China Customs clearance process has become increasingly easier and more efficient with a raft of new measures introduced this year helping to further promote trade facilitation.

Valeo Interior Controls Shenzhen, an automotive supplier based in South China’s City of Shenzhen, has just landed a 30 million yuan order, which will keep its production lines busy until the end of the year.

The company credits the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program for helping it seal this major deal. Under the program, companies certified by China Customs as “Advanced Certified Enterprises” (ACE) can enjoy a faster clearance process.

“Certified under the AEO, we get to go through the customs clearing faster and at a lower cost. The custom clearing period has shrunk from four hours to 40 minutes. We’ve saved millions of yuan just on logistics costs,” said He Xianjun, general manager of the company.

Companies certified as ACE enjoy 20 simplified procedures in customs clearance.

In Shenzhen’s case, the ACEs are also the backbone of Foreign Trade

“As of now, Shenzhen Customs has 289 advanced certified enterprises, which makes up one percent of the total foreign trade companies in Shenzhen, but accounting for over 40 percent of trade volume. This provides strong momentum for promoting stability and quality in foreign trade,” said Yan Tiehen, an enterprises management and inspection official of the Shenzhen Customs.

Simplified customs clearance also opened new logistic options for cargo transport. Recently 100 containers of cargo shipped out from Russia have reached its destination in Vietnam through China Railway Express trains and then sea transport via the port of Ningbo in east China. The entire process took 25 days, half the time it took with an old route of through the Eurasian Land-Bridge and then water transport.

“This is a new model we have introduced, combining China Railway Express and Sea-Railway Transportation. The Cargo only goes through customs clearance once. Across the Country 18 Ports have established a Belt & Road passage that supports one-stop clearance progress, which opens up an expressway of sea-railway transportation,” said an officer from Ningbo Customs.

China Customs is also introducing a big data platform in Shanghai, which allows companies to take care of many types of procedures online.

“Next, we will utilize big data platforms to conduct our supervision work in the China International Import Expo, to achieve precision in the supervision of exhibitors, exhibits and booths, to do a good job in connecting the big data platform and the information platform of the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, to establish a brand new smart supervision model, and to realize a secure and smooth domestic and international dual-cycle circulation.

Let data run the errands for enterprises,” said an officer from Shanghai Customs.

In 2020, China Customs has expanded 11 trade facilitation measures previously applied in major cities to ports nationwide. China has also signed mutual AEO agreements with 42 countries, which ranks on top of the world.

The Customs has narrowed down clearance-involved certificates from 86 to 44, and the customs clearance time, on the whole, was reduced by close to 60 percent. Some 500,000 companies involved in foreign trade may benefit from these improved measures.