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New agreement to simplify customs procedures in NE China

(Xinhua)

14:29, August 12, 2012

FUYUAN, Heilongjiang, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Provincial government officials on Friday inked an agreement in Heilongjiang province to simplify customs and quarantine procedures in the northeast China region.

The agreement, signed by officials from the provinces of Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Jilin and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, is intended to allow for more efficient processing of goods and personnel in China's industrial heartland.

The agreement will combine customs and quarantine checks in the four provincial-level regions to ensure faster passage, said Zhang Guangzhi, director of the general office of the General Administration of Customs.

"Customs and quarantine authorities will share one X-ray machine while checking for smuggled goods, diseases and pests, so passengers and goods don't have to be examined twice," Zhang said.

Authorities across the region will also be asked to enhance cooperation and axe excessive inspections, said Liu Deping, a department head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The agreement is China's latest effort to boost the economy in northeast China, which borders Russia, Mongolia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and reports bustling trade with Asian countries like Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Manufacturers and dealers have pinned much of their hopes on the new agreement, as they expect it to ease arduous bureaucratic formalities concerning the import and export of goods.

"In the past, we had to export our goods from cities like Shenzhen, Dalian and Shanghai in order to get around the excessive formalities," said Zhao Wei, board chairman of a jewelry company in the city of Shenyang.

"If the agreement makes customs procedures easier here, we will be able to export right from our doorstep, which will save us a large amount on transportation fees," Zhao said.

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