China applies automatic import licenses to 24 product categories

A Catalog of Goods subject to the Automatic Import Licensing Regime is published in China every year.

Likewise, all the products included in the Catalog can be imported freely; automatic import licenses are held for surveillance purposes only.

According to a report by the World Trade Organization (WTO), in 2020 24 product categories (corresponding to 356 tariff lines at the 10-digit level) were subject to automatic import licensing requirements applied by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).

In addition, 18 other product categories (corresponding to 206 tariff lines at the HS 10-digit level) were subject to such requirements applied by competent local business departments at the provincial level or local and departmental electromechanical offices, authorized by MOFCOM. .

Changes to the Catalog over the past three years have consisted of the removal of licensing requirements for 15 product types corresponding to a total of 118 HS codes, including steam turbines and industrial products. automotive, and the abolition of the automatic licensing measures applicable to bauxite and aluminum oxide (two HS codes) in January 2020.

There have been no major changes in the procedures for applying for automatic import licenses, or in the conditions for granting them, since mid-2018.

Automatic import licenses

Behind the United States, China ranked as the second largest importer of products in the world in all of 2020, with 2.06 trillion dollars and a year-on-year drop of 1%, according to WTO data.

While automatic import licenses are valid for six months, extendable in certain cases, applications can be filed with MOFCOM or with institutions authorized by it.

The authority responsible for issuing licenses must approve applications immediately (or within a maximum period of 10 working days in special circumstances).

On the one hand, automatic import licenses are not transferable. On the other, companies are authorized and encouraged to apply for and receive import licenses online.

In general, the Chinese economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many ways, including government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange, and resource allocation.


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