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China's First Freight Train Involving the Quick Customs Clearance Process Set Off

By VIVIAN YANICHONGQING|Sep 15,2021

China’s first freight train to complete a newly implemented quick customs clearance process officially set off at Urumqi International Land Port Area, while an international freight train bound for Chongqing also completed the process at Horgos Port, opening a new chapter for customs supervision over China-Europe freight trains.

China’s first freight train to complete a newly implemented quick customs clearance process officially set off at Urumqi International Land Port Area. (Photo/ Chongqing Customs)

The customs operation links have been fully connected between the ports and the departure places of China-Europe freight trains.

The outbound train mainly carried local goods of Xinjiang, chlorinated polyethylene, and articles of daily use from Alashankou Port to Germany and Austria.

The inbound train carried auto parts, stainless steel products, and other goods from Duisburg in Germany to Tuanjie Village in Chongqing.

The fact that the two trains successfully completed the quick customs clearance process results from close cooperation between Chongqing and Urumqi Customs, who take the new model as an important measure of strict supervision and service optimization.

Both regions give full play to the coordination and cooperation mechanism of the ports and customs of Chongqing and Urumqi, including setting up a special trans-customs working group, offering enterprises training, guaranteeing that trains can complete the quick customs clearance process, and jointly seizing new opportunities of building the two places into a staging center for China-Europe freight trains.

A new quick customs clearance model

The quick customs clearance model means that railway operators can apply for the service according to their own needs and then provide a digital manifest of the cargo to customs officials for review in advance.

This model saves the supervision force and improves supervision efficiency in a more targeted way.

By examining, clearing, and verifying the digital manifest, the customs can realize the supervision of importing and exporting goods in transit.

Through the interconnection and sharing of logistics data, railway operators, railway authorities, and customs can smooth the logistics information chain, realize the tripartite coordinated supervision of goods carried by China-Europe freight trains, and promote information matching closed-loop management and resource coordination.

Implementing the quick customs clearance model makes it possible to explore further how to optimize the customs supervision model, improve the quality and innovation of China-Europe freight trains, and promote cost reduction and efficiency increase of the logistics industry.

Before the new customs clearance model was launched, customs officers had to confirm all senders and receivers of cargo and their agents.

With the new procedure adopted, only the service applicants, that is, railway operators require verification.

“The newly-implemented quick customs clearance model brings us more convenience,” said Qi Dan, General Manager of Yuxinou (Chongqing) Logistics Co., Ltd.

Customs officers supervise the cargo on-site. (Photo/ Chongqing Customs)

A major artery for transport by land

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, major restrictions have been imposed on international air and sea transport. As a result, China-Europe freight trains have become a major artery for transport by land.

To further open up the international logistics corridor westward and improve the efficiency of China-Europe freight trains, the General Administration of Customs has put forward the innovative supervision model, which effectively simplifies customs clearance procedures and accelerates the efficient operation of China-Europe freight trains.

According to Wang Zhongwen, Deputy Chief of Chongqing Customs District, P. R. China, Chongqing Customs will take this opportunity to strengthen the cooperation with Urumqi Customs continuously.

Wang said this involves optimizing the quick customs clearance model, taking precise measures to prevent and control safety risks, improving the level of railway customs clearance facilitation, exploring ways to expand the application coverage of railway services.

Other measures involve boosting the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe logistics corridor’s faster, smoother, and safer operation, enhancing the gathering and radiating effect of Chongqing as a staging center for China-Europe freight trains, and helping to improve the quality and efficiency of the development of Chongqing’s open economy.

A picture of Chongqing. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

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