Update on New Zealand-China FTA
In January, the New Zealand Customs Service met with a delegation from China Customs to discuss implementation of the New Zealand-China Free-Trade Agreement (FTA).
The meeting was positive, with both sides committing to quickly resolve Customs issues with the FTA and work co-operatively to respond to queries from importers and exporters.
Customs in both countries wants to make sure that the movement of trade between New Zealand and China is predictable, streamlined, and produces benefits under the FTA for legitimate exporters and importers.
The meeting provided a useful opportunity to explore ways to further streamline trade between the two countries, and there was agreement to look at ways of introducing paperless trading between the two countries in the future.
New Zealand exporters who ship goods to China through third parties will be interested to know that China Customs has shared their guidelines with New Zealand. The key points are:
- Goods that transit through third countries should not undergo any other operation in that country other than treatment necessary to keep them in good condition
- If the goods are being stored in transit in a third country, they should stay under the administration and supervision of Customs and not be stored for longer than six months.
- If the goods transit a third country, China Customs may request other relevant documents to confirm that the goods still meet the rules of origin. These documents include:
- A valid certificate of origin (or declaration if allowed for under the FTA)
- Other commercial documents, such as the commercial invoice or shipping documents or bill of lading
- If the goods transit through either Hong Kong or Macau, the importer will need to supply to China Customs documents issued by China Inspection Company Limited (Hong Kong) or CCIC Macau Company Limited.
If those relevant documents are not provided, China Customs advises that they may conduct an inspection. Exporters who are unable to provide relevant documents should aim to ensure that the seal of the container is intact, and the seal numbers and container numbers match the information on the bill of lading.
These actions should help reduce delays and assist China Customs with their clearance procedures.
These guidelines apply to shipped containers and are a translation of official information provided by China Customs. Exporters should familiarise themselves with China's regulations on administration of rules of origin. These are set out in China Customs decree 181 (See below).
- General Administration of Customs Guidelines relating to Article 25 of the China / New Zealand FTA (viz : Transhipments)
New Zealand Customs was also advised at this meeting that exporters seeking advance rulings on the origin of goods can apply to China Customs at the intended port of entry. China Customs also advised New Zealand that they are progressing work on implementing new regulations for advance rulings and further information should be forthcoming.
- Page last updated: 16 July 2010