According tot the official press release, the EU and China signed a landmark mutual recognition agreement, under which the EU and China commit to recognizing each other’s certified safe traders, thereby allowing these companies to benefit from faster controls and reduced administration for customs clearance.
Mutual recognition of trusted traders also allows customs to focus their resources on real risk areas, thereby improving supply chain security on both sides.
The EU is the first trading partner to enter into such an agreement with China, having already signed similar deals with the USA (2012) and Japan (2011).
EU Commissioner for Taxation and Customs, Algirdas Šemeta said “By agreeing to mutually recognise each other’s safe traders, the EU and China are taking a big step forward in our trade relationship. The agreement is fully in the spirit of trade facilitation, by making customs procedures easier, cheaper and faster for our trusted operators. It is also in the spirit of growth, by improving our business environment and accelerating trade. Our citizens will benefit from greater protection too, as customs can focus more resources on where the real risks lie. In short, everyone is a winner with this customs agreement.”
Two other important initiatives were also signed at the JCCC. The first is a new Strategic Framework for Customs Cooperation, which defines ambitious priorities and objectives for EU-China collaboration in this field. Key areas of focus for the coming years will be trade facilitation, supply chain security and fighting counterfeit and illicit trade. An important new priority is a joint approach to tackling illegal waste shipments, thereby tackling an area of high concern for both sides and supporting important environmental objectives.
The second initiative signed in Beijing today is a new EU-China Action Plan on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). This aims to improve the clamp-down on counterfeit goods by intensifying EU-China cooperation, communication and coordination in this field.