The China Post news staff
The China Post news staff–The economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) signed with China saved exporters in Taiwan as much as US$225 million in customs duties on their product shipments to the mainland as of the end of March, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Cho Shih-chao, director-general of the MOEA’s Bureau of Foreign Trade, revealed the figure in a report detailing the positive effects of the ECFA, which was designed to enhance economic and trade interchanges across the Taiwan Strait. He said reduction of the US$225 million in customs tariffs resulted from exports of products included on the “early harvest list” during the period from Jan. 1, 2011, when the trade pact took effect, to March 31 this year. The benefits for Taiwan enterprises will be significantly increased in 2012 due to the further removal or reduction of customs duties on more products shipped to the mainland. The total in tariffs saved in the first quarter of this year reached US$102.22 million. The customs duty rates on 94.5 percent of Taiwan products on the early harvest list have already been reduced to zero since the turn of the year, Cho said.
Taiwan products that get the most customs duty reductions fall in the categories of industrial products and agricultural produce. Based on customs clearance statistics compiled by mainland China’s customs authorities, mainland importers purchased US$4.63 billion worth or products listed on the early harvest sheets from Taiwan in the January-March period this year, with US$1.77 billion worth of the products entitled to lower or no customs tariffs.