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China Promulgates 2020 Import/Export Tariff Adjustment Plan

The Ministry of Finance rolled out an import tariff plan for 2020. Tariffs on imported pork, avocado, and orange juice will be reduced.

On December 23, the Department of Customs of the Chinese Ministry of Finance published the adjustment scheme on 2019 import/export tariffs.[1] The table below offers details on import tariffs: 

Duty typeDefinitionScope
MFN dutyTariff on imports from other members of the WTO, unless the country is part of a preferential trade agreement.Most countries/regions such as France, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands
General dutyGoods from countries/regions that have no FTA or MFN. It is the highest rate, but not often used in practice./
Provisional dutyDuties on particular goods in a certain period that are usually MFN.Same as MFN
Conventional dutyIt is tariff stipulated in Free Trade Agreements and is usually lower than MFN duty.23 trade partners such as New Zealand, Australia, ASEAN members, South Korea

Announcement excerpt

1. Most-favored-nation (MFN) duty

  • From January 1, 2020, onwards, 859 items of goods will be subject to provisional duty rates; from July 1, 2020, 7 items of information technology products will no longer be subject to provisional duty rates. (refer to Appendix 1)

  • From July 1, 2020, onwards, the MFN on information technology products listed in the appendix of the Amendment to the Schedule of Tariff Concessions for the Accession of the People's Republic of China to the World Trade Organization will enter the fifth phase of tariff reduction. (refer to Appendix 2)

2. Tariff quota duty rate

Wheat and seven other categories of goods will still be subject to tariff quota management, with tariff rates unchanged. Among them, three chemical fertilizers, namely carbamide, compound fertilizer, and ammonium hydrogen phosphate, will still be subject to a 1% provisional duty rate. Imported cotton beyond the tariff quota will still be subject to sliding-scale duty. (refer to Appendix 3)

  1. Conventional duty rate & preferential duty rate

  • From January 1, 2020, onwards, conventional duty rates will be further reduced on goods imported from New Zealand, Peru, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Iceland, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Chile, Georgia, Pakistan and countries in the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement. From July 1, 2020, general duties with Switzerland will be further lowered according to China-Switzerland Bilateral Trade Agreement and Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement. (refer to Appendix 4)

  • Most developing nations, except for Equatorial Guinea, will still be subject to preferential duties. Since January 1, 2020, Equatorial Guinea will no longer be subject to zero preferential tariff treatment.

Tariff bonus to the food sector

1. Tariff on frozen pork down to 8% from 12%

Frozen pork appears on the list of imported goods subject to provisional duty this time presumably to offset the impact of African swine fever on China’s pork sector. Also, ten entries of raw materials used in hog feed will continue to be subject to zero tariffs.

2. Tariff slash on avocado and orange juice

Avocado will be subject to a tariff of 7%, down from 30% in 2019. Imported non-frozen orange juice, as the primary source of domestic juice products, will be subject to reduced tariffs down from 30% to 15%.

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