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Customs puts Expo importers in fast lane

IMPORTS directly related to Shanghai World Expo will be fast-tracked by Customs.

The Shanghai Customs Bureau yesterday released a draft of a regulation that will ensure a smooth passage for Expo participants.

Customs officials said importers should show proof issued by the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination about relevant material when applying for clearance. The bureau will provide warranties for both Expo imports and exports when needed.

The time limit for imported Expo material staying in the city temporarily will be extended to a year from the normal six months as Expo will last for 184 days.

If imported material needs to stay in the city longer, an extension will be allowed after application. This material must leave China by May 31, 2011, according to the regulation draft.

"The new measures will avoid extension procedures for a great number of Expo imports and thus cut costs for participants," said Chen Xudong, a spokesman for Shanghai Customs.

"Customs will make every effort to allow Expo material to come in speedily."

He said Customs would allow duty-free Expo material to come in first with warranties issued by the bureau even if the goods had not yet received confirmation from the Ministry of Finance.

Customs officials said they would bring in a top-priority clearance scheme for some special material, such as the Little Mermaid bronze sculpture, the symbol of Denmark, to make sure they were imported safely and quickly.

A Customs service center has been set up at the Expo site with an all-day service.


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