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Hong Kong To Halve Import, Export Charges

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

20 April 2012


To boost Hong Kong's external trade by lowering transaction costs and thereby benefiting the import-export sector, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau has proposed halving import and export declaration charges (TDEC).

At present, any person who imports, exports or re-exports any article other than an exempted article is required to lodge with Hong Kong's Commissioner of Customs and Excise an import or export declaration within 14 days and pay the TDEC.

Those charges currently amount, for imported food items, to HKD0.5 (USD0.065) per declaration irrespective of value; and, for other imported goods and all exports (whether of Hong Kong origin or not), HKD0.5 in respect of the first HKD46,000 of the value of the goods, and HKD0.25 in respect of each additional HKD1,000 or part thereof.

The Financial Secretary announced, in his Budget Speech on February 1 this year, a package of support measures for the business sector. One of the measures is to reduce TDEC across the board by half to ease the business costs for the import and export trade.

The Import & Export (Registration) (Amendment) Regulation 2012 will be tabled at the Legislative Council on May 9, for implementation on June 1, and, to counteract part of the effect of the worsening external economic environment on Hong Kong's external merchandise trade, should help companies lodging trade declarations save an average of HKD9,000 a year.

"The proposed reduction of TDEC would have positive effects on Hong Kong's external trade as it would lower the transaction costs, and thus directly benefit the import and export sector generally," a Treasury spokesman said, adding that the proposed reduction should also underline the efforts of the government to enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international trading centre.

TAGS: tax | business | commerce | international financial centres (IFC) | fees | offshore | Hong Kong | trade

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