Opening up and upgrading of China’s free trade port worth the wait


In his 19th report, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that “the door to China’s opening up will not be closed but will only open wider and larger.” He also proposed “giving greater reform autonomy to a free trade pilot zone and exploring a free trade port“. Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang and other places have made a positive response.

First-line open safe and efficient control of the second line

As early as the end of March this year, the “Plan for the Reform and Opening-up of the Free Trade Zone of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone” (the “Scheme”) promulgated by the State Council put forward that in areas under special customs control such as Yangshan Bonded Port Area and Shanghai Pudong Airport Bonded Zone , Set up a free trade port area. Over the same period, the “China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone Overall Plan” also proposed that the docking of international standards will be basically completed in the free trade zone.

The “Proposal” proposes that the “second-line safe and efficient management” trade supervisory system of “first-line liberalization” and higher standards be implemented to the highest international standard. Under the state’s authorization to implement an intensive management system, relying on information regulatory measures, trade controls on goods entering the territory will be canceled or minimized under the premise of effective control of port risks, and the first-tier declaration procedures will be simplified to the greatest extent. We will explore and implement the financial, foreign exchange, investment and exit management systems in line with internationally accepted practices, and establish and improve a risk prevention and control system.

Compared with the concepts of Free Trade Zone, Import and Export Processing Zone and Free Trade Zone, the higher-standard trade control system of “opening up in the first line” and “second-line safe and efficient management” is an important feature of the free trade port. Attributes are more obvious.

“In the past, the special customs supervision area has simplified the customs clearance process, but it still needs to be supervised by the customs according to the regulatory system. According to the Kyoto Convention, the connotation of a free trade port is exempted from customary customs control. Explore the free trade port docking process in the construction of the highest international standards, is expected to implement the exemption from customary customs supervision system, the largest free trade in goods to facilitate the flow of exploration from the cargo regulatory model into the regulation of enterprises into the zone. “Shanghai International Shipping Research Center Zhao Nan port research director introduced. Under the current policy, international transit LCL cargo entry and exit requires two formalities for declaration. If we can use innovative information technology to further simplify the procedures and truly implement the “first-line release” and “second-tier Safe and efficient control “of the port regulatory model will help to improve the efficiency of the circulation of goods and promote the facilitation of international trade.

“Free trade port policy will also directly or indirectly benefit a wide range of industries.” Zhao Nan said that in the free trade area within the shipyard, for example, open policy will accelerate the allocation of shipping parts and accessories to reduce the cost of imports, thus Reduce ship waiting time in Hong Kong and improve the competitiveness of shipyard.

Targeting International Standards to Enhance Port Competitiveness

With the continuous increase of free trade experimental zones and benefit from favorable policies, the opening up of our country and the business environment are constantly escalating, and the level of trade liberalization and facilitation has been significantly raised.

In the free trade pilot zone of China (Zhejiang), the implementation of such measures as “providing more than one vessel”, “providing multiple warehouses”, “direct supply across regions” Supply industry development.

“The implementation of these bonded fuel oil regulatory innovations has increased the company’s transit of bonded fuel oil and brought storage revenue. It has also helped us build a bonded fuel oil refueling center in East China.” Sinochem Xingzhong Petroleum Transhipment (Zhoushan) Co., Ltd. Business Minister Yang Zhenmin said.

However, for free trade ports such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, there is room for further opening up and system innovation of our country’s ports. It is reported that, compared with Singapore, Zhoushan bonded fuel oil prices are still less than the average high of about 20 US dollars per ton, tax policy, the approval of the fuel oil refinancing approval, financial policy support and other factors is the main reason for the gap.

To benchmark international standards and improve the comprehensive competitiveness of our ports through an innovation basket policy is an important way to build a free trade port.

According to local conditions to promote the reform and opening up

Based on the mature experience of the existing free trade port, the construction of China’s free trade port must also fully consider the actual conditions of the port and develop for the local conditions. Due to differences in economies of scale and economic structure, the complete reproduction of existing experience may have a greater impact on the market.

Xie Xie, a researcher at the Institute of Water Transport Research of the Ministry of Transport, said: “The intention of setting up a free trade pilot area and a possible free trade port in the next step is to” promote the reform through opening up “and in the final analysis improve the business environment.

According to the data from the World Bank report, Business Environment Report 2017: Equal Opportunity for All, comprehensive business start-ups, licensing, power and property registration, obtaining loans, and protecting minority investors, Sub-64.28 points, ranked 78, compared with previous years, a substantial increase, but in the building permits, company registration, protection of small and medium investors, tax collection still needs to be improved.

“The next step should be to improve the quality of the opening up through the transformation of government functions.” Xie Xie said at the same time improve the laws and regulations related to fair competition in the market, including laws and regulations to limit monopoly, prevent price fraud, appeals and penalties, reduce and Decentralization approval, improve the efficiency of government administration, speed up and streamline work flow, effectively improve efficiency and reduce restrictions in the field of business presence that enters and enters the open market representing form of market, licensing system, operation and regulatory environment. By strengthening institutional building and Play the role of non-governmental organizations to strengthen the matter after the supervision.

Hong Kong

The most free and free port in the world

Hong Kong is a free harbor with a long history and an example of a free port in the world. Instead of adopting a specific area and formulating special laws, Hong Kong is committed to making Hong Kong a free trade port.

Hong Kong has basically no control over the import and export trade, there is no tariff barrier and no-tariff barrier, and trade in customary trade is smooth. In addition to alcohol, tobacco and a few other commodities, the general import of goods without paying customs duties or other import duties (such as value-added tax, consumption tax, etc.). Hong Kong’s handling of import and export trade is simple and convenient. All inbound and outbound general cargo need not be submitted in advance. Customs declaration forms should be provided to the Customs and Excise Department only within 14 days after entering and exiting the territory.

Hong Kong’s money market is one of the most open markets in the world with free flow of funds and dispatch. Since the 1970s, Hong Kong has implemented a series of liberalized financial policies. The most important of which is that foreign exchange controls, foreign exchange and gold trading are not implemented. There is complete freedom to enter and exit. Enterprises can open a wide range of currency accounts at Hong Kong banks.

In addition, outsiders come to Hong Kong, whether it is to do business, or to visit relatives, travel, procedures are very simple.


International transition free trade zone

In order to attract the distribution of goods destined for the Asia-Pacific region to Singapore and trans-shipment to Singapore, as well as to strengthen the distribution function of goods in the world, Singapore enacted the Free Trade Zone Act and in September 1969 laid out the first of its kind in the Jurong Ferry Terminal in Jurong Industrial Zone Free trade zone.

Unlike free trade areas in general countries, the Singapore Free Trade Area is actually a duty free zone that allows businesses to store their goods in the area for display, repackaging, assembly, distribution, sorting, maintenance or manual manufacturing before re-exporting . Or wait for favorable sales opportunities, the goods into the customs area of ​​Singapore, after the customs formalities to pay into the market.

In addition to cars, petroleum products, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, the Singapore Free Trade Area is not subject to tariffs on other commodities. The corporate income tax rate is 20%, and income from offshore companies is exempt from income tax. Singapore is also the world’s financial and trading center, where foreign currency is freely convertible and outbound in Singapore.

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