Streamlined, simplified procedures and more convenient services provided by Harbin Customs –based in Harbin, capital city of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province – are understood to have provided a major lift to foreign trade there and this has provided a real boost to local businesses.
From January to July, the value of Harbin's imports and exports with trading partners in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP – the new Asia-Pacific trade accord that is slashing tariffs between its members – surged to 4.24 billion yuan ($636.16 million), up 80 percent year-on-year.
During the same period, Harbin Customs issued a total of 549 tax exemption certificates, approved goods valued at $87.26 million and saved 86.91 million yuan in tax reductions for enterprises.
Harbin Gaotai Food Co, based in Harbin, is one of the companies to have benefited from the improved customs services.
According to one of its executives, it was hit by the COVID-19 epidemic and challenging international situation, which has seen its operating costs rise. That's because it has been increasingly difficult to book international containers to ship its products – as well as the exacting technical requirements for checking its quick-frozen berries and vegetables for export.
Harbin Customs responded by setting up a fast-track channel for inspections of fresh and perishable agricultural and food export products and implemented priority inspections – accelerating their release times.In the first seven months of this year, the food group exported 243 batches of frozen fruit and vegetables, worth $19.36 million – an increase of 8 percent year-on-year.