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AI tool speeds up origin certificate approval at Urumqi customs

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: January 21, 2021

A certificate of origin was issued soon after an employee of a foreign trade company in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region sent an application to Urumqi customs through the internet on Jan 18.

Thanks to artificial intelligence technology, the whole process, from applying the certificate online to printing it out, was done within one minute.

The General Administration of Customs has been intelligentizing the review and approval of origin certificates across the country since Dec 10, 2020. The move was made to benefit enterprises and replace the traditional manual processes.

The intelligent model can handle applications involving 16 kinds of origin certificates instantly and comprehensively, based on risk analysis and big data research.

An employee from a local tomato processing enterprise said the certificate of origin is an important piece of evidence for their exports. His certificate was printed on a self-service machine in May last year, and they didn’t have to make a round trip to the customs for the document.

“I did not expect the process to be further intelligentized in December, ” the employee said, adding that it saved them at least a day's work.

According to Urumqi customs, about 500 certificates have been approved over the past month or more.

An official in the tariff section of the local customs agency said that intelligent approval is a “major reform” for the issue of origin certificates.

In 2020, Urumqi customs issued 7,017 certificates of origin, with a total value of 3.738 billion yuan ($578.27 million) and enabled exporters to enjoy preferential tariffs worth100 million yuan.

Certificate of origin is an important document for export products to enjoy foreign tariff reduction and other preferential treatment - a "passport" and a "golden key" to enter the international market.