23 04 2016 Chinese customs will suspend the release of Withheld Articles/Luggage of Passengers from June 1st 2016

The Chinese General Administration of Customs recently published on its website the Announcement No. 14/2016, clarifying the regulation for the temporary storage of inward/outward passenger luggage temporarily withheld by the Customs. The Announcement will come into effect on June 1st 2016.

According to the Announcement, customs shall temporarily suspend the release of luggage containing imported or exported items under the following circumstances: passengers cannot pay the import tax on items on the spot; the imported items are subject to license, but the passengers are unable to provide it on the spot; in case the quantity of imported or exported items exceed the limit for personal use, the items shall be subject to customs declaration formalities which have not been undertaken yet, in accordance with the regulation; in case of doubt of the nature or content, imported or exported items shall go through the identification and authentication procedures of the Customs Administration; items that shall not be released for some time in accordance to other regulations.

In accordance to the Announcement, items such inflammable and explosive, toxic, fresh or perishable goods and other goods that cannot be stored or it is not easy to store shall be returned to passengers or transferred to the relevant specialized institution. In both cases, all the expenses shall be borne by the passengers.

 In case of temporary refusal to release the temporarily stored items, the Customs shall issue an official Temporary Storage Proof to be confirmed and signed by the passengers. While handling the procedures to retrieve the items, passengers shall present the original Proof and an identity document to the Customs officer.

The Announcement clarifies that passengers shall handle the customs procedures within three months from the date of beginning of the temporary storage. In case of delays, the Customs will handle the items in accordance with the law.