The customs authorities in several cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, have started since 1 September a pilot scheme for customs surety insurance to help trading companies ease their financial burdens in foreign trade.
It is the first time that the customs authorities are introducing an insurance product to replace customs bonds.
BOC Insurance, PICC P&C Insurance, CPIC Property Insurance and other insurance companies have issued customs surety policies, reports National Business Daily.
Traditional customs bonds usually take two forms: cash deposits and bank guarantees.
"Bank guarantees are mainly issued to big companies with large credit lines, but are difficult to obtain by small and medium-sized enterprises," China Daily reported, quoting Mr Gao Haifeng, deputy director of Beijing Customs District.
Customs surety insurance is promoted by the General Administration of Customs and the CBIRC to help ease the cashflows of trading companies.