Lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the outline of the governments External Trade amendment bill on Monday.
The bill will now by reviewed by a standing committee before it will return to another plenary session for an article-by-article vote.
Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said the objective of the bill was for the benefit of Macau’s convention and exhibition industry by simplifying the red tape organisers have to go through.
Leong told Monday’s plenary session that the bill adds ATA cerfication to the External Trade Law. Several lawmakers, including Au Kam San and Andrew Chan Chak Mo, asked what ATA means.
The policy secretary said that ATA is a certificate that is required for products to be imported temporarily for an exhibition or convention. He said ATA ensures that products are exempt from customs duties when imported into the city.
ATA comes from the French term “Admission Temporaire” while its English equivalent is “Temporary Admission”.
“What we want to do is to make it easier for exhibitors to bring in their products,” said Leong. “Exhibition organisers can apply for ATA and then use it for any products they wish to take into or out of a country [or region] multiple times, or even multiple countries [or regions] without the need to go through customs clearance.”
Economic Services Bureau (DSE) Deputy Director Chan Tze Wai said business people could apply for ATA certification for products ranging from professional equipment to items to be displayed at an exhibition. She said an ATA certificates are mainly used for conventions and exhibitions where ATA holders can import products into Macau but have to take them out of the city within six months, without having to go through a formal import permit. (macaunews/macaupost)