TENSION ESCALATES: CHINA TO BAN 7 AUSSIE GOODS INCLUDING WINES FROM FRIDAY
By Tony Zhu
Credit: Marcus Winkler/Unsplash
China is expected to ban imports of at least seven Australian products including wine, barley, sugar, timber, coal, lobster, copper ore and copper concentrates from Friday 6 November in an escalation of trade tension, some reports said wheat will also be included in the ban.
The move caught many Chinese importers by surprise as it is way more stringent than expected. Chinese wine importers, for example, expected that the worst case scenario would be a 200% punitive tariffs on Australian wine imports.
It is understood that China’s Ministry of Commerce has been communicating the decision on the bans to all state-owned and private importers in the last couple of days.
Chinese importers were told that shipments arriving at the port before Friday will be able to clear customs, but those arriving after will have to stay at port including those already in the bonded area.
Importers who have shipments of the banned goods arriving after Friday will have to bear the expense of any uncleared goods.
Chinese importers were also advised to suspend all orders of the banned goods to minimise losses.
They were also warned against any attempts to circumvent the restrictions by re-routing shipments via a third country. It was said that custom authorities will pay particular attention to certificates of origin.
Some Chinese importers said the authorities did not give specific reasons for the bans apart from saying that it was out of commercial considerations.
News of the bans broke just before the navies of Australia, India, Japan and the USA begins their first joint exercises in the Indian Ocean today since the revival of the so called Quad alliance amid heightened tensions with China.
The exercise will see warships exercising in the Bay of Bengal near the Malacca Strait and later in the Arabian Sea along some of the world’s busiest trade routes.
China has repeatedly expressed objections to the Quad alliance, which was first formed in 2007 and revived in 2017.
Beijing is concerned that the military drills by the four countries would cause instability instead of peace to the region.
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