At the end of 2020, there were 3,523 authorized economic operators in China, which although only represented 0.65% of all import and export companies, concentrated around 30% of the total value of imports and exports.
Also, at the end of February 2021, China had signed mutual recognition agreements for authorized economic operator systems with 43 trading partners, according to information from the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In 2018, China shared with the WTO Committee on Trade Facilitation its experience under the Authorized Economic Operators Program.
So the China Authorized Economic Operators Program is still in place and the authorities have indicated that, over the past decade, it has undergone various revisions and improvements and has evolved from the initial single system to a customs credit management system that It combines the requirements of the national credit system with the World Customs Organization‘s system of authorized economic operators.
Authorized Economic Operators
The General Administration of Customs (GACC) continues to be the entity in charge of customs matters.
In 2018, the GACC assumed the responsibilities previously held by the General State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in relation to incoming and outgoing inspection and quarantine.
Under the WTO, China has 45 customs institutions that report directly to the GACC (including 42 customs zones, 678 subordinate customs institutions, and 132 subordinate customs offices).
Customs procedures are regulated by various legislative instruments.
In particular, recent changes to the Customs Law and the Regulations on Import and Export Duties removed administrative licensing requirements for temporary imports and exports.
Modifications to other customs regulations, such as the Provisions on the Processing by the Customs Administration of Goods Import and Export Declarations and the Customs Administration Rules on the Management of the Perception of Duties on Imports and Exports, They were aimed at optimizing the business environment, reducing institutional transaction costs, simplifying customs procedures and reducing the time required for customs clearance.
On the one hand, importers must register as foreign trade operators with the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) or its authorized bodies before making a customs declaration.
On the other hand, companies with foreign investment can register as foreign trade operators, for which they must present a copy of the certificate of approval of a company with foreign investment.