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Kiwi exporters may find moving goods into and out of China less cumbersome when paperless handling of trade becomes a reality.

NZ Customs Service and  China Customs explored the possibility of paperless trading between the two countries at a recent meeting as part of discussions to implement the New Zealand-China Free-Trade Agreement (FTA).

NZ Customs says the two countries are working towards ensuring the movement of trade between New Zealand and China is predictable, streamlined, and produces benefits under the FTA for legitimate exporters and importers.

New Zealand exporters who ship goods to China through third parties will be interested to know that China Customs has shared the country’s 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:

  1. A valid certificate of origin (or declaration if allowed for under the FTA)
  2. Other commercial documents,  such as the commercial invoice or  shipping documents or bill of lading.
  3. 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.
  4. If those relevant documents are not provided, China Customs advises that it may conduct an inspection.
  5. 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 the clearance procedures for Kiwi exporters’ goods.

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