[Article 1] This Law has been formulated with a view of safeguarding national
sovereignty and interests, strengthening Customs control, promoting exchanges in
the areas of economy, trade, science, technology and culture with foreign
countries and protecting the construction of socialist modernization.
[Article 2] The Customs of the People's Republic of China is a state organ
responsible for the control over inbound and outbound activities through the
The Customs shall, in accordance with this Law and other related laws and
regulations, exercise control over the inbound and outbound means of transport,
goods, traveller's luggage, and postal items and other articles (hereinafter
referred to as inbound and outbound means of transport, goods and articles);
collect Customs duties and other taxes and fees; prevent smuggling; compile
Customs statistics and deal with other Customs affairs.
[Article 3] The State Council establishes the Customs General Administration
to govern uniformly all Customs in the country.
The State establishes the customs at the ports open to foreign countries and
other localities where Customs affairs are concentrated. Administratively
Customs offices are not subordinate to the government administration of various
The local Customs shall perform its functions and exercise its powers
independently and be accountable only to the Customs General Administration.
[Article 4] The Customs is invested with the following powers:
(1) To check the inbound and outbound means of transport, examine inbound and
outbound goods and articles; to detain those in violation of this Law or other
related laws and regulations;
(2) To verify the papers and identifications of inbound and outbound
personnel; to interrogate those suspected of violating this Law or other related
laws and regulations, and to investigate their illegal activities;
(3) To examine or make copy of contracts, invoices, accounts, bills, records,
documents, business letters, tape recordings, video recordings and other data
which are related to the inbound and outbound means of transport, goods and
articles; to detain those connected with the means of transport, goods and
articles which are involved in violations of this Law or other laws and
(4) To search the means of transport suspected of smuggling and storage places
suspected of concealment of smuggled goods and to search those persons suspected
of smuggling within the Customs surveillance zone and specified border and
coastal areas near a Customs office. Upon the approval of the director of the
Customs house, to detain the suspected smuggler and hand him over to the
judicial organ. The duration of detention shall not exceed 24 hours under normal
circumstances, but it may be extended to 48 hours in special cases.
The range of the specified border and coastal areas shall be defined by the
Customs General Administration in conjunction with the Ministry of Public
Security and provincial governments concerned.
(5) To pursue and seize those inbound and outbound means of transport, or
persons defying and escaping from Customs control, the pursuit of which may be
continued beyond the Customs surveillance zone or the specified nearby border
and coastal areas so that the transport means or persons in question may be
booked and dealt with according to the proper procedures.
(6) The Customs may be provided with fire arms for performing its duty. The
rules governing the bearing and using of fire arms by the Customs officer shall
be drawn up by the Customs General Administration in conjunction with the
Ministry of Public Security and approved by the State Council.
[Article 5] All inbound and outbound means of transport, goods, articles shall
enter or leave the country at places (points) where a Customs office is located.
Where temporary inbound or outbound passage at a place without a Customs office
is requested in a special case, permission shall have to be obtained from the
State Council or a department empowered by the State Council and the Customs
formalities shall be followed in accordance with relevent provisions of this
[Article 6] Unless otherwise provided for, all import and export goods shall
be declared and their duties paid by declaration units which have been
registered with the Customs or by enterprises authorized to engage in import or
export business. The declarants of the above-mentioned units and enterprises
shall be tested and approved by the Customs.
The Customs formalities concerning declaration and duty payment of inbound and
outbound articles may be fulfilled by the owner or other person entrusted by the
owner as his agent.
The agent entrusted for Customs declaration purposes shall abide by all
provisions of this Law applicable to the owner.
[Article 7] All Customs officers shall abide by the laws and regulations,
enforce the law justly, be loyal to their duties and perform them in a manner as
befits a public service.
No units or individuals shall obstruct the Customs in performing its duties.
Where such obstruction occurs while the Customs officer performs his duty, the
public security organs and the troop of the People's Armed Police responsible
for such matters shall provide assistance.
CHAPTER II INBOUND AND OUTBOUND MEANS OF TRANSPORT
[Article 8] When inbound and outbound means of transport call at or intend to
leave a place where a Customs office is located, the carrier shall make an
accurate declaration, lodge or present papers and documents to the Customs and
be subject to Customs control.
