China’s first freight train to complete a newly implemented quick customs clearance process in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, headed for Germany on Friday, opening a new chapter for the China-Europe Railway Express, local authorities said.
After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, major restrictions were imposed on international air and sea transportation. As a result, the express railway has become a major artery for transport by land.
Clearance procedures simplified, efficiency enhanced
To further improve the international logistics, the General Administration of Customs developed a new customs supervision mode under which clearance procedures are simplified to enhance efficiency.
Railway operators can apply for the service and then provide a digital manifest of the cargo to customs officials for review in advance.
Before the new procedure was adopted, customs officers had to confirm all senders and receivers of cargo and their agents. With the new mode in place, only the railway operators require verification.
“The new mode brings great convenience,” said Zhang Jiwei, who represents a supply chain management company.
Guan Yong, a customs official from Urumqi said that under the new model, each freight train can save around two or three hours when passing the port.
“This will help local enterprises in Urumqi to improve their capacity to export goods and improve clearance efficiency. Urumqi will be able to play a better role as an staging center for foreign-trade.”