Source: WCO/ China Customs
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
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
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
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:
Link to GACC news:
Link to GACC Announcements:
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.
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