All inbound and outbound means of transport that stop or berth at a place
where a Customs office is located shall not depart without prior approval by the
Before any inbound or outbound means of transport intends to move from one
Customs point to another, requirements for Customs control shall be met, Customs
formalities shall be followed and any deviation to foreign territory before it
is cleared by the Customs is prohibited.
[Article 9] Inbound means of transport pending declaration to the Customs
after entering the territory and outbound means of transport pending to leave
the territory after being cleared by the Customs shall both move along the route
specified by the competent communications organs or the Customs in case the
communications organs have no such specification.
[Article 10] The time of arrival or departure, the place of stay, any moving
during their stay and the time for loading or discharging the cargoes or
articles of all inbound and outbound vessels, trains and aircraft shall be
notified in advance to the Customs by the carrier or related communications and
[Article 11] The loading and discharging of inbound and outbound cargoes and
articles, the embarking and disembarking of inbound and outbound passengers from
or to the means of transport shall be carried out under Customs control.
Upon the completion of loading or discharging of such goods and articles, the
carrier shall submit to the Customs the delivery receipt and records containing
the actual situation.
Articles carried by the person embarking or disembarking the inbound and
outbound means of transport shall be declared to the Customs accurately and
subject to Customs examination.
[Article 12] While the inbound or outbound means of transport is being
searched by the Customs, the officer in charge of the carrier shall be present
and the hatches of holds and the doors of cabins, rooms and vehicles shall
remain open as required by the Customs. In case that smuggling is suspected, the
compartment where smuggled goods may be stored shall be dismantled and the goods
or materials shall be removed.
Where deemed necessary, the Customs may dispatch officers to perform duties on
board the means of transport and the officer in charge of the carrier shall
render the necessary assistance or facilities.
[Article 13] Inbound means of transport of foreign registry and outbound means
of transport of domestic registry shall not have their ownership transferred or
used for other purposes before having gone through the Customs formalities and
their Customs duties paid.
[Article 14] Where inbound and outbound vessels and aircraft are also engaged
in transport of goods or passengers within the territory of China, Customs
approval shall be obtained and requirements for Customs control shall be
Inbound or outbound means of transport that change over to transport inside
the territory of China shall go through the Customs formalities before hand as
[Article 15] Coastal vessels, fishing boats and special ships engaged in
operation on sea shall not carry, exchange, purchase, or transfer the ownership
of inbound or outbound goods and articles without prior Customs approval.
[Article 16] Where an inbound or outbound vessel or aircraft is forced to call
or land at places without a Customs office, or jettison or discharge goods at
such places owing to force majeure, the officer of the carrier in charge shall
report the matter to the nearby Customs without delay.
[Article 17] All the following goods shall be subject to Customs control:
import goods from the time of entering the territory of China till the
completion of the Customs formalities, export goods from the time the Customs
declaration is made right up to the time of leaving the territory, and goods in
transit, transshipment and through shipment from the time they enter the
territory up to the time they leave the territory.
[Article 18] The consignee for import goods and consignor for export goods
shall make an accurate declaration, submit the import or export license and the
relevant papers and documents to the Customs. Without an import or an export
license, goods subject to import or export control by the State shall not be
released. Details shall be specified by the State Council.
Declaration with the Customs shall be made by the consignee for import goods
within 14 days after the inbound means of transport declares its arrival and,
unless specially approved by the Customs, 24 hours before loading for export
goods by the consignor.
Where the consignee of import goods fails to declare with the Customs within
the time limit mentioned above, a fee for delayed declaration shall be charged
by the Customs.
[Article 19] All import and export goods shall be subject to Customs
examination. While goods are being examined by the Customs, the consignee for
import goods or consignor for export goods shall be present and responsible for
moving the goods, opening and restoring the package. Where deemed necessary, the
Customs may examine, re-examine the goods or take samples in the absence of the
consignee or consignor.
Upon the application of the consignee or consignor and being approved by the
Customs General Administration, import or export goods may be exempted from
[Article 20] Unless specially approved by the Customs, import and export goods
shall be released only upon endorsement by the Customs after duties have been
paid or a proper guarantee has been submitted.
