The number of ATA carnets issued by China in 2017 ranked the first in Asia and the 7th in the world, said an official from China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) as she was briefing the press in Beijing on July 12.
Yan Yun, Deputy Director-General of CCPIT Commercial Certification Center told the press that the total value of goods with regard to the ATA carnets issued by China in 2017 surpassed 2 billion RMB, or around USD 300 million. Yan noted, the issue of ATA carnets is an important task for CCPIT Commercial Certification Center. China began to issue ATA carnets since 1998. CCPIT/CCOIC is China’s national guaranteeing organization, authorized by China’s General Administration of Customs that issues ATA carnets in China.
“In the past two decades, the issue of ATA carnets in China has seen a rapid growth. A total of 75,000 ATA carnets have been issued for more than 30,000 government agencies, enterprises, social groups and individuals. The value of goods related to ATA carnets amounted up to nearly RMB 20 billion. Thanks to the ATA carnets, more than 400,000 papers for customs clearance have been exempted, saving nearly RMB 5 billion. The ATA carnets have played an essential role in trade facilitation,” added Yan.
ATA carnets, commonly known as “Merchandise Passports”, are international customs documents that simplify customs procedures for the temporary importation of various types of goods.
ATA carnets ease the temporary importation of commercial samples (CS), professional equipment (PE), and goods for exhibitions and fairs (EF). They facilitate international business by avoiding extensive customs procedures, eliminating payment of duties and taxes, and replacing the purchase of temporary import bonds. ATA carnets can be used in China only for exhibitions and fairs (EF) and not for commercial samples (CS) or professional equipment (PE).
In 1961 the World Customs Organization (WCO), then known as the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), adopted the Customs Convention on the ATA carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods (ATA Convention). More specific conventions for each type of applicable good were subsequently worked out and agreed on by the CCC.
Yan Yun said, ATA carnets have served more China’s key projects in simplifying customs procedures. Merely in 2017, CCPIT assisted with the customs clearance of logistics for overseas business, trade, sports and cultural events such as Astana Expo, Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Achievement Exhibition, etc. The ATA carnet service for the exhibits and logistics for the upcoming China International Import Expo 2018 in Shanghai is also an important task this year for CCPIT. In recent years, CCPIT has promoted ATA carnet service to other countries, assisting Kazakhstan, Brazil, Mongolia, Qatar, etc with the issue of ATA carnets. The move has effectively facilitated customs clearance process and facilitated global trade.
Up to now, CCPIT has authorized 68 CCPIT sub-councils and 1 industry promotion agency to offer ATA carnet service, which has covered almost all business ports. The ATA business online platform currently applied by CCPIT can undergo the entire electronic operation including application, issue and verification of ATA carnets, simplifying the customs procedures. Customers can settle all formalities for only once and the ATA carnets can be issued with no more than 5 working days.
Yan Yun added, ATA carnet service will help promote more innovative “Made in China” products into the global market and in the meantime, bring in China more international advanced technology and equipment. With an increased number of Belt and Road countries having adopted ATA carnet service, they can also enjoy mutually-beneficial customs clearance policies. China is transforming its identity from an observer to a maker of international rules and regulations so as to better speak for Chinese enterprises.