Upgraded Verification to Assist Trade with China

3-minute read

Trading with China is set to become easier for New Zealand exporters with the addition of a self-certification option with the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (China Customs).

Exporters and customs brokers will now be able to complete and send Certificates of Origin directly to China Customs through an upgraded Joint Electronic Verification System (JEVS), which is managed by the New Zealand Customs Service.

Certificates of Origin prove that goods are from New Zealand, enabling exporters to benefit from preferential, lower tariffs.

Customs Group Manager Revenue and Assurance Craig Chitty says self-certification is an outcome of the recently upgraded New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and another step forward with New Zealand’s largest trading partner resulting in a good outcome for Kiwi exporters.

“Self-certification is a mark of trust and provides China Customs with further assurance over the origin of New Zealand’s exports. It also means exporters have greater certainty around clearance times and assurance that their goods will receive tariff preference under the New Zealand-China FTA.”

“The ability to verify and validate the origin of shipments immediately will mean Customs officials in New Zealand and China can focus more attention on other border risks,” Mr Chitty said.

Upgrading JEVS is a tangible outcome to support exporters and promote paperless trade. It has also been updated to improve connectivity, data security and capacity to process trade data for use in future trade negotiations.

Self-certification will be available for exporters approved by NZ Customs.

Exporters interested in using self-certification can contact New Zealand Customs’ Export team on [email protected].

JEVS also allows approved exporters to self-certify Certificates of Origin to claim preferential tariffs in China under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The upgrade to JEVS provides more choices for exporters. For those who wish to continue with their current Certificate of Origin process, no changes are required.

Certification of New Zealand Origin

A Certificate of Origin (template can be found on the NZ Customs website) is designed to give assurance to China Customs that the goods it relates to are produced or manufactured in New Zealand and comply with the rules of origin set out in the FTA.

Certificates of origin must be in the required format and are only available from organisations that have been designated by the New Zealand Customs Service as certifying bodies for the FTA.

Upgraded Verification to Assist Trade with China_2

Other Requirements

The FTA includes a direct consignment rule in addition to the certificate of origin requirement.

For New Zealand-origin goods to be entitled to preferential duty rates in China, they must be consigned directly from New Zealand to China and not enter the commerce of another country. Transit through third countries for logistical reasons is permitted, but China Customs requires the following conditions to be met:

  • 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 relevant documents to confirm that the goods still meet the rules of origin. These documents include:
    • commercial documents, such as the commercial invoice and a through bill of lading if the
    • goods transit through either Hong Kong or Macau, the importer should supply to China Customs documents issued by the China Inspection Company Limited (Hong Kong) or CCIC Macau Company

If those relevant documents are not provided, China Customs may conduct an inspection of the container.

Exporters who are unable to provide relevant documents should aim to ensure that the seal of the container is intact and that the seal numbers and container numbers match the information on associated documents, such as the bill of lading and certificate of origin.

Further information is available on:

Release of Imported Goods

China Customs has agreed to release New Zealand-origin goods within 48 hours of arrival unless:

  • the importer fails to provide any information required by China Customs at the time of first entry
  • the goods are selected for closer examination by China Customs through the application of risk management techniques
  • the goods are to be examined by any agency other than China Customs, acting under powers conferred by the domestic legislation of China; or
  • fulfilment of all necessary customs formalities has not been able to be completed or release is otherwise delayed by virtue of events outside the control of China Customs.

Source: The New Zealand Shipping Gazette, New Zealand Customs Service and New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade

P.S. Easy Freight Ltd helps New Zealand importers & exporters to save money on international freight and reduce mistakes by guiding how to comply with Customs and biosecurity rules. 

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