Making China's customs clearance processes more efficient and more accurate using the 'Verified by GS1' service

"This more precise identification simplifies and standardises the process and enables border agencies across China to evaluate compliance more consistently for products with the same GTIN. In the future, it’s expected to receive the original manufacturers’ information to set the base of digitalised customs supervision.”

—Head of the Tariff Collection & Supervision Department, Nanjing Customs PRC.

The GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN, the ‘barcode number') and the global service ‘Verified by GS1' have become valued tools for China Customs, bringing benefits to all parties involved in the cross-border supply chain.

The problem

China has seen an exponential increase in cross-border trade, in sheer volume and in the variety of products entering their country. Unfortunately, import procedures requiring companies to manually enter product information multiple times were resulting in discrepancies, inaccuracies and wasted time.

The solution

China Customs now leverages the GS1 Global Trade Item Number and the global ‘Verified by GS1' registry service to expedite border declarations, minimise errors, improve compliance, watch for counterfeits and enhance a whole range of customs clearance processes. For example, many companies and brokers importing goods to China can now autopopulate product information in the ‘single window’ declaration system simply by entering the product’s GS1 GTIN.

The ’Verified by GS1' global service platform includes verified and trusted attributes for a product – attributes that form a ‘product passport’:

  • Product identification
  • Company name
  • GTIN (e.g. 9504002100016)
  • Brand name
  • Product description
  • Product image web link (a Universal Resource Locator or URL)
  • Global Product Category
  • Net content & unit of measure
  • Country of sale

The results

The results are clear: more accurate product identification, more consistent enforcement of regulations, more efficient customs clearance procedures and overall smarter and better government supervision of the importation of goods.

File in seconds instead of minutes

For importers and brokers, the decision to use GS1 GTINs during the customs clearance processes brought multiple benefits: it’s convenient, smooth and — most importantly—much faster.

Error-free, standardised customs declarations

After companies declare a product’s GS1 GTIN, China Customs’ system immediately accesses and fills in additional product information, including the product type, HS code, country of origin and more. Importers no longer need to manually enter this information, effectively improving the accuracy of the standardised declaration.

In the past two years, the GS1 GTINs for 780,000 products have been verified from Chinese imports across 99 countries.

‘Verified by GS1' enables smart supervision at participating borders. Validating GS1 GTINs on declarations helps customs authorities to establish one single understanding of product information, allowing agencies everywhere to consistently apply tariffs and uniformly enforce compliance regulations.

What it means to New Zealand exporters

If you’re an exporter and member of GS1, you’ll be using GS1 identifiers such as Global Trade Item Numbers (barcode numbers) and Global Location Numbers (like your NZBN) to exchange information for import logistics, warehousing, and to optimise point of sale retail functions.

We are currently working with border agencies worldwide to enable the use of GS1 identifiers to help speed up the import clearance processes.

Load your product data into our global platform to streamline your products’ border clearance process now.

Get more information and help here