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COVID-19 Doing business in China

The outbreak of COVID-19 has consequences for entrepreneurs doing business in or with China. Since 28 March, you cannot enter China for a business trip or quality control. Trade missions to China have been cancelled.

Chinese staff members with expiring visas working in the Netherlands

Chinese people working in the Netherlands with a visa about to expire should contact the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). For more information, see IND and their FAQ about the effects of the coronavirus.

Short-term impacts

  • Production
    The strict lockdown in Wuhan was lifted on 8 April. In other parts of China, companies are carefully starting their production processes. The productivity of factories depends on staff members, suppliers and local measures.
  • Transport
    The transportation of goods is delayed. For contractual consequences from delays, please contact your shipping company.
  • Working from home
    Chinese companies must follow the government’s regulations to work from home. Working from home may not always be possible. In the production industry, for example, companies should take other measures to start their production process little by little.

Long-term economic impacts

The measures taken by the Chinese government, such as the quarantine and travel restrictions, will affect the economy. Private parties, such as Rabobank, publish news on the long-term economic impacts of the virus.

Freight transport to and from China

  • Shipping industry: Ports are open, but ships to China leave port less often and less frequently. Or they leave the port with fewer goods. This is a result of the limited ground handling capacity. Because many containers are still in China, there is a general shortage of containers.
    Contact your transportation company for more information.
  • Air cargo: Flights from and to China have been reduced. About 50% of all cargo flights from the Netherlands to China travel by passenger aircraft. Because of the shortage of flights, rates have increased. Schiphol International Airport does allow extra flights with medical and urgent goods.
  • Railways: In March, the total amount of freight transport by train increased.
  • Future scenarios to be expected until May:
    • Rates for air cargo and sea freight may increase further;
    • There may be an imbalance between passengers and cargo;
    • Shipping companies will continue to stop bookings. As a result, more sea freight shipments will be delayed.

Agricultural trade and veterinary measures

The Agricultural Board of the Dutch embassy in Beijing states that the Chinese government has chosen 46 cross-border pilot zones to stimulate foreign trade. For example, in e-commerce. Other measures implemented by China include discounts on export taxes, credit support and just import taxes. For an overview of permitted cross-border e-commerce, contact the Agricultural Board of the Dutch embassy via email.

Important note: Dutch companies need market access to export products to China. At this moment, we have no information on veterinary and phytosanitary measures for animal or vegetal products.

Questions about the agricultural and food sector in China? Contact the agricultural attaché and the agricultural team via email: Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

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