Trade Guide: China

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With over 1.35 billion citizens, China (official name: the People’s Republic of China) is the most populous country in the world, and the second largest by land area.


Since WTO accession, China has progressively lowered its tariff rates, as called for by its WTO obligations. China completed its multilateral WTO tariff reduction commitments by 2007. Additional unilateral tariff reductions are not considered likely.

China applies four different types of tariff rates: most-favored-nation tariff rates, preferential tariff rates, general tariff rates and interim tariff rates.

The most-favored-nation tariff rate is applied on imported goods whose place of origin is a member country of the WTO.

The preferential tariff rate is applied to imported goods whose place of origin is a country or region that has concluded a bilateral or regional free trade agreement with China.

The general tariff rate is the highest tariff rate and it is applied to imported goods whose place of origin is unknown, although as a practical matter this rarely occurs.

The interim tariff rate is applicable to selected imported goods to support the country’s industry policy. For example, most commodities and aviation parts are subject to an interim tariff rate of either 0% or 1%.

China has applied a 0% tariff rate since 2003 for goods covered by the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA).

The World Trade Organization provides the following summary table on tariff rates for broad product groupings:

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