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December 26, 2009

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Special clearance for participants' goods

FOREIGN participants for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo will receive customs and inspection services at the Expo site at a clearance center set up yesterday.

Local customs, inspection and quarantine authorities plan to provide tariff reductions and simplify approval procedures at the center which will be operational 24 hours a day.

"It's a demanding task as many Expo-related goods are special and unique," said Mao Xiaohan, the director of the center.

Mao estimated the arrival of Expo-related goods will reach a peak between February and March.

The site has three warehouses covering 40,000 square meters and six dispatch centers. Another 1,000 square meters will be set aside for precious Expo exhibits.

About 600,000 people are expected to visit the Expo site each day, said Mao.

Foreign participants can declare goods beforehand and some items will not be taxed, said Shi Min, an official with Shanghai Customs. State tax authorities are discussing tariff discounts for other goods.

Shanghai Customs officials checked 205 batches of Expo-related goods worth over US$31 million from September 26 to December 15.

Local inspection and quarantine authorities said yesterday that they would pay "special attention to some rare or endangered species."

They have established 11 teams covering checks on various goods such as plants, animals, and industry exhibitions.

Among them, two rare Aldabra tortoises, presented by the Seychelles, arrived in the city in November.

Also arrived were plant materials including French rose seeds.


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