Huai'an China Government Press Conference
Press Conference on Optimizing Port Business Environment and Promoting High-quality Development of Export-oriented Economy

Time: 09:55 to 10:10  September 26, 2019 

Guests: Hao Daojun, Spokesperson of Huai'an Government, Deputy Secretary-General, and Director of Research Office

             Jin Tao, Deputy Commissioner of Huai'an Customs

Abstract: Relevant information about "Optimizing Port Business Environment and Promoting High-quality Development of Export-oriented Economy" is introduced.

Speech by Hao Daojun, Spokesperson of Huai'an Government, Deputy Secretary-General, and Director of Research Office:

Friends from the press:

Currently, the international environment is complex and changeable. Import and export are facing new challenges. In order to fully implement the decisions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on optimizing business environment and promoting healthy and stable development of Huai'an export-oriented economy, Huai'an Customs has carried out effective measures and made remarkable efforts in deepening the reform of trade facilitation, providing precise service for foreign trade and safeguarding the national biological safety. Today, we invite Jin Tao, Deputy Commissioner of Huai'an Customs, to introduce the relevant information of "Optimizing Port Business Environment and Promoting High-quality Development of Export-oriented Economy".

Now, let's welcome Mr. Jin to make a speech.

Speech by Jin Tao, Deputy Commissioner of Huai'an Customs:

Friends from the Press:

Good morning!

First of all, on behalf of the leading group and all the staff from Huai'an Customs, I would like to thank all our friends from the press for your long-standing concern and support. Today's conference focuses on "Optimizing Port Business Environment and Promoting High-quality Development of Export-oriented Economy". This theme not only embodies the work of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on stabilizing foreign trade, but also carries Huai'an Customs' deep love and responsibility for "building a better hometown for our Prime Zhou". Huai'an Customs has always attached equal importance to supervision and service, and focused on safeguarding national security and serving the economic development. Today, I am very glad to have the opportunity to introduce you the relevant information. My speech is mainly about three aspects: first, deepening the reform of trade facilitation; second, improving the quality and efficiency of foreign trade services; third, protecting national biosafety.

1. Deepening the Reform of Trade Facilitation

Since this year, the risks and uncertainties of global economy and trade have increased significantly. In order to implement the State Council's reform to streamline administration, delegate powers, and improve regulation and services, nearly 20 reform measures have been carried out to promote trade facilitation. Through full implementation plus precise docking, greater reform dividends have been released due to these measures. According to statistics, Huai'an export reached RMB 15.2 billion in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 8.1% year on year. There were 902 enterprises with import and export records or performance, an increase of 4.5% over the same period of last year.

(1) Further optimizing the business environment in Huai'an port. The construction of "single window" for international trade has been strengthened and the application rate of paperless customs clearance and "single window" model for international trade has reached 100%. The effect of reducing customs clearance time has been consolidated, and the documents and processes have been further simplified. In the first half of this year, the overall clearance time of import and export in Huai'an customs was 27.26 hours and 1.82 hours, respectively, 53.98% and 70.21% lower than that in 2017, and 18.41% and 5.21% less than that in 2018. At the same time, online electronic verification of all regulatory documents and self-service printing of certificates of origin in pilots have been realized. So far, the coverage rate of pilot enterprises has exceeded 50%, involving USD 75.29 million goods value. We will orderly promote the "two-step declaration" pilot reform of imported goods and reduce the economic and time costs of enterprises' customs clearance to achieve great efficiency.

(2) Deepening tariff reform. In the first half of this year, five import and export enterprises were insured by Pacific Property Insurance, Bank of China Insurance, People's Insurance Company of China and other insurance companies, with RMB 19.36 million guaranteed tax involving USD 12.94 million goods value, which effectively reduced the financing cost of the enterprises. The tax policies for imported equipment have been actively implemented to support the development of high-end industries. From January to August, a total of RMB 15.688 million tax of Huai'an enterprises was reduced. Meanwhile, they have been guided to declare in advance, and encouraged to apply the consolidated tax and self-reporting and self-payment tax collection and administration to reduce their cost of customs clearance.

