China to adjust import/export duties in an effort to conserve resources

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Dec. 28 – The government will adjust the import and export duties on some products from January 1 to save domestic resources and ensure better trade balance the government has said.

Import duties on aluminum, refined copper and coal will be removed while the export taxes on some steel products, coking coal and coke will be raised, the Ministry of Finance reported on thier website.

The tariff reductions are part of the commitments made during China’s  accession to the World Trade Organization.

The government will also cut import tariffs on gasoline, diesel and jet kerosene from two to one percent. The tariff on the two products was previously reduced from between five and six percent to two percent on November 1, 2006. The three percent import tax on anthracite and coking coal will also be lifted.

The export tax on semi-finished steel products will be raised to 25 percent, while some stainless steel, welded pipes and other steel products to will see their export tax rise to 15 percent. The export tariff on crude oil, however, will remain at five percent, the ministry said on its website.

While the moves are aimed at reducing China’s souring trade surplus, early indications are that it will likely not have the desired effect.

China’s trade surplus is expected to increase to more than US$250 billion for 2007 and could touch US$300 billion in 2008, although analysts expect yearly growth to slow down.

“The adjustment is basically aimed to facilitate the country’s drive to save energy and resources,” Zhang Peisen, a senior researcher with the taxation research institute, under the State Administration of Taxation, told China Daily.

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