Exporting via a third country may help escape import taxes, but could result in more severe penalties in the long term.
Initiated mainly to circumvent anti-dumping duties and quota restrictions set by importing nations, exporting via a third country has now become a common strategy among China suppliers. Not only are companies setting up offshore offices and factories, some freight forwarders are offering transit trade services as well.
For many suppliers, this measure is a last resort to survive. The EU, for instance, set the anti-dumping duty on China-made ceramic tiles at 73 percent on March 17 this year. At this rate, buyers would have to pay $36,500 in taxes for 1 TEU of ceramic tiles worth $50,000 on top of shipping costs.
Only three companies were awarded reduced levies ranging from 26 to 37 percent.
China Ceramic Industrial Association Foshan office director Lan Wei Bing said the duty will have a significant impact on 80 percent of manufacturers, and may cause 15 percent of the factories to close down. At least 10,000 people are likely to lose their jobs as a result.
While buyers shoulder anti-dumping duties, the cost of doing so may lead them to look for suppliers in countries that have lower or no such taxes.
With transit trade, China-made goods are first sent to a third country. Products are transferred from containers in the transit port to those heading to the final destination. Export documents, including the original copy of the certificate of origin, packing list and bill of lading, need to be filled out and completed according to the third country's requirements. The certificate of origin has to be acquired from legitimate channels such as manufacturers and trading companies based there. Payment should also be made and confirmed in the third country.
Although buyers would have to spend a little bit more on shipping fees, the additional cost will still be much lower than anti-dumping duties.
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