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07.04.2020

Fast clearance of anti-epidemic supplies.  For imported supplies, all local Customs are required to open exclusive counters and green lanes 24/7 to ensure fast clearance; imported pharmaceuticals, disinfection supplies, protective suits, treatment equipment and other supplies will be released without delay.  For exported supplies, green lanes are provided 24/7 to minimize the clearance time. Source: China Customs (as reported in WCO website); http://english.customs.gov.cn/newsroom/news

China Customs has put in place a Command Center and a Working Group to coordinate border efforts and provide solutions to COVID-related issues. GACC has rolled out policies and measures on faster clearance, minimum-interference customs control, certification services, acceleration of market access process for imported agricultural products, among others. Source: China Customs (as reported in WCO website); http://english.customs.gov.cn/newsroom/news

To guarantee unimpeded freight transport, measures to control and prevent COVID-19
must be carried out for drivers of freight vehicles. Foreign freight vehicles entering the
border should unload at the port, unless the goods cannot be moved midway." Source: The State Council of the People’s Republic of China http://english.www.gov.cn/premier/news/202003/26/content_WS5e7caf41c6d0c201c2cbf8a2.html

For road BCPs. Those closed passenger and cargo transport BCPs and passenger transport BCPs will continue to be closed for transport operations until further notice; the opening of international passenger transport at seasonal BCPs will be postponed." Source: Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China  - China Transportation News

Foreign trucks will unload cargo at BCPs, and foreign truck drivers will return on the same day of arrival in China. Those foreign truck drivers who have difficulty returning
will stay in accommodation designated by local disease prevention and control agencies." Source: Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China - China Transportation News



Source: WCO/ China Customs

26.03.2020

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the General Administration of Customs of
China (GACC) has set up ad hoc working structure and mechanisms, taken sciencebased border health and quarantine measures to safeguard public health security,
and adjusted clearance formalities to promote trade security and facilitation.

I. Ad hoc working structure and mechanisms of GACC against COVID-19
Following the outbreak of the disease, China Customs has put in place a Command
Center, with GACC Minister as Commander-in-Chief and all Vice Ministers as Deputy
Commanders-in-Chief, and a Working Group. 

Led by the Vice Minister in charge of border health and quarantine, the Working
Group guides Customs offices across the country to fight the epidemic in line with
policies made by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism led by the State
Council. The specific functions of the Working Group include launching anti-epidemic
plans and measures, coordinating border efforts made by all relevant government
agencies, supervising the implementation of anti-epidemic measures, and providing
solutions to emergency issues.

Under the Working Group are 9 Sub-groupsled by one department and participated
by other relevant departments of GACC.

II. Measures to contain COVID-19

1. Around-the-clock tracking and analysis of the epidemic situations. China
Customs has been following closely the spread of the disease both at home and
abroad, and collecting information through multiple sources. As the disease evolves,
experts in a wide range of fields and from various departments are gathered to
assess risks and provide guidance for targeted measures at border crossings across
the country.

2. Compulsory health declaration. All cross-border passengers are required to
declare to the Customs their health conditions, especially pneumonia-like symptoms
and travel and exposure history in the past 14 days. The health declaration form
(which can be found in the annex) has been translated into over 10 languages. Edeclaration is also available on mobile phone—passengers can declare through an
applet developed by China Customs, and scan the generated QR code when passing
Customs.

3. Strict entry/exit health and quarantine measures. All cross-border
passengers are subject to a three-step screening approach at border crossings. 1)
Passengers are required to declare their health conditions, have their temperature
taken, and accept initial health assessment. 2) Those who are found in step one with
COVID-19 related symptoms, or from most affected countries or regions, or have
been exposed to confirmed cases, will be further screened through epidemiological
investigation, medical examination and laboratory testing. 3) Those who are identified
in step two as confirmed cases, suspected cases or close contacts, or showing
relevant symptoms, will be transferred or quarantined for further treatment or medical
observation, in line with the requirements of the Joint Prevention and Control
Mechanism. The three-step approach enables early detection, early report, early
quarantine and early treatment. Other major infectious diseases such as Ebola and
Lassa fever have also been carefully watched among incoming passengers to
prevent other outbreaks.

