China–Italy Customs cooperation: agreements with Shanghai’s port

On February 12 2018 Mr. Giovanni Kessler, Director of the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency, announced a new important step towards the improvement of cooperation between the customs of Italy and China. The main goal of such improved cooperation is to counter fraud and to safeguard people’s safety and health.

The announcement was made during a meeting held on February 9 in Beijing between Kessler and the Minister Yu Guangzhou, head of Chinese customs, in the context of the First World Conference on Transactional E-Commerce jointly organized by the Chinese Customs authorities and the World Customs Organization (WCO). During the event, the Chinese delegation reported interesting data on the growth of commercial transactions between the two States. In regards to the year 2017, it was calculated that the import of Chinese products in Italy increased by 10,6 %, while the export of Italian products in China increased by 22% compared to the previous year. By considering these results, Kessler and Yu both stated that the cooperation between the two customs has already achieved good results, especially in contrast of under-invoicing, dangerous waste traffic and counterfeiting.

These phenomena – said Kessler – endanger the economy and compromise the safety of the customers of both countries.

The parties further agreed to enhance the cooperation instruments between the two custom services. In more detail, they jointly agreed to conclude, within a few months, a new cooperation agreement with the aim to allow direct and cross-checks between the customs of some Italian ports and the port of Shanghai, which is the most important worldwide as per container traffic.

Moreover, during this month the Chinese Ambassador in Italy, Mr. Li Ruyiu, also expressed the willingness to conclude a cooperation agreement in a conference dedicated to the new “One Belt One Road Initiative”. The Ambassador referred, in his speech, that Chinese authorities and companies had already contacted the ports of Trieste, Genoa and Venice to develop new cooperation opportunities: the goal is to achieve the signature of a memorandum of understanding as soon as possible.

The Italian Ambassador in China Mr. Ettore Francesco Sequi on his side declared that the Italian government has offered to Chinese a new route, complementary to the railway that Beijing plans to build to link the Greek port to Europe through the Balkans and that suggests to use the existing and already well-tested rail and port systems, like Trieste. The reason is because, on one hand, they are immediately available, extremely well linked and boast one of the fastest custom clearance procedures in Europe, while from the Piraeus, the building of an adequate and expensive rail link system would be deemed necessary; on the other hand, because it would be difficult to allow the transit of a huge volume of containers from Asia to the Mediterranean though just one port.

The conclusion of new cooperation agreements between Chinese and Italian Customs Authorities are therefore imminent.

We will keep you updated on this topic; for any further information you might need, please do not hesitate to contact us via D’Andrea & Partners also wishes all the friends a Happy Lantern Festival!