Cross-strait Customs Cooperation Agreement
· Area of Law： Customs Taiwan Affairs
· Level of Authority： Group Provisions
· Date issued：08-09-2012
· Effective Date：08-09-2012
· Status： Effective
· Issuing Authority： Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Straits Exchange Foundation
Cross-strait Customs Cooperation Agreement
(Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and the Straits Exchange Foundation, August 9, 2012)
For purposes of promoting cross-strait economic and trade exchanges and development, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (“ARATS”) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (“SEF”) have reached an agreement as follows on cross-strait customs cooperation upon equal negotiations in accordance with the relevant provisions of Article 6 of the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the “ECFA”):
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 Definitions
For the purpose of this agreement,
The term “customs procedures” means the relevant procedures and provisions that the customs of both sides and administrative counterparts shall comply with;
The term “customs cooperation” means all cooperation activities conducted by both sides for implementing customs provisions;
The term “means of transport” means all kinds of vessels, vehicles and aircrafts that are used for carrying persons, goods and articles into and out of the mainland or Taiwan;
The term “requesting customs” means the customs of one side asking for assistance; and
The term “requested customs” means the customs of one side asked for assistance.
Article 2 Scope
This Agreement shall be applicable to the issues concerning the implementation of customs procedures and customs cooperation.
Article 3 Objectives
The objectives of this Agreement are to:
1. promote the simplification and coordination of customs procedures of both sides, improve the efficiency of customs clearance and facilitate the implementation of the ECFA; and
2. facilitate exchanges of personnel and goods across the straits and promote cross-strait trade facilitation and security.
Chapter II Customs Procedures
Article 4 Facilitation
1. Both sides shall ensure the certainty, consistency and transparency of the customs procedures and their implementation, and ensure that their provisions on customs valuation, classification of goods and so on are consistent with the relevant provisions of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) or the World Customs Organization (“WCO”).
2. Both sides shall take appropriate measures to facilitate the customs clearance of goods, articles and means of transport, and gradually apply information technology to promote the development of paperless customs clearance.
Article 5 Risk management
The customs of both sides shall focus on identifying high-risk enterprises and goods, and implement the authentication system of authorized economic operators (hereinafter referred to as the “AEO”) to facilitate the customs clearance of goods.
Article 6 Transparency
The customs of both sides shall take the following measures to improve transparency, including but not limited to:
1. announcing the provisions relevant to the rights and obligations of the administrative counterparts;
2. setting up necessary enquiry offices to accept the relevant business consultations of the administrative counterparts;
3. when the customs provisions of one side have undergone any major amendments, and may have substantial impacts on the implementation of this Agreement, the customs of the side shall inform the customs of the other side in a timely manner; and
4. upon the request of the customs of one side, the customs of the other side shall provide information on the modifications of the provisions which have been issued and affected the administrative counterparts.
Article VII Administrative remedies
The provisions of the customs of both sides shall grant administrative counterparts the right to apply for administrative remedies of the decisions made by the customs.
Chapter III Customs Cooperation
Article 8 Contents of cooperation
The customs of both sides shall cooperate with each other in the following areas, including but not limited to:
1. informing each other of the relevant customs provisions; exchanging in a timely manner the certificates, documents and other relevant materials of customs valuation, classification of goods and determination of the origin that are relevant to ECFA trade in goods;
2. for the purpose of accurately levying tariffs on import goods under ECFA trade in goods, providing and checking, on one's own initiative or upon request, the relevant information on customs valuation, classification of goods and determination of the origin;
3. conducting cooperation and technical exchanges relevant to the investigation and handling of smuggling, and providing, on one's own initiative or upon request, the intelligence information and assistance relevant to the investigation and handling of smuggling and other violations of customs provisions;
4. communicating and coordinating with each other in a timely manner with respect to the problems arising from the process of customs clearance and taking necessary measures to resolve them;
5. for the risk management measures adopted in their respective customs supervision of both sides, selecting feasible projects for cooperation;
6. gradually implementing the mutual recognition of AEO and facilitating customs clearance;
7. conducting exchanges and cooperation in the methods of application of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in their respective customs supervision;
8. strengthening exchanges and cooperation in the customs management in the areas under special customs supervision;
9. establishing a customs electronic information exchange system related to ECFA trade in goods;
10. cooperating in the issues of temporary approval of goods clearance;
11. conducting cooperation in customs trade statistics, exchanging trade statistics on a regular basis, conducting technical exchanges in trade statistical rules, methods, analysis of differences in statistical data, and so on; and
12. conducting mutual visits, exchanges, learning and special subject seminars.
