The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council released the 2016 Interim Duty Rates List on 4 December 2015, covering a tariff reduction on 787 tariff codes, including certain apparel, footwear, leather goods and sunglasses. The new rates will be effective from 1 January 2016.
This is in line with the country's policy to relax tariff barriers and intention to boost domestic consumption on consumer and luxury goods.
The Interim Duty Rate is a temporary reduction on import duties which lasts for 1-2 years or sometimes longer, depending on market and economic circumstances.
There has also been discussions around potential consumption tax adjustments, which has been in talks by the Chinese Government since the 12th 5-year plan. The direction is to impose or increase consumption taxes on products such as those that are environmentally unfriendly, while relaxing consumption taxes on goods that were once considered as "luxurious" but have now become a common commodity. So far there has not been substantial implementation details released in this regard.
Having said the above, given the direction of the China Government's policy development, there is possibility that the Government together with China Customs may consider further adjusting tariffs on consumer and luxury products (those that are currently not included in the list). Based on the usual Interim Duty Rates regime, businesses or lobbying associations may pro-actively lodge Interim Duty Rate applications if they would like a specific tariff code to be reviewed and considered. Customs would often give priority to those products that have the right political, economical and commercial support.