Hong Kong Customs will roll out the Free Trade Agreement Transhipment Facilitation Scheme (FTA Scheme) from December 20, 2015 to further facilitate consignments passing through Hong Kong to enjoy tariff reduction under the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed by the Mainland, and to streamline the facilitation of goods under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the Mainland and Taiwan (ECFA).
The FTA Scheme will provide a facilitation service and a certificate of non-manipulation for goods passing through Hong Kong under 13 FTAs signed by the Mainland. Apart from the Mainland and Taiwan under the ECFA, the facilitation service will be extended to consignments of other countries including Korea, Australia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos), Pakistan, Iceland, Switzerland, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, New Zealand, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
Under the FTAs signed by the Mainland, consignments are generally required to be shipped directly between the Mainland and its FTA signatories so as to enjoy tariff reduction. Under certain circumstances, consignments passing through Hong Kong can be regarded as direct consignments and be eligible for the tariff benefits. Under the FTA Scheme, Hong Kong Customs will provide facilitation service and issue a certificate of non-manipulation to enable traders to claim for tariff reduction from the Mainland or respective FTA signatories as appropriate.
In addition, under the streamlined measures, some goods passing through Hong Kong can still enjoy tariff reduction without the certificate of non-manipulation, such as some consignments shipped from Taiwan to the Mainland passing through Hong Kong under ECFA. Such arrangements reduce operational costs and time.
The FTA Scheme is on voluntary basis. The industry would need to pay for the service. The FTA Scheme facilitates traders to enjoy tariff reduction, strengthens Hong Kong's status as the logistics hub in the region, and fosters the development of trade, commerce and logistics under the "One Belt, One Road" initiative.
Upon implementation of the FTA Scheme, Hong Kong Customs will closely monitor its operation and respond to the industry proactively.
For the detailed arrangements of the FTA Scheme, please visit the website of Hong Kong Customs at www.customs.gov.hk. Enquiries can be made to the hotline at 3152 0233.
Ends/Friday, December 18, 2015
Issued at HKT 12:17