4. Collaboration among multiple agencies. China Customs works closely with
other border agencies to share information and coordinate the procedures for screening,
quarantine and referral of passengers. A comprehensive prevention and control network
was put in place to contain the spread of the disease.

5. Application of big data for transmission prevention. Since it is difficult to
identify the passengers travelling on flights that have departed from most affected
countries (regions) and transited in a third country (region) before arriving in China,
China Customs has been using big data to conduct correlation analysis on global
flight routes and schedules, thus taking more precise border quarantine measures.

6. International Cooperation. China Customs has been strengthening cooperation
on border health and quarantine with its counterparts in other countries and regions.
Contact points were designated for communication and coordination of anti-epidemic
efforts. Exchanges have been made on border health and quarantine policies, laws and
regulations, and on experience and practices of prevention and control of COVID-19.

III. Trade facilitation measures

1.Facilitated clearance for anti-epidemic supplies. A Sub-group has been set
up under the ad hoc Working Group to ensure fast clearance of anti-epidemic
supplies.

For imported supplies, all local Customs are required to open exclusive
counters and green lanes 24/7 to ensure fast clearance; imported pharmaceuticals,
disinfection supplies, protective suits, treatment equipment and other supplies will be
released without delay. For exported supplies, green lanes are provided 24/7 to
minimize the clearance time.

2. Supporting foreign trade and economic development. To promote social
and economic development amid current anti-epidemic efforts, the GACC has rolled
out policies and measures on faster clearance, minimum-interference customs
control, certification services, acceleration of market access process for imported
agricultural products, among other, to help businesses resume operations and boost
foreign trade growth.

3. Information availability. China Customs has made information available on news
media, GACC official website, Customs official Weibo and WeChat accounts and journals.

Link to GACC official website:
http://english.customs.gov.cn.

Link to GACC news:
http://english.customs.gov.cn/newsroom/news.

Link to GACC Announcements:
http://english.customs.gov.cn/Legislation/Announcement.

IV. Suggestions

We suggest that WCO play a more vigorous role in enhancing coordination and
cooperation among Member Customs in the following respects: 1) encourage
Members to share information of cross-border passengers who have been identified
as confirmed cases, suspected cases or close contacts of COVID-19, and conduct
health screening on outbound passengers, so as to jointly contain the spread of
COVID-19 at borders; 2) encourage Members to facilitate and expedite the clearance
of imported, exported and transit anti-epidemic supplies; 3) strengthen international
customs cooperation, and refrain from taking excessive measures against the
movement of cross-border goods and transport conveyances, to ensure the security
of global supply chain and trading network, and promote the development of
international trade at the special time.





Remarks from the International Road Transport Union

27.10.2020

You will find below the latest Covid-19 updates from China:

  • Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of China reports 138 asymptomatic coronavirus cases as of 25 Oct, 2020.
  • According to China Daily, all highways, railways and the airport remain operational in Kashgar. Visitors to the city do not have to be quarantined or show nucleic acid test reports, but people who leave the area should have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past seven days.
  • The Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control advised residents not to travel to Kashgar unless necessary. The center also asked residents who have traveled to Kashgar in the past 14 days to start health monitoring and go to fever clinics immediately if they have symptoms including fever and coughing.
  • Kashgar will provide nucleic acid test for all its over 4.7 million residents which is expected to be completed by Tuesday 27 Oct 2020.

Source: IRU Beijing 

                                                                                                        

02.09.2020

On 26 August 2020, China’s Ministry of Transport issued a circular urging the relevant authorities to guide cold chain logistics companies in strengthening employee protection, the disinfection of transportation equipment and information registration to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Employees of logistics firms working with refrigerated containers or goods directly should wear protective gear such as masks and gloves at all times and have their temperatures taken at least once before starting and before finishing work.

Cold chain logistics companies should disinfect ships, vehicles and other transportation equipment. Both the interior and exterior of cold chain vans should be disinfected before reloading goods.

