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China: Pilot Reform Plan includes expansion of Shenzhen bunkering markets

26 Oct 2020

Disclaimer: An online translation service was used in the production of the current editorial piece.

The State Council Information Office of China on Sunday (18 October) held a press conference regarding a Pilot Reform Plan of Shenzhen and announced the first 40 policies authorised by the Chinese government, learned Manifold Times.

Three policies to boost the shipping industry of Shenzhen have been outlined below:

Bonded bunkering permission granted to international sailing ships 

The government is planning to introduce a pilot run for liquified natural gas (LNG) bunkering services to international ships in Shenzhen waters, according to the statement.

Further, marine fuel supply warehouses will also be permitted to be established as part of the pilot project; where the RMB currency will be used as settlement for bunker trades.

Editor’s note: China-based industry insiders contacted by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times regarding the above development believe there is a likelihood for the release of bonded fuel supply licenses, similar to those found at the Chinese bunkering port of Zhoushan, as a future development at Shenzhen port. 

Liberalisation of harbour services and shipping services to the international market

The official communication also noted the Chinese government to be in the midst of studies for the issue of a 15-day Visa Free policy for cruise group passengers and a 144-hour visa free transit for foreign tourists when cruise ships use Shenzhen as a home port.

This is to support the establishment of an international transit zone for passengers at the Shenzhen passenger terminal. 

The government said it plans to optimise entry and exit procedures, extend the time of customs clearance, and abolish the current customs security deposit for passengers. 

Further improvements to the international ship registration system

Enterprises legally established in Shenzhen will be allowed to register all their ships in Shenzhen without any restrictions on the foreign shareholding ratio of the enterprise. 

The name of the port of registry shall be determined and issued by the competent authority separately in accordance with the law. 

Foreign ship surveying companies will be allowed to carry out classification and statutory inspections on ships undergoing international ship registration in Shenzhen. 

Foreign crew members will be allowed to serve as senior crew members on international ships registered in Shenzhen, and all crew members are exempt from obtaining the ‘Foreigner Employment Certificate’.

Photo credit: Shenzhen Port Association

Published: 26 October, 2020

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