China to remove tariffs on 98% of products imported from 6 African countries
Customs law | logistics | SupplyChain | transport
Par Ibrahima DIALLO
7 December 2023 / 16:09

Despite the removal of customs duties on 98% of products imported from 21 African countries over the past two years, the trade balance remains in surplus in China's favor, with exports to the continent dominated by finished products.

China will apply zero tariff treatment on 98% of its imports from six new African countries, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.

The measure, which will take effect from December 25, 2023, applies to Angola, the Gambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mali and Mauritania, according to the same source.

These countries will thus be able to export to the Middle Kingdom duty-free on "more than 8,000 different tariff lines". Over the past two years, Beijing has already eliminated customs duties on 98% of products imported from 21 African countries, including Ethiopia, Niger, Benin, Mozambique and Sudan.

This tariff dismantling follows Beijing's intention to increase its imports of agricultural products from Africa. The announcement was made by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC 8) held in Dakar in November 2021.

At the time, he stated that the aim was to increase China's imports from Africa to $100 billion a year by 2022, and to $300 billion a year by 2035.

According to data published by China's General Administration of Customs last August, trade between China and Africa reached $156.4 billion in the first seven months of 2023, up 7.4% on the same period in 2022.

Between January 1 and July 31, 2023, the Middle Kingdom's exports to African countries increased by 20%, compared with the same period in 2022, to around $97.8 billion.

China's General Administration of Customs also reported that Chinese imports from Africa reached $58.6 billion in the first seven months of this year, without providing the variation compared to the same period last year.

Most Chinese exports to Africa are finished goods (textiles-clothing, machinery, electronics, etc.), while African exports to the Middle Kingdom are dominated by raw materials such as crude oil, copper, cobalt and iron ore, resulting in a chronic trade surplus in China's favor.

Agence Ecofin




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