Local customs in China report fruitful results after RCEP implementation
Published: Feb 21, 2022 08:31 PM
RCEP. Photo: VCG

RCEP. Photo: VCG

Since the Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP) trade pact came into force at the start of the year, local customs in China have reported fruitful achievements from the implementation of the trade pact, with some saying that exports to Japan appear to be key beneficiaries thanks to preferential duties under the deal. 

Under the RCEP, China reached its first free-trade arrangement with Japan, and the mega trade pact has offered a boost for regional trade against the backdrop of pandemic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions.

From January 1 to Sunday, Shijiazhuang customs in North China's Hebei Province issued 597 preferential certificates of origin under the RCEP for exports worth $44.21 million, statistics sent by Shijiazhuang customs to the Global Times showed on Monday.

Among them, 93 percent of the certificates were issued to exports to Japan and 2.8 percent to goods headed for Thailand, the customs said. Major exports to Japan were nuts, textiles and garments, plastic products, and mechanical and electronic products.

A company exporting shoes and hats to Japan in Shijiazhuang said the benefits have been tangible. 

"The RCEP trade deal has greatly lowered the costs for our company to export shoes and hats to Japan. For instance, Japan's duty on imports declined from around 7 percent to 3 percent. That allowed us to enjoy duty preferences worth more than 300,000 yuan ($47,370) in only one month," Chen Yanli, manager of Shijiazhuang Jin Ri Tai Chang Trading Co, told the Global Times on Monday. 

She estimated that the company could get duty exemptions or reductions from the RCEP with 3.8 million yuan in 2022. 

In addition to Shijiazhuang, customs in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province said exports to Japan were the biggest beneficiaries in January. 

In January, Fuzhou customs issued 307 preferential certificates of origin under the RCEP and 96 percent of them were given to exports to Japan, the Fuzhou News reported on Sunday. Exports worth 109 million yuan enjoyed duty preferences under the RCEP trade pact in Fuzhou, while 97 percent of the goods were exports to Japan, including frozen seafood, agricultural products, shoes and chemicals. 

In Zhejiang, one of China's richest provinces and a major manufacturing hub, 5,190 certificates of origin were issued in January once the RCEP took effect, for goods valued at more than $240 million. More than 13 million yuan of duties were exempted or reduced. 

Wuhan customs in Central China's Hubei Province said companies with large amounts of exports to Japan, including Dongfeng Motor and Hubei Xingfa Chemical Group, benefited from the RCEP significantly, the Changjiang Times reported.

Other RCEP members such as Thailand have also encouraged domestic companies to take advantage of the RCEP to increase exports. 

In the first month of the implementation of the RCEP, the value of Thai exports involved hit 285 million baht ($8.52 million) and the major export markets were Japan and China, reported. 

With the deal setting out to promote greater regional trade, investment and supply chain integration over the coming years, Singapore's leading consumer bank DBS said in a recent report that it expected Vietnam to be a key beneficiary within ASEAN, beyond biggest winners such as China, Japan, and South Korea.