China alert - Issue 26, December 2012
General Administration of Customs Announcement  No. 38 was released on 31July, 2012 (hereafter referred to as ’Announcement No. 38’), announcing the decision to carry out a paperless customs filing pilot reform across the country to further improve trade facilitation based on the comprehensive promotion of the reform of classified filing of customs. The paperless customs filing reform is a breakthrough in pushing the process further based on the digitisation of declaration forms and the classification-based customs system, and achieving paperless filing during the entire clearance process. Paperless customs filing helps enterprises simplify the procedures of clearance in relation to submitting paper documents and obtaining customs’ signature, and therefore, reduce labor and time costs. Enterprises should consider both relevant regulations and their own circumstances to judge whether they are qualified for application, and comprehensively analyse the advantages and disadvantages of applying for paperless filing to take actions.