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Exporting to China? GS1 standards are streamlining the customs clearance process 

Date: November 26, 2020

Category: Industry news


Author: Mark Gillott

Chinese customs are using Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) to uniquely identify products passing through their single-window declaration system

In an effort to improve the efficiency of customs clearance for imported goods, the General Administration of Customs in China has implemented a GTIN-reporting function into their “single-window” declaration system – a system whereby international traders are able to provide all information required by various official agencies through one regulatory body. 

GTINs are used to automatically unlock product information – such as product classification, country of origin and item specifics – from a standardised, international data source. This information is then used by Chinese customs to ensure the declaration information for imported goods is more accurate and consistent, improving the speed and efficiency of customs clearance. 

This means that companies using this process can complete import declaration forms within seconds, via intelligent autofill, instead of undergoing the usual manual-entry process. 

Declaration by GTIN offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Improved accuracy, consistency and quality of data used within the customs clearance process 
  • Reduction of errors and associated clearance delays
  • Improved customs efficiencies – time taken to complete an import declaration reduced from 20 minutes to just ten seconds
  • Validated origin and product data – delivering data authenticity, which helps to reduce counterfeiting issues further down the supply-chain
  • Strengthened consumer confidence and trust in imported products with smart regulatory enforcement

At present, the following product categories are included in this initiative, covering 84 brick codes:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Infant-formula milk powder
  • Milk and cream concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter
  • Skin-care products
  • Non-alcoholic beverages 
  • Beer made from malt
  • Other wine of fresh grapes 
  • Other wine of liquor distillation
  • Baby diapers
  • Other kinds of cordless phone