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          China fetes 10th year in ATA system

          • Beijing, 18 November 2008

          Chamber of commerce experts from all over the world are gathering in Beijing 17-19 November to celebrate the 10th anniversary of China in the ATA Carnet System.

          China fetes 10th year in ATA system

          China now ranks 12th among 65 countries in the ATA System, with 3,246 Carnets issued in 2007 for goods valued at US$73 million, up 35% from 2006. In its first year, China ranked 50th among member countries after issuing only a few Carnets.

          Following 10 years of negotiations, Chinese Customs implemented the ATA System 1 March 1998 and appointed the China Chamber of International Commerce/China Centre for International Commerce (CCOIC/CCPIT) as the ATA national guaranteeing organization.

          "China has been a great addition to the ATA Carnet network and there is no doubt that its participation will grow as time goes by and further anniversaries are celebrated,” said Peter Bishop, Chairman of the ICC/WCF World ATA Carnet Council.

          "The impressive economic growth of China over the last 10 years is due to an unprecedented increase in cross-border trade and investment flows, which has made China the world's third-largest trader and economy," said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban, in his contribution to the CCOIC/CCPIT journal commemorating the anniversary.

          China has taken other recent steps to facilitate the cross border movement of goods. Chinese Customs, CCOIC/CCPIT, and the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games put in place measures to ease the issuance of ATA Carnets for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August and September. During the games, 464 ATA Carnets entered the Chinese Customs territory representing 21% of all the goods. ATA Carnets represented US$ 400 million, 33% of the total value of the goods, including TV and radio equipment used by news crews from around the world.

          This experience paves the way for the Chinese authorities to extend the scope of application of ATA Carnets to professional equipment and commercial samples in the near future.

          China offers a shining example to its neighbours in the region of ATA Carnets in action, including Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

          A veritable “passport to world trade”, ATA Carnets help exporters reduce costs and simplify customs procedures. The system permits the duty- and tax-free temporary export of a wide range of goods for business use for up to one year. Almost 160,000 ATA Carnets were issued worldwide in 2007 for goods valued at US$17 billion.

          Rona Yircali, Chairman of the ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF), said: "The ATA Carnet is a brilliant example of how close cooperation between business and customs can facilitate and stimulate international trade".

          As well as the 10th anniversary celebration, the ICC/WCF Task Force on Certificates of Origin gathered trade documentation experts from all over the world and Chinese Customs representatives to discuss issues of common interest – including electronic and preferential certificates of origin. CCOIC/CCPIT also translated the ICC/WCF publication Certificate of Origin Guidelines into Chinese.

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