As part of trial operations before formal island-wide independent customs operations come into effect, zero-tariff policies have been an essential step taken by China’s island province of Hainan in the early stages of developing itself into a free trade port. According to its provincial Department of Finance, the preferential policies have benefited many Hainan-based businesses, which have imported goods totaling approximately RMB13 billion (USD1.82 billion) under the policies to date.
The master plan for the Hainan Free Trade Port, released on June 1, 2020, states that China intends to develop Hainan into a globally influential, high-level free trade port. Within the Hainan FTP, goods and items that fall under its zero-tariff lists will be exempt from import duties, import value-added tax, and consumption tax.
The plan proposes that the province should have one zero-tariff negative list and three zero-tariff positive lists, with the negative list applying to self-use production equipment imported by enterprises (effective from March 2021) and the positive lists applying to the following goods:
(1) Raw and auxiliary materials imported for manufacturing for own use, in import-process-export manufacturing and processing, or import-service-export service trade;
(2) Ships, aircraft, yachts, and other means of transport imported to Hainan for transportation and tourism;
(3) Imported goods for consumption by residents of Hainan.
Hainan has stepped up efforts to achieve the goals laid out in the master plan and has seen the implementation of the first three lists while speeding up the formulation of the fourth and final list.