Reform of Tax-Free Refueling Permit for International Navigating Vessels

From: Shenzhen Daily | Updated:2023-10-27

The tax-free fuel supply service for international navigating vessels is an important component of international maritime services and an important indicator of the level of port internationalization and supporting service capabilities. Yantian Port is the world’s largest single-container terminal, with excellent water conditions, dense shipping routes, and high demand. Developing a tax-free fuel supply market in Shenzhen and enhancing the service capabilities of tax-free fuel supplies in Yantian Port will help further improve the comprehensive service capabilities of the port, stabilize existing shipping routes, and enhance the market competitiveness and international shipping hub status of Yantian Port.

The “Comprehensive Reform Pilot Implementation Plan for Shenzhen as a Pioneer Zone for Building Socialism with Chinese Characteristics (2020-2025)” includes the first authorized list, which grants Shenzhen the right to provide tax-free refueling for international navigating vessels, and proposes to pilot a tax-free liquefied natural gas refueling business for international navigating vessels in the waters of Shenzhen. In the early stages, Yantian District, in conjunction with relevant departments, made efforts to overcome the adverse effects of the epidemic, strengthen communication and coordination, and take proactive measures to steadily promote this reform based on the principle of addressing easier tasks first and focusing on oil before gas. In 2021, the first trial of tax-free oil refueling was successfully conducted. In 2022, Yantian District continued to deepen the reform, and through establishing mechanisms, strengthening coordination, building platforms, reducing costs, and optimizing processes, the quantity and quality of tax-free oil refueling increased significantly, effectively improving the business environment for tax-free oil refueling.


Key Practices:

- First, explore new mechanisms for coordinated promotion between the city and the district. Strengthen coordination and linkage, and promote the establishment of a leadership group by the municipal government for undertaking the granting of the business license for tax-free fuel operation for international navigating vessels in Shenzhen. It proposed a working model of “joint leadership and joint promotion” by municipal departments and local governments, with municipal departments coordinating and local governments taking the lead in implementation, and timely analyzing, researching, and solving existing problems.

- Second, formulate new measures for tax-free fuel refueling management. Scientifically demonstrate, draft, and issue the “Trial Measures for the Operation and Management of Tax-Free Fuel Oil for International Navigating Vessels in Shenzhen,” which clarifies the path for issuing “tax-free refueling licenses” in Shenzhen, breaks the previous practice of requiring special approval from national ministries and commissions, and relaxes market access restrictions to some extent, adding vitality to the tax-free refueling market.

- Third, innovate new processes for tax-free fuel refueling. Identify the bottlenecks hindering the development of the current tax-free fuel refueling industry, coordinate with Shenzhen Customs, border inspection, and other departments to innovate regulatory measures such as “supply before reporting,” “multiple supplies for one vessel,” and “simultaneous inspection and docking,” optimize refueling processes, and minimize refueling approval procedures. Promote cross-zone direct supply business and connect the tax-free fuel market between Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

- Fourth, establish a new platform for tax-free fuel refueling approval. Actively coordinate with the Municipal Commerce Bureau, Shenzhen Customs, and other departments to accelerate the construction of a “one-stop” platform for tax-free oil processing, break down information barriers among various approval departments within customs, and centralize the approval process into one platform, reducing the need for people to run multiple errands.

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Yantian District has strongly supported the development of the tax-free fuel refueling business, continuously optimized the business environment, introduced industry support measures, and increased investment attraction. It has attracted a group of energy refueling companies, including PetroChina, Sinopec, CNOOC, CSSC Fuel, and Shenzhen Port Group. These companies have been granted local refueling qualifications for four ship fuel supply enterprises. In 2022, local license holders in Shenzhen supplied a total of 236,400 tons of tax-free oil, with a total value of 1.54 billion yuan, representing a year-on-year increase of 94.4 times and 17.39 times, respectively.