Around 5.6 tons of imported reflective films from Japan arrived at Huanggang Checkpoint in Futian District early Saturday morning, becoming the first batch of imported goods to China under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The world’s largest free trade deal came into force Saturday.
The implementation of the RCEP has helped lower customs duty costs by about 6,000 yuan (US$940) for the films worth 1.33 million yuan, according to Chen Guogang, customs affairs director with Shenzhen Jiuli Supply Chain Shareholding Co. Ltd., a supply chain service provider.
In the first year after implementing the RCEP, the tariff for Japan-made imported reflective films will be reduced from 6.5 to 6.1 percent, saving 500,000 yuan in duties for the whole year for his company, Chen said.
These films will be used in the production of mobile phones, digital cameras and other electronic products. Some of the products made with reflective films will be exported to RCEP member countries, which will also enjoy tariff reductions under the agreement.
Also on Saturday, Shenzhen Customs issued RCEP certificates of origin to a batch of Shenzhen companies exporting plastic products to Australia.
“We are excited because our products’ export tariff has been cut from the previous 5 percent to zero,” said Zheng Zhenhui from Shenzhen Fuweide Industrial Co. Ltd. The company was granted the first certificate of origin under RCEP signed by Shenzhen Customs.
Wu Yuehua, a manager from Shenzhen C-Cargo Smart Logistics Co. Ltd., believed the implementation of the RCEP will help the company expand businesses overseas.
“Previously, we focused on the domestic market, but now we have more choices because the tariff reductions will lower our export costs,” he said. “At the same time, challenges from competitor products overseas will compel us to improve our product quality to win the international market.”
Liu Jinhua, director of the Department of Comprehensive Regulations of the Shenzhen Municipal Commerce Bureau, said the bureau will work with other agencies to set up a RCEP service center to introduce policies, help enterprises apply for certificates of origin, and develop training programs for enterprises.
According to Zheng Dongyang, head of the tariff department of Shenzhen Customs, the city’s trade volume with the other 14 RCEP member countries had reached 800 billion yuan in the first 11 months of 2021, up by 11.8 percent year on year.
RCEP was signed Nov. 15, 2020 by 15 Asia-Pacific countries, which include 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand – after eight years of negotiations that started in 2012.
The deal initially came into force in 10 countries that have submitted their instruments of ratification with the ASEAN Secretariat.
The new free trade bloc, covering nearly a third of the world’s population and accounting for about 30 percent of the world’s GDP, aims to facilitate trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region and boost economic globalization.
After the agreement takes effect, over 90 percent of merchandise trade among member countries that have approved the agreement will eventually be subjected to zero tariffs.