China prepared to make RCEP trade deal tariff cuts

China is well prepared for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement to take effect in January, with all preparations in place to ensure the country fully meets its obligations when the agreement comes into effect, the Chinese ministry of commerce (MOFCOM) recently said in a statement. China ratified the RCEP and submitted the document to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in April.

China can guarantee that the tax reduction obligation will be fulfilled when the agreement takes effect, the ministry categorically said.

It added that considering the rules of origin, customs formulated the RCEP origin management measures and exporters’ management measures in the first half of the year, which will be announced and implemented simultaneously with the implementation of the agreement.

Training sessions aimed at introducing the agreement to local governments and enterprises have been carried out, covering all prefecture-level cities, pilot free trade zones and national economic development zones.

RCEP covers nearly a third of the global population and about 30 per cent of global gross domestic product. It will take effect on January 1, 2022.

The pact allows for one set of rules of origin to qualify for tariffs reduction with its members. A common set of regulations mean fewer procedures and easier movement of goods.

MOFCOM said it has carefully sorted out the 701 binding obligations involved in the agreement in coordination with the relevant departments, including simplification of customs procedures, product standards, service trade opening-up, negative list in investment, and e-commerce.

“At present, all departments involved in the obligations are ready to act according to the contract,” the ministry added.

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