Hong Kong has sharply reduced customs inspections for goods bound for mainland China by land after it signed a cross-border mutual recognition agreement, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.
The agreement under the authorized economic operator (AEO) scheme provides priority clearance between the two sides, resulting in a 75 percent fall in customs inspections in Hong Kong.
About 5,036 goods of various types have been processed daily in Hong Kong since the deal went into effect in May. It was first launched in 2012 and subsequently expanded to allow more concessions.
Hong Kong has similar agreements with South Korea, India and Singapore, the report said.
A new agreement with the mainland covering marine and air freight will debut next Monday while that with South Korea will start on Friday.
AEO companies that ship goods to countries covered by mutual recognition arrangements with Hong Kong enjoy customs facilitation including priority clearance, reduced inspections and faster approval.
Such measures enable them to achieve faster turnover than their non-AEO competitors, a big advantage in the fast-moving logistics sector, said Jimmy Tam, a senior superintendent in the office of supply chain security management of Hong Kong Customs and Excise.
At present, 18 enterprises have received AEO certification in Hong Kong, many of which are from the transport and logistics sector.
These include Kerry Cargo, UPS, DHL and Federal Express.
Meanwhile, another 60 companies are awaiting customs certification.
Hong Kong plans to sign AEO deals with its 10 major trading partners in the next two years, with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand on top of the agenda.
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