(3) Promoting the high-quality development of the Comprehensive Bonded Zone with great efforts. Huai'an Customs have conscientiously implemented Several Opinions of the State Council on Boosting the High-level Opening-up and High-quality Development of the Comprehensive Bonded Zones, which was listed as one of the key tasks of the year. Up to now, Huai'an Comprehensive Bonded Zone has carried out six measures, including the pilot program of granting general taxpayer status, bonded goods circulation, non-customs declaration goods, entrusted processing, "Four Self-services and One Simplification" and promotion of innovation system. The value-added tax of RMB 116 million was deducted and USD 1.34 billion goods were involved. In the near future, in combination with the actual situation of Huai'an and on the basis of 21 measures to develop its comprehensive bonded zone, Huai'an Customs will actively duplicate the reform measures of the free trade area, combine all policy advantages, and promote the high-quality development of Huai'an comprehensive bonded zone.

2. Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Foreign Trade Services

Since this year, we have closely followed the development trend of Huai'an foreign trade, actively responded to the Sino-US Trade Frictions as well as the new situation of international trade, and strengthened the analysis of Huai'an export-oriented economy. Statistics indicate that influenced by Sino-US Trade Frictions, the import and export of Huai'an in the first eight months of this year reached RMB 3.88 billion, 12.5% down from the same period last year. However, the total import from and export to the areas such as ASEAN, India and 64 countries along and "the Belt and Road" increased by 19.8%, 62.8% and 20.4% respectively. The decrease and the increase reflects both the severe situation of import and export trade and the potential and toughness of Huai'an export-oriented economy. Therefore, Huai'an Customs has carried out many measures for Huai'an export-oriented economy to effectively enhance the enterprises' sense of gain.

(1) Finding right problems to improve the accuracy of customs policy services. The first measure is to implement the clearing mechanism for enterprise problems. The problem clearing mechanism is an important measure made by the customs by implementing the spirit of the theme education "Remain True to Our Original Aspiration and Keep Our Mission Firmly in Mind". The purpose is to build a multi-dimensional communication service system between the customs and enterprises (citizens). In order to implement this mechanism, Huai'an Customs has set up a leading group which collects enterprise problems in an all-round way through research, discussion, clearing system, contact person and open platforms for government affairs. A mechanism of hosting, cooperating and feedback for enterprise problems has also been established. Up to now, 84 difficult enterprise problems have been solved in total. 

The second measure is to carry out the theme service of "Bringing Customs Policies to Counties and Districts". In order to help the enterprises better understand customs policies and the preferential policies granted by the state, and enhance their confidence in jointly coping with the uncertainties of foreign trade, such as Sino-US trade frictions, Huai'an Customs has organized and planned this activity based on the development of local economy and the requirements of the enterprises. Lectures have been given by leaders of groups in 7 counties and districts and about 630 people have attended the lectures.

(2) Focusing on key points to improve the effectiveness of customs supervision services. First, we solve problems for enterprises with the spirit of seeking truth from facts. Since this year, in order to study the impact of Sino-US trade frictions on Huai'an, members of the leading group of Huai'an Customs have carried out more than 40 comprehensive investigations of enterprises in different counties and districts. Their difficulties have been collected, sorted out and analyzed. At the same time, supports have been studied, and personalized supervision for enterprises has been provided. Huai'an Customs has helped the imported high-precision optical inspection equipment to pass smoothly and install in time, and promoted port quarantine and inspection upon arrival of the imported cotton. With its help, the enterprise annual cost of nearly one million yuan has been saved, 128 batches of unqualified products have been detected, and a sum of USD 1,037,700 has been claimed. It has promoted the establishment of the cooperation mechanism between Huai'an Customs and other port customs, guaranteed the rapid customs clearance of goods in Huai'an, allocated special personnel to serve the advantageous industries, and boosted the export volume of Phalaenopsis to double and Ethephon to become the largest in the world. Second, we try to meet the needs and stimulating the internal demands of enterprises. Huai'an Customs has strengthened the cultivation of enterprise credits, and recommend enterprises to participate in AEO training courses of the General Administration of Customs and Nanjing Customs. Thirteen enterprises in three batches participated in the training which covered all R & D and manufacturing enterprises in the comprehensive bonded zone. To help the enterprises go global, advanced certified enterprises have coordinators allocated by Huai'an Customs, use their exchange platforms and enjoy the benefits of AEO Mutual Recognition. Measures have been improved to protect the intellectual property rights of the customs, such as the "one-to-one" guidance for enterprises in need, medium and long-term plans for the protection of intellectual property rights, contact points in key enterprises for customs' protection of intellectual property rights, and guidance for enterprises to take the initiative in applying intellectual property protection methods to win competitive advantages.

