that are given preference listed?

China’s current implementation of the import tariff rates are MFN rates, the agreement tariff rate, the preferential tariff rate and the general tariff rate. Preferential tariff rates and general tariff legislation are listed within the Customs Tariff. In GAC Announcement No. 65 2017, GAC publishes special tariff rates and lists of countries and regions, which is available at www.customs.gov.cn/customs/302249/302266/302267/799770/index.html.

How can GSP treatment for a product be obtained or removed?

There is no formal GSP in China. However, the Chinese government grants preferential treatment to some least-developed countries that have good diplomatic relations with China. Ninety-five per cent of imported goods are within the scope of the preferential treatment. China imposes zero tariff on 97 per cent of imported goods from the least-developed countries, including Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, the Comorian Union, Mauritania, Togo, Liberia, Niger, Rwanda, Angola, Zambia and Nepal. For a full list of such goods, refer to http://gss.mof.gov.cn/zhengwuxinxi/zhengcefabu/201612/t20161223_2498029.html.

Is there a duty suspension regime in place? How can duty suspension be obtained?

According to Chinese law, duty suspension may be granted by GAC to the following merchandise:

  • goods displayed or used in exhibitions, trade fairs, meetings or other similar activities;
  • articles for performances or competitions in cultural or sports exchange activities;
  • devices, equipment or articles used in news reporting, or the shooting of films or television programmes;
  • devices, equipment or articles used in scientific research, education or medical activities;
  • transportation and special types of vehicles used in activities listed above;
  • samples of goods;
  • instruments and tools used in installation, debugging and testing equipment;
  • containers for holding goods; and
  • other goods not used for commercial purposes.

To qualify for duty suspension, goods are required to meet the following criteria:

  • being re-exported within six months of importing into China (or filing an extension at least 30 days prior to the original deadline);
  • a security deposit paid by the importer; and
  • approval by GAC.
Challenge

Where can customs decisions be challenged in your jurisdiction? What are the procedures?

Customs decisions can be challenged by administrative reconsideration or administrative litigation in China. Interested parties may submit a petition for administrative reconsideration within 60 days of learning that the customs action was taken, file a lawsuit within 15 days of receipt of the written administrative reconsideration decision, or file a complaint within six months from the date that they learned that the customs action was taken. The time periods described in question 7 shall apply.

For more details of GAC administrative reconsideration, refer to www.customs.gov.cn/publish/portal0/tab514/info83560.htm.