Enterprises in Shenzhen have enjoyed preferential tariffs totaling 23.95 billion yuan (US$3.5 billion) on goods imported from Hong Kong under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) since 2004, with tariff concessions amounting to 2.56 billion yuan, official statistics showed.
In January 2004, a batch of blank CDs became the first consignment of goods from Hong Kong to enjoy an exemption from tariffs when entering Shenzhen. Over the past 15 years, zero-tariff goods produced in Hong Kong have been imported to Shenzhen through seven checkpoints, including Wenjindu, Huanggang and Shenzhen Bay checkpoints.
According to statistics from Shenzhen Customs, the value of the goods under CEPA has increased substantially from 260 million yuan in 2004 to 2.26 billion yuan in 2018. The range of goods has also been expanded by a factor of 3.5.
In 2018, a total of 11 kinds of commodities imported from Hong Kong enjoyed preferential tariffs, such as food, chemical products, plastics and plastic products, among which food was No. 1.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the implementation of CEPA. Approved by the State Council, the CEPA Trade in Goods Agreement was signed by officials from the mainland and Hong Kong on Dec. 14, 2018, and officially took effect Jan. 1, ushering in a new era of economic trade between the two sides.
Zheng Dongyang, deputy director of the customs and excise department, said the agreement represents a higher level of cooperation.
“In the past, if an enterprise wanted to produce goods that fall under CEPA, it had to apply to customs half a year in advance and was given the green light after consultations. Now, enterprises can apply directly and enjoy the preferential policies as long as they meet the criteria,” said Zheng.