The circular requires cold chain logistics firms to strictly check customs declaration documents and inspection and quarantine certificates for imported cold chain foods, and prohibits these companies from transporting imported cold chain foods without a clear source of purchase.

Transport authorities in border provinces have been urged to implement an information registration system for road freight drivers engaged in international cold chain logistics.

The circular also stresses that transport authorities should coordinate with health, customs and market supervision authorities to establish a full-chain, traceable and integrated management system for cold chain logistics in order to contain the virus.

Link (Chinese only): http://xxgk.mot.gov.cn/2020/jigou/ysfws/202008/t20200828_3457554.html

Source: China’s Ministry of Transport

                                                                                                        

10.07.2020

As from 3 July, a Green Lane system is being implemented on designated border crossing points between China and Mongolia. Green Lanes can be used by:

  • Goods drivers carrying out operations between the two countries.
  • Key personnel that need to cross the border for business, logistical or production purposes.
  • Staff urgently needed to engage in major cooperation projects between the two countries.

Detailed rules can be found here.

Source: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Mongoli

                                                                                                        

25.05.2020

At a press conference held on 19 May, the Minister of Transport informed that the Ministry will ensure the smooth flow of international road transport by increasing transport capacity and conducting transshipment at borders.

Source: IRU Beijing office

                                                                                                        

16.04.2020

On 14 April, the border crossing point of Irkeshtam, on the China-Kyrgyzstan border, has been reopened to freight transport. Goods entering both countries in foreign trucks have to be unloaded and loaded onto domestic vehicles driven by domestic drivers.

Passenger transport remains banned.

Source: Irkeshtam Customs

                                                                                                       

13.04.2020

The Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China published new rules on 11 April 2020 - notification on further prevention and control of overseas epidemic importation and strengthening the closed management of international road freight drivers. Specific requirements for foreign drivers are as follows:

- In principle, foreign freight vehicles entering the border should unload at the port. Foreign drivers shall leave China on the same day, and shall not contact the management personnel of the freight terminal and the cargo handling personnel during the loading and unloading period.

- Foreign drivers who are unable to leave China on the same day due to genuine difficulties will be subject to temperature check, and will be directly transferred from the port to a designated place under the supervision of the local authority responsible for the prevention and control of the epidemic. It will not be permitted to go out of the designated place before leaving China.

- During their stay in China, foreign drivers shall comply with the relevant provisions on the prevention and control of the epidemic situation at the place where the port is located, strengthen their own protection, take the initiative in health declaration, and promptly report any suspected symptoms such as fever, dry cough and fatigue.

- Foreign drivers who make multiple trips to and from cross-border transport shall be subject to regular testing (nucleic acid testing).

- Drivers who refuse to comply with the epidemic prevention and control regulations will be placed on a blacklist.

Source: CRTA

                                                                                               

08.04.2020

With effect from 6 April, the passing of road freight through the Russian-Chinese border crossings points of Poltavka-Dongning and Turirog-Mishan is no longer permitted. The Pogranichny-Suifenhe border crossing point is closed for passenger transport, however currently remains open for freight transport. These measures have been put in place in order to ensure centralised inspections and/or quarantine in relation to the flow of goods and passengers through these ports.

With effect from 8 April, due to the rapidly increasing flow of passengers, the Manzhouli-Zabaikalsk border crossing point has been closed for passenger transport until further notice, as it has exceeded its capacities for inspection, quarantine and virus testing. Freight transport will remain open for operations.  

Sources: Foreign Affairs Office of the People ’s Government of Heilongjiang Province; People’s Daily

                                                                                                

31.03.2020

On 30 March 2020, the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China issued a notice on the prevention and control of imported coronavirus from overseas.

The following items are related to border crossing point (BCP) closures and operations of foreign trucks:

1.    For road BCPs. Those closed passenger and cargo transport BCPs and passenger transport BCPs will continue to be closed for transport operations until further notice; the opening of international passenger transport at seasonal BCPs will be postponed.

2.    For truck drivers. Foreign trucks will unload cargo at BCPs, and foreign truck drivers will return on the same day of arrival in China.  Those foreign truck drivers who have difficulty returning will stay in accommodation designated by local disease prevention and control agencies.

