Independent Customs operations to boost Hainan FTP |

Independent Customs operations to boost Hainan FTP

By CHEN BOWEN in Haikou CHINA DAILY Updated: 2023-04-07
An aerial photo shows the scenery in Haikou, South China's Hainan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

At a news conference in late March during the annual Boao Forum for Asia, Hainan province announced that Hainan Free Trade Port will start the preparatory work this year for achieving independent Customs operations by 2025, triggering a big wave of online and offline discussions over the issue, which experts said indicates the influence and attractiveness of Hainan FTP's building progress.

By 2025, the FTP will provide global traders benefits such as zero tariffs and other preferential policies facilitating imports and exports, while residents and consumers in the FTP will enjoy related benefits brought by smooth global trade.

Meanwhile, amid the preparation for such a mode, efforts will be made to manage trade connections between the FTP and other regions in China, which mainly target issues concerning the coherence of trade policies such as duty differential.

The two-end policies reflect considerations for preparation concerning both foreign and domestic trade affairs, said Li Shijie, head of the Hainan Institute of Open Economic System.

With the launch of the policies, any goods not banned by Hainan can be traded with favorable policies between parties from any country or region under the local Customs' special supervision, which will "allow the province to realize a high level of free trade with the rest of the world", Li said.

Also, by then, global commodities purchased by other regions in China through Hainan FTP will be under closer watch and will still be subjected to domestic trade rules. Additional duties and taxes may be imposed under such circumstances, Li added.

"The independent Customs operations will promote trade and help Hainan participate more in the international arena," said Yang Lin, a member with the office for deepening overall reform at the Communist Party of China Hainan Provincial Committee.

"Foreign-funded enterprises will enjoy greater convenience, such as in-person exchanges, capital flows and information networks. This is unparalleled in other parts of the Chinese mainland," said Zhan Shengjie, general manager of the H2D Business Hub Incubator, a company in Hainan dedicated to providing professional services for the new generation of overseas Chinese and foreign-funded enterprises seeking entry into the Chinese market.

"Hainan FTP will become a preferred landing place for European and US enterprises seeking to enter the Asian market," Zhan added.

Because many goods will be imported to Hainan duty-free, FTP residents will enjoy more choices and lower prices, Li said.

In addition, individuals with ordinary passports from 59 countries can enjoy visa-free entry to Hainan FTP, which Li said will help attract more foreign talent to the FTP.

"It will be more convenient not only for tourists from other Chinese regions but will also attract more foreign tourists to buy duty-free goods in Hainan," said Liu Jia, assistant general manager of the Global Premium Duty Free Plaza.

Implementing independent Customs operations in Hainan FTP is a milestone project in its progress and Hainan will ramp up hardware efforts this year to build a solid foundation for the official implementation by 2025.

"Hainan FTP should avoid potential risks in trade, investment, finance, data security and public health following the implementation," Li said.