China introduces barcode number for customs clearance

Dec. 3, 2019

China Customs has recently rolled out a GTIN (barcode number) reporting function for its single window declaration system. This represents a key step for the adoption of GS1 barcodes in customs clearance and will help to enhance the standardized import and export customs declarations.

As goods are traded globally, border clearance procedures are a significant contributor to supply chain costs for industry. Border agencies around the world can be overwhelmed by growth in volume of trade and struggle to keep pace using traditional inspection methods. On top of this, increasing regulatory requirements are putting pressure on border agencies to collect tax and tackle illicit trade, while facilitating trade.

Today, an imported product can be automatically identified and its declaration elements such as classification, country of origin and specification can automatically appear in the single window system if its GTIN is provided and such product information already exists in the database. “Declaration by GTIN” provides a convenient and fast method for enterprises to complete the declaration form "within a second" through intelligent autofill instead of the normal manual entry.

In July 2018, a strategic cooperation agreement was concluded between China customs and GS1 China, who then jointly established a collaborative model of data sharing and promote the adoption of barcodes in customs clearance. This agreement is the foundation of the current implementation of “Declaration by GTIN”.

GS1 has the announcement.