FTA China – Switzerland: AQSIQ can approve Origin Certificates in China

China has notified Switzerland that besides the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) also the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureaus of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) are now recognised as approving authority for Origin Certificates under the new Free Trade Agreement. This change is backdated to the entry into force of the agreement.

With the launch of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between China and Switzerland in July 2014, only the CCPIT could approve Origin Certificates in China. The AQSIQ on the other hand has previously been responsible to approve Form.A certificates under the GSP for developing countries which are no longer valid to benefit from preferential duty rates upon the import in Switzerland due to the entry into force of the FTA.
China has now appointed the AQSIQ as well as an approving authority besides the CCPIT and has notified Switzerland of this change. The Swiss Customs Administration has informed about that change in a recent circular (available in German, French and Italian on the homepage of the Swiss Customs Administration under the following link: http://www.ezv.admin.ch/dokumentation/04032/04620/index.html).

So, Chinese exporters shipping goods to Switzerland under the bilateral FTA need to complete the required Origin Certificate and submit it to one of the following two approving authorities:

  • China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)
  • General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine – Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureaus (AQSIQ)

The change is backdated to the implementation of the agreement (i.e. 1 July 2014), which means that also origin certificates for qualifying products approved by the AQSIQ prior to the notification are a valid proof of origin under the FTA (but not Form.A, as mentioned).

Companies having the Status as Approved Exporter may issue the origin declaration on invoices or other commercial documents (which identify the respective goods) autonomously without going through any approval process for each individual shipment.

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