[Article 21] Where the consignee fails to declare with the Customs within 3
months from the date of declaration of the means of transport concerned, the
goods shall be taken over and sold off by the Customs. The balance of the
proceeds of the sale after deduction of expenses for transport, loading and
discharging, storage, duties and taxes, may be returned to the consignee within
one year upon application. If a claim is not made within the time limit, the
money shall be turned over to the State Treasury.
For inbound goods, which are proven to have been misdischarged or
over-discharged, after being verified by the Customs, the necessary procedures
for their reshipment back to the original destination or for their import shall
be undertaken by the officer of the carrier in charge of the means of transport
which carried them or the consignee or the consignor of the goods within 3
months from the date of discharging from the means of transport.
The duration, when necessary, may be extended another 3 months upon Customs
approval. If the formalities are not accomplished with the time limit, the goods
shall be disposed of by the Customs in accordance with the preceding provision.
In case that the above-mentioned goods are not suitable for storage over a
long period of time, they shall be disposed of before the time limit by the
Customs according to the actual situation.
Import goods abandoned by the consignee or the owner with a statement to that
effect shall be taken over and sold off by the Customs, and the proceeds of such
sale, after deducting the expense for transport, discharge, and storage, shall
be turned over to the State Treasury.
[Article 22] Goods that are imported or exported on a temporary basis and
approved by the Customs shall be taken out of or into the territory within 6
months. In special cases, this time limit may be extended upon Customs approval.
[Article 23] The operation of the storage, processing, assembling and
consignment sales of the bonded goods shall be approved by the registered with
[Article 24] Customs formalities for import goods shall be completed by the
consignee at the place where the goods entering the territory and for export
goods, by the consignor, at the place where the goods leave the territory.
Upon the application of consignee or consignor, and being approved by the
Customs, formalities for import goods may be completed at the place of
destination, and for export goods, at the place of departure, provided that
these places have a Customs office. The transport of such goods from one Customs
to another shall comply with the Customs control requirements. When deemed
necessary, such conveyance shall be done under the escort of a Customs officer.
Where goods entering or leaving the territory by electric cable, pipeline or
other specific modes of transport, the business units concerned shall make the
declaration with the designated Customs and complete the Customs formalities at
[Article 25] All transit, transshipment and through-shipment goods shall be
declared with the Customs at the place where they enter the territory or are
shipped out of the territory within the specified time limit.
Where deemed necessary, the Customs may examine such goods.
[Article 26] Without Customs approval, goods under Customs control shall not
be opened, picked up, delivered, conveyed, replaced, repacked, mortgaged or
transferred, and their identifications or marks shall not be changed by any unit
Seals affixed by the Customs shall not be opened or broken by any person
without Customs authorization.
The manager of warehouses and places which store the goods under Customs
control shall fulfill the formalities of keeping an account for the receipt and
delivery in accordance with the Customs provisions.
The storage of goods under Customs control at a place outside the Customs
surveillance zone shall be approved by the Customs and subject to Customs
[Article 27] Rules governing the inbound and outbound containers, rules
governing the salvage of inbound and outbound goods and sunken ships, rules
governing import and export goods under small-scale border trade and rules
governing other inbound and outbound goods not specified in this Law shall be
drawn up by the customs General Administration independently or in conjunction
with the relevant department under the State Council.
CHAPTER IV INBOUND AND OUTBOUND ARTICLES
[Article 28] Inbound and outbound luggage carried by individuals and inbound
and outbound articles sent by post shall be for personal use, in reasonable
quantities and subject to Customs control.
[Article 29] All inbound and outbound articles shall be accurately declared
with the Customs by the owner, and be subject to Customs examination.
Seals affixed by the Customs shall not be opened or broken by any person
[Article 30] The loading, unloading, conveyance and transit of inbound and
outbound mail bags shall be subject to Customs control, and a covering way bill
shall be lodged with the Customs by the units engaged in postal service.
The units engaged in postal service shall inform the Customs in advance of the
time for the opening and sealing of international mail bags; the Customs shall
dispatch officers to the spot to exercise control over the bags in time.
[Article 31] Inbound and outbound articles sent by post shall be delivered or
handed over only after they have been examined and released by the Customs.
[Article 32] Inbound or outbound articles registered with the Customs and
temporarily exempted from Customs duty upon approval shall be brought out or
into the territory again by the person on his own.