3. Protecting National Biosafety

The national biosafety is an important part of the overall national safety, which is closely related to the production of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery, the ecological environment and the ecological health and safety of the people, and it is mainly protected by the customs. Since this year, Huai'an Customs has continued to strengthen the publicity and education of national biosafety and the quarantine of entry animals and plants. Supervision dogs have been used, and the long-term supervision mechanism of national biosafety has also been built, effectively preventing the introduction of exotic pests as well as animal and plant epidemics.

(1) Carrying out national biosafety publicity to arouse public awareness. First, Huai'an Customs has held the national biosafety activities in ten places such as campuses, communities and planes, focusing on prohibited entry articles, and import and export food safety, etc. Various forms of publicity have been used, arousing great concern of the public. At the same time, useful tips for important festivals have been provided. For example, during the peak hours of the important festivals such as Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival, reminders not to buy or carry prohibited articles have been given to the passengers through news, Internet, Wechat and many other ways. Second, certain entry articles have been prohibited or destroyed by quarantine authorities. According to Catalogue of Animals and Plants, and Animal and Plant Products Prohibited from Being Carried or Posted into the People's Republic of China, the prohibited entry objects have been returned or destroyed to avoid the biosafety risk. Since this year, 97 batches of animal products weighing 37.82 kg have been destroyed altogether. Since the opening of the international route at the end of 2012, Lianshui Airport has prohibited nearly 2800 batches of articles by passengers, detected more than 500 kinds of harmful organisms, and prohibited Otiorhynchus raucus for the first time in Jiangsu, effectively preventing the entry of animal and plant epidemics and harmful organisms.

(2) Establishing a new inspection and quarantine mode combining "People, Machines and Dogs" for baggage to improve the supervision efficiency. Dogs are used as a new and special method in customs inspection, which makes up for the shortcomings of traditional manual inspection and X-ray machine inspection. Since the introduction of supervision dogs in June this year, Lianshui Airport has prohibited 58 batches of goods, accounting for 44.3% of the total number of prohibited batches (131 batches), significantly improving the detection rate of prohibited goods carried by passengers, reducing the unpacking rate of luggage, and speeding up the passenger entry. As the volume of passengers in Lianshui Airport increases rapidly, we hope our friends from the press could help us to remind the passengers not to carry or post any prohibited entry articles, so as to avoid unnecessary losses. 

Since the beginning of this year, under the complicated international trade situation, the uncertain risks of market faced by export-oriented enterprises have increased significantly. However, with the support of a series of foreign trade policies, Huai'an export structure becomes more balanced. At present, the total export volume of Huai'an local enterprises to the relevant countries along the Belt and Road continues to grow, and foreign trade markets are diversified. Enterprises' abilities to prevent export risks are stronger than before and the pace of their transformation and upgrading is speeding up. We believe that through our joint efforts, Huai'an export-oriented economy will achieve high-quality development. Huai'an Customs will, as always, steadily push forward various reforms, greatly optimize the port business environment, and better serve the overall economic and social development of Huai'an.