Chapter IV Requesting Procedures
Article 9 Manners of request
The requesting customs shall make a request in writing with the list of required documents attached. In case of any emergency, the requesting customs may make an oral request, but shall confirm it in writing as soon as possible.
Article 10 Content of a request
1. A request made in accordance with this Agreement shall include:
(1) the requesting customs;
(2) purposes of and reasons for the request;
(3) the relevant information on the matters under request;
(4) the measures under request;
(5) explanations on the relevant provisions involved;
(6) time limit for reply and contact information; and
(7) other matters that the customs of both sides agree that they should be explained.
2. The requested customs may, when necessary, require the requesting customs to correct or supplement the above request.
Article 11 Execution of a request
1. The requested customs shall take reasonable execution measures within the scope of its authority and capacity.
2. The requested customs may, upon request, provide documents and other articles that have been subject to appropriate authentication. Except for special requirements of written documents, the requested customs may send electronic information and provide necessary explanations.
3. Where the issues under request involve any other relevant department other than the requested customs, the requested customs shall transfer the request to the relevant department, and inform the handling information to the requesting customs.
4. The requested customs may execute the relevant request upon the request of the requesting customs, unless the request is in conflict with the relevant provisions or practices of the requested customs.
Chapter V Other Issues
Article 12 Contact mechanism
1. Both sides agree that, the Customs Cooperation Working Team (“CCWT”) of the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Committee shall be responsible for handling the issues related to this Agreement and customs cooperation, the contact persons respectively designated by the customs of both sides shall be responsible for liaison and contact hotlines shall be set up to ensure the smooth implementation of this Agreement. When necessary, by mutual consent, other entities may be designated to be responsible for liaison of specific matters.
2. The CCWT may, when necessary, set up working sub-teams to be responsible for handling the matters related to this Agreement, which shall report to the CCWT.
3. The customs of both sides shall, when necessary, hold meetings to assess the implementation of this Agreement and deliberate and resolve relevant problems.
Article 13 Confidentiality obligations
1. Any information obtained in accordance with this Agreement shall be subject to protection of the degree same as the protection that the similar information obtained from the recipient should receive;
2. Where the customs of one side has special requirements for the confidentiality of the information provided and explains the reasons, the customs of the other side shall provide special protection;
3. Without obtaining a written approval from the requested customs in advance, the requesting customs shall neither transfer the information obtained to any other entity or person nor use the information as evidence in judicial or administrative procedures.
Article 14 Costs
1. For all costs incurred from the execution of requests, the customs of both sides shall generally waive the compensation requirements. Where the costs of a huge amount or a special nature need to be paid for the execution of a request, the customs of both sides shall agree on the conditions for the execution of the request and the methods for bearing the relevant costs.
2. The customs of both sides may separately agree on the compensation of the costs incurred from the implementation of the cooperation matters as prescribed in Article 8 of this Agreement.
Article 15 Document formats
For business contacts conducted on the basis of this Agreement, the document formats agreed on by both sides shall be adopted.
Article 16 Amendments
The amendments to this Agreement shall be agreed on by both parties upon negotiations and be confirmed in writing.
Article 17 Effectiveness
Upon signature of this Agreement, both sides shall complete the relevant procedures respectively and notify each other in writing. This Agreement shall come into force from the next day after both sides receive the notice from the other side.
This Agreement was signed on August 9 in quadruplicate with each side holding two. The different terms of the corresponding expression in the four texts have the same meaning, and the four texts shall have equal force.
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits
Chen Yunlin, President
Straits Exchange Foundation
Chiang Pin-kung, Chairman