China is ramping up its efforts to enhance its trade with Europe through new measures that support the further development of the China-Europe freight train service. The measures are meant to stabilize trade growth between export and import companies from both sides amid the slowdown in demand and other economic challenges facing China and Europe.
China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) revealed 10 new measures that support its goals. Apart from conducting the required quarantine process at all ports of entry, companies will apparently have the option of selecting the specific location where they want to undergo customs clearance procedures.
Export and import companies can choose to have the procedures conducted at the port of entry or exit. They can also choose to go through the necessary procedures at the place where their cargo is located.
The GAC also mentioned on Monday that it will support all related agencies in their efforts to build hubs along all China-Europe freight train routes. This will include support for the building of cargo grouping facilities, transportation hubs, domestic and foreign goods sorting, and other customs-supervised operating sites. The establishment of these hubs is expected to further optimize the operation capacity of the entire transcontinental railroad system.
The agency hopes for its measures to also promote the development of multimodal transport business in China. This will give companies various options for transporting and importing the goods they need. The strengthening of the China-Europe freight train service will serve to work alongside the country's existing international maritime trade channels.
In its statement, the GAC added that it will be working closely with related parties in its effort to promote trade activities between China and Europe through the rail service. Companies can apparently rely on quick responses from the agency to resolve any issues related to the importation and exportation of goods.
As part of its role as the country's Authorized Economic Operator (AEO), the GAC reiterated its commitment to working hand-in-hand with other customs bureaus in reducing barriers to enhance international trade. The AEO program was advocated by the World Customs Organization to strengthen international supply chain security and to ensure the continued movement of legitimate goods.
The country's China-Europe freight train service has experienced massive growth over the years through the support of the government and related parties. In 2019, the freight service reported a 29 percent year-on-year growth to over 8,225 trips to and from Europe and China. As of last year, the rail network connects 63 major Chinese cities to 51 European cities.