Speedier Customs clearances to propel consumption, trade

China Daily|Updated: February 23, 2024

With China creating more favorable conditions to boost both domestic consumption and foreign trade, the country's Customs authorities have implemented a number of innovative measures to expedite Customs clearances for foreign goods.

Customs officials said these moves will not only boost people's capacity and desire for consumption, but also provide significant impetus to the sustained recovery of China's economy.

For instance, the Customs inspection site at Beijing Capital International Airport has provided an emergency processing service for order review during nighttime and weekend hours, providing 24-hour uninterrupted support for the timely Customs clearance of fresh products, including seafood, fruits and flowers, this month, thus better ensuring market supply during the Spring Festival period.

Similarly, Customs authorities at Beijing Daxing International Airport established a "one-to-one" liaison mechanism, proactively coordinating with importers and formulating quarantine supervision plans.

In addition to meeting the market demand in Beijing, fresh products entering the national capital through these two airports are also distributed to cities within the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, said Yin Haifeng, deputy head of Beijing Daxing International Airport Customs, a unit of Beijing Customs.

According to Beijing Customs, Beijing's foreign trade value reached 3.65 trillion yuan ($507.37 billion) in 2023, up 0.3 percent year-on-year. Imports came in at 3.05 trillion yuan, the same as the previous year's, while exports reached 600.01 billion yuan, up 2 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, imports and exports of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region reached 5.03 trillion yuan, achieving positive growth for three consecutive years. The region's imports accounted for 20 percent of the country's total import value.

In Southwest China's Yunnan province, 130,000 metric tons of goods valued at 345 million yuan were cleared for import and export through the China-Laos Railway during the Spring Festival holiday from Feb 10 to 17, according to Kunming Customs.

Exports mainly included steel, auto parts and household appliances, while imports were primarily bananas, durians, mangosteens and iron ore.

"We have actively strengthened collaboration with all parties, handled the arrival of goods in advance, reasonably allocated personnel for inspection and clearance preparations, and fully utilized high-tech inspection equipment to enable efficient and strict supervision," said Zhou Baohua, deputy head of Mengla Customs under Kunming Customs.

China's consumption market picked up steam during the eight-day holiday, said the Ministry of Commerce on Sunday. Sales figures from key retail and catering enterprises nationwide monitored by the ministry rose 8.5 percent year-on-year over the extended holiday.

The vibrant consumer market during the holiday once again demonstrated that there is still significant potential for consumption growth in China, said Ni Yueju, a research fellow of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

By adhering to the development trend and by making concerted efforts to diversify market supply, create innovative consumption scenarios and unleash consumption potential, China can foster a more robust and dynamic engine for high-quality development, Ni said.

Given the wide-ranging dietary needs of overseas Chinese and the booming development of trade in farm products, pickled Chinese cabbage has gradually become popular in overseas markets. Shenyang Customs announced that businesses served by Tiexi Customs, one of its branches in Northeast China's Liaoning province, exported 850,000 tons of pickled Chinese cabbage in January.