Persons passing through the territory shall not leave behind the articles they
carry in the territory without Customs approval.
[Article 33] Inbound and outbound articles that are abandoned by the owner
with a statement, unclaimed for which Customs formalities are not completed
within the specified time limit, or postal articles which can neither be
delivered nor sent back, shall be disposed of by the Customs in accordance with
Article 21 of this Law.
[Article 34] Inbound and outbound articles intended for official or personal
use by foreign missions or personnel enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunity
shall be dealt with in accordance with the Regulations on Diplomatic Privileges
and Immunity of the People's Republic of China.
[Article 35] Unless otherwise provided for in this Law, Customs duties shall
be collected in accordance with the Import and Export Tariff (schedules) on
goods permitted to be imported or exported and articles permitted to enter or
leave the territory. The Tariff shall be made public.
[Article 36] The consignee of import goods, the consignor of export goods and
the owner of inbound and outbound articles are obligatory Customs duty payer.
[Article 37] The obligatory duty payer of import or export goods shall pay the
amount levied within 7 days following the date of issuance of the duty
memorandum. At the expiration of this time-limit, a fee for delayed payment
shall be collected by the Customs.
Where the delay exceeds 3 months, the Customs may either instruct the
guarantor to pay the duty or sell off the goods for compensation. When deemed
necessary, the Customs may request the bank to deduct the amount of duties from
the deposits of the guarantor or the obligatory duty payer.
The payment of duty on inbound or outbound articles shall be made by the
obligatory duty payer prior to their release.
[Article 38] The price for duty assessment of import goods shall be the normal
CIF price, which shall be recognized by the Customs; the price for duty
assessment of export goods shall be the FOB price, which shall be recognized by
the Customs, minus the export duty.
Where the CIF or FOB price can not be ascertained, the price for duty
assessment shall be estimated and fixed by the Customs.
The duty-paying value of an inward or outward article shall be fixed by the
[Article 39] Duty reduction or exemption shall be granted for the import and
export goods and inbound and outbound articles listed below:
(1) Advertising matters and trade samples of no commercial value;
(2) Materials by foreign governments or international organizations;
(3) Goods suffering damage or loss prior to Customs release;
(4) Articles of a quantity or value below the fixed limit;
(5) Other goods and articles enjoying duty reduction or exemption in
accordance with the laws and regulations;
(6) Goods and articles enjoying duty reduction or exemption in accordance with
the international treaties to which the People's Republic of China is either a
contracting or an acceding party.
[Article 40] Duty reduction or exemption shall be granted to goods imported or
exported by the Special Economic Zones and other specified areas, and by
Sino-foreign joint ventures, contractual joint ventures and wholly foreign-owned
enterprises, and to goods imported or exported for specific purposes, and to
materials donated for public welfare. The State Council will specify the exact
items and enact rules on such reduction and exemption.
The State Council or the department empowered by the State Council shall also
specify the duty reduction or exemption items of small-scale border trade and
draw up detailed rules on such reduction or exemption.
[Article 41] All import goods and articles to which duty reduction or
exemption is granted in accordance with the preceding article shall be used only
in specified areas and enterprises and for specific purposes. They shall not be
utilized otherwise unless Customs approval is obtained and duties duly paid.
Article 42. Temporary duty reduction or exemption not specified in Article 39
and 40 of this law shall be examined and approved by the General Customs
Administration independently or jointly with the financial department under the
State Council in accordance with the regulations of the State Council.
Article 43. Temporary duty exemption shall be granted for goods approved by
the Customs as temporarily imported or exported items and for bonded goods
imported by special permission after the consignee or the consignor of the goods
submits to the Customs a guarantee or a deposit of an amount equal to the
[Article 44] Upon discovery of a short-or non-payment of Customs duty on
import or export goods, or inbound or outbound articles after their release, the
Customs shall collect the money payable from the obligatory duty payer within 1
year of the previous duty payment or the release of the goods or the articles.
If the short-or non-payment of the duty is due to a breach of the Customs
regulations by the obligatory duty payer, the Customs is entitled to recover the
unpaid duty within 3 years.
[Article 45] Where an over-levy of duty is discovered, the Customs, shall
refund the money without delay; the duty payer is entitled to ask the Customs
for the refunding within 1 year of the date of duty payment.