Source: China Transportation News

                                                                                                   

27.03.2020

1. China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals holding valid visas or residence permits due to the rapid global spread of COVID-19, according to an announcement by the Foreign Ministry and the National Immigration Administration on Thursday.

The suspension - starting on Saturday 28 March - is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the practices of other countries.

In addition, entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected, and foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities, or out of emergency humanitarian need, may apply for visas at Chinese Embassies or Consulates.

(Note: C visas are issued to air crew members, railway and maritime staff, and international road transport drivers. Therefore, international drivers will be exempted from the above policy).

Source: the Foreign Ministry, the National Immigration Administration, China Daily

2. Chinese authorities have urged strict measures to prevent the return of a domestic outbreak while controlling the import of new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). The central government have urged local governments to perform their duties in preventing cases, imported or exported through land and waterway transport, and implement measures to suspend cross-border international road transport and enhance management on international waterway transport.

Provincial governments should enforce quarantine measures for those entering the border through land ports in their administration, except for residents living at the border, diplomats, and people engaged in important trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation.

To guarantee unimpeded freight transport, measures to control and prevent COVID-19 must be carried out for drivers of freight vehicles. Foreign freight vehicles entering the border should unload at the port, unless the goods cannot be moved midway.

Source: The State Council of the People’s Republic of China

                                                                                                       

20.03.2020

Overview of the situation at land borders for passenger transport operations:

According to a notice published on 20 March by The State Council of The People’s Republic of China, China will suspend cross-border road transportation for passengers and hold back inbound and outbound tourist services as part of a broader effort to curb the importation of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases from 20 March until further notice.

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202003/20/WS5e740aa9a31012821728095b.html

The epidemics control on domestic cases is stabilising in China, but the Government is maintaining stringent measures to avoid cases imported from foreign countries.

Overview of the situation at land borders:

- All borders from China side remain open for now, but Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan  borders remain closed on their sides,

- At borders with Kazakhstan, from China side, no compulsory quarantine requirements on non-Chinese truck drivers entering into China, but regular business operations have been severely affected:

1. Alashankou BCP has resumed TIR transport since February, the operations are normal,

2. The auxiliary services in Khorgos have shown signs of re-opening for business. However, due to the control measures applied in Kazakhstan, very few operations are taking place,

3. No operation is reported at Baketu BCP, as non-Chinese drivers are not willing to enter into China due to the control measures applied in Kazakhstan.

- At Erenhot, bordering Mongolia, freight operations are possible, but normal operations have been severely affected. Quarantine measures are compulsory for all those entering into China. Truck drivers are exempted from the quarantine control,

- At Manzhouli, bordering Russia, freight operations are possible, but normal operations have been severely affected. Quarantine measures are compulsory for those entering into China from 34 countries. Russian drivers are exempted from the quarantine control.

Source: Chinese Customs

                                                                                                       

16.03.2020

The epidemics control on domestic cases is stabilising in China, but the Government is maintaining stringent measures to avoid cases imported from foreign countries.

Overview of the situation at land borders:

- All borders from China side remain open for now, but Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan  borders remain closed on their sides,

- At borders with Kazakhstan, from China side, no compulsory quarantine requirements on non-Chinese truck drivers entering into China, but regular business operations have been severely affected:

1. Alashankou BCP has resumed TIR transport since February, the operations are normal,

2. The auxiliary services in Khorgos have shown signs of re-opening for business. However, due to the control measures applied in Kazakhstan, very few operations are taking place,

3. No operation is reported at Baketu BCP, as non-Chinese drivers are not willing to enter into China due to the control measures applied in Kazakhstan.

- At Erenhot, bordering Mongolia, freight operations are possible, but normal operations have been severely affected. Quarantine measures are compulsory for all those entering into China. Truck drivers are exempted from the quarantine control,

- At Manzhouli, bordering Russia, freight operations are possible, but normal operations have been severely affected. Quarantine measures are compulsory for those entering into China from 34 countries. Russian drivers are exempted from the quarantine control.

Source: Chinese Customs



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