SHANGHAI, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai) released the 2012 AmCham Shanghai Trade Environment Satisfaction Survey (http://www.amcham-shanghai.org/tradesurvey) at the Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Shanghai. At the event, AmCham Shanghai hosted Mr. Huang Shengqiang, Director General of Shanghai Customs, who spoke to Chamber members on "Ways of Facilitating Customs Trading".
According to this year's survey, nearly three quarters of surveyed member companies said Shanghai's initiatives to establish itself as an international shipping center by 2020 will increase the likelihood of their regional headquarters to be located in Shanghai.
The survey also provides companies' comments on seven concrete customs regulatory changes made in 2011 by Shanghai Customs, technical challenges faced by companies during customs clearance, as well as recommendations for improvement. Classification, valuation and customs permitting, such as for imports, were ranked the top three clearance issues in the report by surveyed companies.
Brenda Foster, president of AmCham Shanghai, applauded the efforts of Shanghai Customs to work with AmCham Shanghai and its member companies. "We are pleased with the dialogue channels that Shanghai Customs has maintained with us to address the challenges that impact our members' day-to-day business over the past six years. The survey serves as a useful and effective communication vehicle that highlights positive changes that have improved the trade environment and issues that need to be addressed to increase efficiency and help Shanghai achieve its ambition to become an international shipping center by 2020. We look forward to continuously working with Shanghai Customs for mutually beneficial results," said Foster.
Shanghai Customs Director General Huang Shengqiang said during his presentation, "The Customs taskforce has helped Shanghai Customs to understand the real challenges of foreign companies." According to Director General Huang, Shanghai Customs can designate a point of contact for large companies with regional headquarters in Shanghai. To improve the clearance efficiency, a reconciliation center has been opened to help companies address emergencies encountered during the clearance process.
Damon Paling, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers China, who was actively involved in this year's survey design and analysis, commenting on the responses on the seven regulatory changes, said one third of regulations were positive for respondents' business in Shanghai. "About half of respondents did not know about regulations or their effect on company, which calls for continued collaboration with Shanghai Customs so everyone is educated," said Paling.
This annual survey, now in its 5th year, provides comments and suggestions from Chamber members on customs policies and clearance issues. The survey was initiated by the AmCham Shanghai Customs Liaison Taskforce, a strategic cooperation established between Shanghai Customs and the American business community in March 2007 to enhance communication between AmCham Shanghai members and Shanghai Customs officials on practical issues of importing and exporting.
This year's survey results will drive the agenda for furthering cooperation between Shanghai Customs and the American business community within the next year.
About AmCham Shanghai
The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, known as the "Voice of American Business" in China, is the largest and fastest growing American Chamber in the Asia-Pacific region. Founded in 1915, AmCham Shanghai was the third American Chamber established outside the United States. As a non-profit, non-partisan business organization, AmCham Shanghai is committed to the principles of free trade, open markets, private enterprise and the unrestricted flow of information.
Visit www.amcham-shanghai.org for more information about AmCham Shanghai.
About the AmCham Shanghai Customs Liaison Taskforce
The Shanghai Customs Liaison Taskforce was established as a communication bridge between Shanghai Customs and the American business community. For the last six years it has been an effective channel for American businesses in Shanghai to provide comments on customs policies and clearance issues. It has also been a window for Shanghai Customs to continually improve operational efficiency as the world's busiest port. This year's survey focused on a variety of customs and quarantine issues, free trade zones and foreign exchange reconciliation.
SOURCE American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai