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Guide to Customs Clearance of Reporting Equipment Carried by Foreign Journalists
2012/04/19     Source:

I. Applicability

This Guide to Customs Clearance of Reporting Equipment Carried by Foreign Journalists (hereinafter referred to as the “Guide”) is used as a reference for resident foreign journalists and foreign journalists for short-term coverage in China to go through customs clearance procedures for the entry and exit of the reporting equipment carried by them.

Resident foreign journalists refer to the professional journalists who are dispatched by foreign news agencies for a mission of over 6 months of news coverage within the customs territory of the P.R.C. They hold J-1 visa.

Foreign journalists for short-term coverage refer to the professional journalists who stay within the customs territory of the P.R.C. for no more than 6 months for the purpose of news coverage. They hold J-2 visa.

II. Customs clearance procedures for entry and exit of reporting equipment

A. Resident foreign journalists

Resident foreign journalists wishing to bring reporting equipment into or out of the customs territory of the P.R.C. shall go through necessary procedures in accordance with the Rules of the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China on Entry and Exit of Articles of Resident Offices for Official Use (Decree No. 115 of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China).

Prior to applying for entry of articles for official use for the first time, resident offices of foreign news agencies established in China shall go through the recordation formalities at the competent customs house upon the strength of relevant documents.

When applying for entry of articles for official use, resident offices shall file an application with the competent customs house and present the Customs Recordation Certificate, the Customs Application Form for Entry and Exit of Articles for Official Use (hereinafter referred to as the “Application Form”), bills of lading (waybills), invoices and other related documents. When going through declaration procedures with the Customs at the place of entry for articles for official use, resident offices shall fill out or entrust a customs broker to fill out the Import Declaration Form, and present the Application Form approved by the competent customs house, bills of lading (waybills), invoices and other related documents.

B. Foreign journalists for short-term coverage

1. Journalists accompanying state guest delegations

Journalists who accompany state guest delegations headed by heads of state, heads of government or foreign ministers on visits to China and wish to carry reporting equipment into the customs territory of the P.R.C. shall submit to the customs at the place of entry the Certificate Letter for Reporting Equipment of Journalists Accompanying State Guest Delegations issued by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, the list of reporting equipment and other documents as required by the customs to go through the entry procedures.

Once the state guest delegations have concluded the visits, the accompanying journalists shall re-export the reporting equipment out of the customs territory of the P.R.C. in time.

2. Journalists with letter of guarantee

a) Entry procedures

For the entry of their reporting equipment, journalists shall submit to the customs at the place of entry the letter of guarantee issued by organizations which are qualified by the customs to issue such letter of guarantee or by banks or non-bank financial institutions authorized by the customs, the list of reporting equipment, J-2 visa and other related documents to go through the entry procedures. Upon completion of the entry procedures, journalists will receive an envelope sealed by customs which should be properly kept for the re-exportation formalities of the reporting equipment.

b) Exit procedures

When exiting, journalists shall present to the customs at the place of exit the envelope sealed and issued by the customs at the place of entry.

When the place of entry and the place of exit are the same port, the customs at the place of exit will, after confirming that all the equipment carried by the journalists is re-exported, note and stamp on the original letter of guarantee, complete the write-off procedures and return the stamped letter of guarantee to the journalists.

If the journalists enter and exit via different ports, the customs at the place of exit will, after confirming that all the equipment carried by the journalists is re-exported, put the letter of guarantee duly noted and stamped by it into a customs envelope, seal it and return it to the journalists or the organizations issuing the letter of guarantee. The journalists (or the issuing organizations) shall submit the letter of guarantee noted and stamped by the customs at the place of exit or the customs envelope to the customs at the place of entry to complete the closing procedures on the letter of guarantee.

3. Journalists without letter of guarantee

Journalists without letter of guarantee may, by themselves, provide the customs with related documents, pay a security for the temporary admission of their reporting equipment, and after the completion of re-exportation of the equipment, get the security refunded.

a) Entry procedures

When entering with reporting equipment, journalists shall take the red channel, fill out the Baggage Declaration Form for Incoming/Outgoing Passengers (hereinafter referred to as the “Declaration Form”; see annex 1), display their J-2 visa, and submit two copies of the list of reporting equipment to declare the equipment to the customs at the place of entry.

Journalists shall then pay a security (in RMB cash) in light of the amount specified in the Receipt of Customs Security/Caution Money/Mortgage issued by the customs.

After completing the entry procedures, journalists shall ask the customs at the place of entry for an Application Form for Refund of Security for Reporting Equipment of Journalists at Places Other Than the Place of Entry (hereinafter referred to as the “Application Form”, see annex 3), fill out the form, and keep it properly together with the customs envelope sealed and issued by the customs at the place of entry for future use at the place of exit to go through the necessary exit formalities there.

b) Exit and security refund procedures

To apply for refund of security at the place of exit for the reporting equipment, a journalist shall, 4 days in advance prior to exit, fax the Application Form and the receipt copy of the Receipt of Customs Security/Caution Money/Mortgage to the customs at the place of exit (see Annex 4 for contact persons, telephone and fax numbers) and then make confirmation.

When exiting with the reporting equipment, journalists shall submit to the customs at the place of exit the Application Form and the customs envelope sealed and issued by the customs at the place of entry.

After confirmation, the customs at the place of exit will refund to the journalists an amount in cash or cash cheque in RMB which equals the amount deposited at the place of entry.

After receiving the refunded amount, the journalist shall sign on a Verification and Approval Form for Refund of Security for Reporting Equipment of Journalists at Places Other Than the Place of Entry for confirmation.

Where a journalist fails to file the application with the Customs at the place of exit within the prescribed time limit for refund of security for his/her reporting equipment at the place of exit, or the documents he/she has submitted are incomplete, the Customs at the place of exit will not handle the formalities for refund of security for his/her reporting equipment.

C. Reporting Equipment (Facilities) under Special Management

Where a foreign journalist needs to import radio communication equipment temporarily for the purpose of coverage, the approval documents issued by related authorities shall also be submitted to the customs at the place of entry.

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