Xiamen's paperless customs clearance reform makes breakthrough
On March 13, the Port of Xiamen officially launched the "International Navigation Vessels’ Paperless Customs Clearance" reform, transferring all the paperwork onto the Internet. This is another step forward in the transformation of the Port of Xiamen’s customs clearance procedures since being the first port in China to implement an "Online Vessel Inspection" policy in December, 2001.
According to the Port of Xiamen, "Single Window" customs clearance will reduce the time of the process, by eliminating the need to go to the customs, quarantine, border control and marine department’s offices, by instead filling out an online registration form and sending it to all four departments' websites at the same time.
"Simply speaking, the former customs clearance process needed you to get seals from four different departments, but now a single system will be sufficient," an official from the Port of Xiamen Office said, "the applicants used to take the paper and run around the offices, but now the information runs to its destination itself."
For companies, the reform brings about dramatic changes. According to statistics, since the reform has been adopted, it has cut four-hours from the customs clearance process for each ship and saves 257 pages of registration forms. Additionally, the manpower and material resources this streamlined process saves could, under conservative estimates, result in tens of millions of RMB in economic benefits to Xiamen.
At the moment, the Port of Xiamen is at the forefront in prompting paperless customs clearance operations in China. The launch of this measure not only raises efficiency and reduces the cost of customs clearance for ships entering and exiting the port, but also enhances the Port of Xiamen's competitiveness among other port cities and contributes significantly toward the "One Belt One Road", Free Trade Zone and "Maritime Silk Road" initiatives in this key city.