China adjusts VAT export tax on steel products

In a move sure to piss of the US government, the Chinese government’s Ministry of Finance said the country would remove the export tax on steel products as of Jan. 1, 2018. The export taxes range from 5% to 15%. Stainless steel plate export tariffs will fall to 5% from 10%, while billet tariffs will be 10%, down from 15% currently.

Over the past 11 months, China’s net exports of steel products have fallen by 35% to 57.7-million mt, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs.

The official Ministry of Finance statement on the move:

China will adjust duties on a number of import and export items from next year, the country’s Ministry of Finance said on Dec 15.

“To encourage imports of advanced equipment, key machine components and raw energy materials, import taxes on products including dobby or jacquard looms, cathode materials for power batteries, raw materials for advanced medicine, and coconut fiber will be lowered starting Jan 1,” the ministry said in an online statement.

Export duties on products like steel and chlorite will be scrapped, while those on commodities including apatite, coal tar and wood chips will be reduced, the statement said.

The provisional import tax rate on nickel ingots will be raised, and provisional duties on certain solid waste imports, such as waste steel and ores, will be replaced by tariffs applicable to most favored nations, as the government plans stricter management of such materials.

To boost the development of the Belt and Road Initiative and free trade areas, China will also apply conventional tariffs on products from 26 countries and regions in line with trade pacts, the ministry said.

This will result in lower tariffs with trade partners including ASEAN, the Republic of Korea and Australia, among others, as well as continued tariff concession with members of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement.

More products will enjoy zero tariffs under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, and the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan will continue to be effective.

 

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