[Article 46] Where the obligatory duty payer is involved in a dispute over
duty payment with the Customs, he shall first make the payment of the duty and
then apply to the Customs in writing for a reconsideration of the case within 30
days of the issuance of the duty memorandum. The Customs shall reach a decision
within 15 days after receipt of the application. In case the obligatory duty
payer still has objection against the decision, he is entitled to apply to the
Customs General Administration for a reconsideration of the case within 15 days
after receipt of the decision. If the decision of the Customs General
Administration is still considered unacceptable, the obligatory duty payer may
take legal action at the People's Court within 15 days after receipt of the
CHAPTER VI LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
[Article 47] Any one of the following acts to evade Customs control
constitutes a crime of smuggling:
(1) To transport, carry or send by post into or out of the territory drugs,
weapons and counterfeit currencies which are prohibited by the State from
importation or exportation; to transport, carry or send by post obscene objects
into or out of the territory aiming at commercial gain or dissemination, or to
transport, carry or send by post out of the territory precious cultural relics
which are prohibited by the State from exportation;
(2) For the purpose of commercial gain, to transport, carry or send by post
into or out of the territory the goods or articles which are not listed above
but also prohibited by the State from importation or exportation, and goods and
articles in relatively large quantities or of relatively high value which are
restricted by the State from importation or exportation or subject to Customs
duties in accordance with laws and regulations;
(3) To sell without Customs approval and payment of duties, the bonded goods
imported upon special permission or goods enjoying specified duty reduction or
exemption in relatively large quantities or of relatively high value.
Any armed smuggling of goods and articles or resistence by violence to Customs
examination over smuggled goods and articles constitutes a crime of smuggling,
regardless of the quantity or value of the goods and articles involved.
Criminal sanctions imposed by the People's Court on persons guilty of
smuggling shall include a fine and confiscation of the smuggled goods and
articles, the means of transport carrying them and illegal incomes obtained
Where an enterprise, an undertaking, a government department or a social
organization commits a crime of smuggling, criminal sanctions shall be imposed
on the person in charge and the person directly responsible for the offence by
the judicial organ, a fine and confiscation of the smuggled goods and articles,
the means of transport carrying them and the illegal incomes obtained therefrom
may also be imposed on such unit.
[Article 48] If the smuggled goods and articles involved in one of the acts
listed under 2 and 3 of Article 47 of this Law are not large in quantity, nor
high in value or where the carrying or sending by post of obscene objects into
or out of the territory does not yet constitute a crime of smuggling, the
Customs, while confiscating the goods, articles or illegal incomes obtained
therefrom, may at the same time impose a fine on the person concerned.
[Article 49] Any of the following acts shall be dealt with as a crime of
smuggling and punishable in accordance with the provisions of Article 47 of this
(1) To purchase directly and illegally from the smuggler articles which are
prohibited by the State from importation, or to purchase directly and illegally
from the smuggler other smuggled goods and articles in relatively large
quantities or of relative high value.
(2) To transport, purchase or sell on coastal or territorial waters articles
which are prohibited by the State from importation and exportation, or
transport, purchase or sell without legal certification goods and articles which
are restricted by the State from importation or exportation in relatively large
quantities or of relatively high value.
Where an act listed above does not yet constitute a crime of smuggling, the
provisions concerning punishments under Article 48 shall be applied.
[Article 50] Any individual who carries or sends by post articles for personal
use into or out of the territory in a quantity exceeding the reasonable limit
and fails to declare them to the Customs shall be made to pay the duties and a
[Article 51] A penalty may be imposed for any of the following acts which
violate the regulations on Customs control:
(1) For a means of transport, to enter or leave the territory at a place
without Customs office;
(2) Failure to inform the Customs of the arrival and the departure time of the
means of transport and the place of its intended stay or any change of the place
during its stay;
(3) Failure to declare to the Customs accurately the import and export goods
and the transit, transshipment and through goods;
(4) Failure to submit to the checking and examination by the Customs of the
means of transport, goods and articles in accordance with relevant regulations;
(5) For an inbound or outbound means of transport, to load or unload inbound
or outbound goods and articles, or to embark and disembark passengers without
(6) For an inbound or outbound means of transport staying at a place where a
Customs office is located, to leave without Customs approval;
(7) For inbound or outbound means of transport intended from one place having
a Customs office to another place having a Customs office, to move out of the
territory or to a point in the territory where there is no Customs office before
completing the clearance formalities and obtaining the Customs approval.
