Switzerland to simplify customs procedures for Chinese products

China and Switzerland ink a free trade agreement in 2013. [Photo: Xinhua]

China and Switzerland have signed a customs agreement on mutual authorized economic operator (AEO) status, a move that will further boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the country’s top customs authority said on Saturday.

Chinese companies that obtain the AEO status will enjoy the same simplified customs procedures as native Swiss companies when their products enter Switzerland, the General Administration of Customs said in a statement on its website.

According to the World Customs Organization (WCO), an AEO is an organization or company involved in the international movement of goods that has been certified by, or on behalf of, a national customs administration and complies with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards.

China and Switzerland launched AEO negotiations at the start of 2015, and finally reached the agreement this month after three rounds of talks.

AEO programs are expected to play a key role in boosting the country’s exports amid sluggish global demand, according the statement.

China’s exports dipped 2 percent year on year to 13.84 trillion yuan last year, while imports rose 0.6 percent from one year earlier to 10.49 trillion yuan.

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