A passenger was waiting for baggage clearance at an airport in Fujian Province. (File photo/China News Service)
Guangzhou Customs has launched a mini program on the popular social networking app WeChat, supported by Tencent, to facilitate customs declarations, the first measure of its kind in China.
The WeChat applet operates like a separate mobile app embedded in the ubiquitous WeChat ecosystem. The new measure is part of the drive by customs authorities to improve e-governance services and make supervision of luggage more intelligent.
Passengers can use the software to complete five types of customs declarations—outbound goods, inbound tax-related items, checked-in luggage, pets, and currency—at the city’s seven ports including Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Guangzhou East Railway Station.
At the airport, a passenger holding a cat said the program made it easy to transport a pet because documents on quarantine and vaccinations can be uploaded into the system for advance verification.
It has lowered the average time needed for a passenger to make customs declarations from more than 10 minutes to under five minutes, said Feng Ruilin, an officer of Guangzhou Customs.
Data shows that in the first half of the year Guangzhou Customs handled the entry and exit of 11.77 million passengers as well as 722 pet declarations.