Jinqiao CBZ: Shanghai’s Latest Comprehensive Bonded Zone Opened, Key Projects Settled
On April 21, 2020, Shanghai set up a new comprehensive bonded zone (CBZ) – the Jinqiao CBZ in Pudong New Area.
A number of new projects covering auto components, logistics centers, new energy, and 5G intelligence factories were singed at the launching ceremony – with an estimated output value at nearly RMB 35 billion (US$4.94 billion) in five years.
The Jinqiao CBZ, with an area of 1.524 square kilometers, was formerly the southern district of the Jinqiao export processing zone (EPZ) established in 2001. It was upgraded to a CBZ in November 2018 after receiving approval from the State Council be but was not officially opened until recently.
Being upgraded to a CBZ – the most advanced level of a special customs supervision zone (SCSZ) in China – the Jinqiao CBZ will enjoy almost all preferential policies and convenient clearance procedures that Customs offer. It will also provide for the most comprehensive functions of an SCSZ – from traditional functions like export processing and bonded logistics to other business areas like R&D and design, product exhibition, testing, investigation, and after-sales maintenance.
By far, Shanghai has set up five comprehensive bonded zones – the other four are Songjiang, Caohejing, Fengxian, and Qingpu CBZs, all of which were converted from their previous status as export processing zones.
As an important platform to boost foreign trade and investment in new frontier industries, the development of CBZs is becoming more critical amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as China strives to stabilize foreign investment.
In 2019, the State Council issued the Opinions on Promoting High-level Opening and High-Quality Development of CBZs, aiming to promote CBZs to become “five centers” – processing and manufacturing centers, R&D centers, logistics distribution centers, testing and maintenance centers, and sales and service centers. The opinion announced 21 measures to facilitate in-zone enterprises to expand their business scope, including:
- Granting qualified in-zone enterprises the status of general VAT payers to better expand domestic and overseas markets;
- Allowing domestic sales of cell phone and automobile parts manufactured in CBZs and exempting them from automatic import license requirements;
- Allowing in-zone enterprises to import machinery and equipment for their own use and meanwhile allowing the imported items to enjoy related tax exemption in advance;
- Allowing in-zone enterprises to undertake domestic commissioned processing business;
- Allowing goods and articles imported into CBZs for R&D purposes to be exempted from import license requirements;
- Simplifying customs approval procedures; and
Earlier, on February 25, 2020, the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) rolled out more measures to support the high-quality development and higher level of opening-up of CBZs. These include:
- Encouraging more remanufacturing and equipment maintenance companies around the world to establish facilities in CBZs;
- Exercising online supervision over enterprises that meet certain conditions and use of management systems like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Warehouse Management System (WMS);
- Expediting the approval process for enterprises applying for Advanced Certified Enterprises;
- Helping more enterprises to be certified as Authorized Economic Operators (AEO); and
- Promoting online customs services.
According to the state news agency Xinhua, in 2019, the total import and export of CBZs across China reached RMB 2.9 trillion (US$410 billion), showing an increase of 11.9 percent over the previous year and contributing 30 percent to the growth of the overall national foreign trade.
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