Thursday, 8 March 2019

Policy Opinions Issued on Supporting FTEs in the Fight Against the COVID-19

2020-02-07 21:44

Policy Opinions Issued by Suzhou Municipal Government on Supporting FTEs in the Fight Against Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Outbreak

Governments of all county-level cities and districts, Administrative Committees of Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou New District and Taicang Port, relevant departments of Suzhou:

For the purpose of thoroughly putting into practice General Secretary Xi Jinping’s instructions on resolutely carrying out the epidemic prevention and control, fully implementing the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee, State Council, CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee and Provincial People’s Government on epidemic prevention and control, and giving full play to the significant role of foreign trade enterprises (FTEs) in epidemic prevention and control, Suzhou Municipal People’s Government hereby formulates the following policy opinions (for short, “Twelve Preferential Policies” of Suzhou on Supporting FTEs).

I. Strengthening Financial Support

1. Favor import of medical protective products. Imports of medical protective masks (N95), disposable surgical masks, face shields, protective glasses (antifogging), disposable gowns (impermeable), disposable protective clothing and other products in short supply are supported by the government. Subsides will be given to enterprises importing such products, referring to China’s discount policy as regards imports of advanced technologies and equipment. (Competent authorities: Suzhou Finance Bureau, Suzhou Commerce Bureau)

2. Enhance import and export credit insurance subsidy. We fully support the imports of medical protective equipment by means such as 100% reimbursement by the government, cutting costs of credit insurance and risk-free import policies for enterprises. The premium rate for prepayment import insurance acquired by importers of medical protective equipment will be cut by 50% and the premium for such insurance will be 100% reimbursed by the government. FTEs are encouraged to get export credit insurance for cross-border e-commerce, the premium rate for which will be cut by 30%, with 50% discount on premium applied. (Competent authorities: Suzhou Finance Bureau, Suzhou Bureau of Commerce, Suzhou Office of China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation)

3. Upgrade financing support for FTEs. We support the Import-Export Bank of China in using its pool of 2 billion yuan of “bail-out money” to help out those FTEs facing temporary difficulties caused by the pneumonia outbreak. We also support the Bank in collaborating with city commercial banks, rural commercial banks and joint-stock commercial banks in Suzhou to issue policy-based loans with a total value of 1 billion yuan to micro and small FTEs, with the lending rates lower than the concurrent Loan Prime Rate. (Competent authorities: Suzhou Bureau of Commerce, Suzhou Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau, PBOC Suzhou Branch, CBIRC Suzhou Branch)

II. Supporting production and operation of FTEs

4. Secure the open orders of FTEs. With strengthened supervision and guidance on epidemic prevention and control, FTEs shall be encouraged and supported in resumption of work based on sound epidemic prevention and control efforts to ensure the smooth performance of import and export contracts. For potential delayed deliveries, enterprises shall be mobilized to communicate with major clients and try their best to secure the open orders. (Competent authorities: Suzhou Bureau of Commerce)

5. Ensure smooth logistics and transportation for FTEs. We will provide assistance to FTEs in solving the problems such as lack of prevention and control materials, supply of raw materials, logistics and transportation, etc. and carry out tailored measures based on “specific policy for specific enterprise”. The policy of “Green Channel for Import and Export Enterprises” is to be fully implemented to guarantee continuous supply of supporting materials for FTEs as well the whole industry chain. (Competent authorities: Suzhou Bureau of Commerce, Suzhou Transportation Bureau)

III. Encouraging FTEs tapping domestic and international markets

6. Expand the scale of imports. We’ll give full play to the import functions of China Railway Express to Europe (Suzhou), cross-border e-commerce as well as the advantages of national import platform carriers, in order to increase the import scale of agricultural products, drugs, resource products and guarantee the market supply.  (Competent authorities: Suzhou Bureau of Commerce, Suzhou Customs)

7. Support FTEs in selling export-oriented goods at home. Reduce the premium rate of Domestic Trade Credit Insurance by 30% and grant a 50% subsidy of the premium for FTEs during the period of the epidemic. (Competent authorities: Suzhou Finance Bureau, Suzhou Bureau of Commerce, Suzhou Office of China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation)

8. Offer allowance for overseas exhibition booth fee incurred. Allowance will be granted to FTEs who failed to attend overseas exhibitions but have booth fees incurred in accordance with the provisions on overseas exhibition in the Notice of the General Office of Suzhou Municipal Government on Printing and Distribution of Several Policies on Promoting High-level Openness and High-quality Development of Commerce in Suzhou (SFB [2019] No. 127) so as to minimize the losses of FTEs. (Competent authorities: Suzhou Bureau of Commerce, Suzhou Finance Bureau)

IV. Promoting Trade Facilitation

9. Implement the "Do-not-meet Application" for certificates of origin. For enterprises applying for a certificate of origin for the first time, the filing information of export commodities shall be declared in PDF format, during which the verification for the preferential certificate of origin can be opted for video or picture formats of the product production process. An instant application, instant activation, and self-service printing for certificate of origin shall be in place to realize an entire "Do-not-meet Application" process. (Competent authorities: CCPIT Suzhou Committee, Suzhou Customs)

10. Issue force majeure certificates in time. Enterprises affected by the epidemic that are unable to perform on time or to fulfill international trade contracts may apply to CCPIT Suzhou Committee for factual proof of force majeure over the novel coronavirus pneumonia. CCPIT Suzhou Committee provides facilitating services including online application submission, certificate mailing and so on, and endeavors to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the FTEs. (Competent authorities: CCPIT Suzhou Committee)  

11. Ensure rapid clearance of epidemic prevention and control materials. Special windows and green channels are to be set up to expedite clearance of the epidemic prevention and control materials imported. As for the imported medicines, disinfection articles, protective supplies, and medical equipment used for epidemic prevention and control, an immediate release of goods upon arrival is guaranteed for "zero delay" in customs clearance. Donated materials imported are exempted from import duties, VAT, and consumption tax based on the Import and Export Goods Tax Exemption Certificate issued by the local customs of the recipient or user. With regard to the medical materials for epidemic prevention and control that need licenses, the customs may release them with the certification of the drug regulatory department, and the licensing documents can be submitted later. Under special circumstances, imported preventive and control materials can be registered and released before going through relevant procedures. (Competent authorities: Suzhou Customs)

12. Temporarily extend the period of consolidated tax collection, and adjust the levy dates for overdue payments and delinquency interests. With regard to the declarations of consolidated tax collection made in January 2020, the consolidated electronic payment of tax payables can be completed by February 24, 2020. For the tax payment vouchers with an expiration date between February 3, 2020 and the date of work resumption announced by the Jiangsu Provincial People's Government, their payments can be made within 15 days after the announced date of work resumption. As for delinquency interests of imported goods, in accordance with Article 17 of the Measures of the Customs of the People’s Republic of China for Charging Delinquency Interests for Imported Goods, the charging date will be postponed to the date of work resumption announced by the People's Government of Jiangsu Province. (Competent authorities: Suzhou Customs)

The policy opinions will tentatively be implemented for three months starting from the date of release. Suzhou shall comply with any relevant supporting policies issued by the central government or Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government. Suzhou Bureau of Commerce shall be responsible for the interpretation of the policy opinions along with Suzhou Finance Bureau and other relevant departments.

Suzhou Municipal People’s Government

February 7th. 2020

Source: SFAO

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