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China to Cut Import Tariff
China's State Council has approved a reduction in the country's general tariff level from 12 percent to 11 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2003, with more than 3,000 tariff items involved.

The reduction will be carried out as part of China's commitments to the World Trade Organization and also in order to restructure both tariff items and rates, the Tariff Policy Commission of the State Council said Sunday.

A total of 129 new items will be added to the import tariff item list, which will exceed 7,445 by 2003.

The average tariff on agricultural products will be cut from 18.1 percent to 16.8 percent, while the average tariff on industrial goods will be reduced from 11.4 percent to 10.3 percent.

In 2003, China will impose provisional yearly import tariffs on about 200 types of commodities on the term of most-favored-nation treatment and continue to impose quotas on a dozen of agricultural products including wheat and soybean oil and three kinds of chemical fertilizers including diammonium phosphate.

China will continue to impose specific and compound duties on such products as frozen chicken, beer and telecameras, and single specific duty on newsprint.

Tariff rates under the Bangkok Agreement will be followed for products of 755 tariff items made in the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Laos, while concessionary rates will be available to commodities of 20 tariff items made in Bangladesh.

(Xinhua News Agency December 23, 2002)

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