(8) For an inbound and outbound means of transport, to engage concurrently in,
or change to, water transport within the territory without Customs approval;
(9) For an inbound or outbound vessel or aircraft which by force majeure stops
or lands at a place without a Customs office, or jettisons or discharges the
cargo in the territory, to fail to report to the Customs nearby without a valid
(10) To open, pick up, deliver, forward, replace, repack, mortgage or transfer
goods that are under Customs control without Customs approval;
(11) To open or damage sales affixed by the Customs;
[Article 52] All smuggled goods and articles, the smuggling means of transport
employed in the smuggling and the illegal incomes therefrom which are
confiscated by the order of the People's Court or by the decision of the Customs
together with the fines paid shall be turned over to the State Treasury.
It shall be the Customs to deal with and turn over to the State Treasury in
accordance with the regulations of the State Council, all smuggled goods and
articles and the means of transport confiscated by the order of the People's
Court and the decision of the Customs.
[Article 53] Where the person concerned objects to the Customs decision of
punishment, he may apply for reconsideration of the case either to the Customs
making the decision or to one at a higher level, within 30 days after receipt of
the notification of punishment or 30 days after the punishment is made public in
case it is impossible to send such notification. If the person concerned finds
the decision reached after the reconsideration still unacceptable, he may take
his case to the People's Court within 30 days after receipt of the decision.
The person concerned may also take his case directly to the People's Court
within 30 days after receipt of the notification of punishment or 30 days after
the punishment is made public.
If the person concerned refuses to carry out the Customs decision and fails to
apply for a reconsideration of the case to the People's Court within the
time-limit, the Customs making the decision may confiscate the deposit of the
person concerned, sell off his goods, articles and means of transport detained,
or apply to the People's Court for an injunction to enforce the execution of the
[Article 54] Any damage to any inbound and outbound goods or articles caused
by Customs examination, the actual loss shall made up by the Customs.
[Article 55] Any criminal responsibility shall be prosecuted in accordance
with Article 155 of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China in case
the Customs personnel divide up the confiscated smuggled goods and articles
[Article 56] Disciplinary actions shall be imposed on those Customs personnel
who abuse their power and intentionally create difficulties or procrastinate the
control and examination; disciplinary or legal actions shall be taken on those
who practice graft, neglect their duties or indulge in smuggling, depending on
the seriousness of the case.
第七章 附 则
CHAPTER VII SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
[Article 57] Terms used in this Law are defined as follows:
The term "inbound and outbound means of transport" means various vessels,
vehicles, aircraft and animals which enter or leave the territory for carrying
passengers, goods and articles.
The term "transit, transshipment and through goods" means goods which come
from a place outside the territory and pass through the territory en route to a
place outside the territory. Among them, "transit goods" are those passing
through the territory by land, transshipment goods" are those only changing the
means of transport at a place having a Customs office and without passing
through the territory by land, and "through goods" are those carried into and
out of the territory by the same vessel or aircraft.
The term "goods under Customs control" means import and export goods
enumerated in Article 17 of this Law, transit goods, transshipment goods,
through goods, temporary import and export goods, bonded goods and other inbound
and outbound goods for which Customs formalities have not been completed.
The term "bonded goods" means goods which have entered the territory with
formalities of duty payment being exempted upon Customs approval and will be
reshipped out of the territory after being stored, processed or assembled in the
The term "Customs surveillance zone" means exports, railway and highway
station, airports, border passes and international postal matter exchanges for
which a Customs office is provided, other places where Customs control is
conducted and places without a Customs office but have been approved by the
State Council as a point of entry or exit.
[Article 58] The customs shall reward individuals or units providing
information or assistance which is helpful for the exposing of offences against
this Law; the identities of such individuals or units shall be kept strictly
confidential by the Customs.
[Article 59] Rules governing the control over the means of transport, goods
and articles of other parts of the territory entering or leaving the Special
Economic Zones and other specially designated areas shall be enacted by the
[Article 60] Detailed rules and regulations for the implementation of this Law
shall be drawn up by the Customs General Administration and be put into force
after being approved by the State Council.