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Dear Clients,

CORONAVIRUS – Impacts on Importers and Exporters

As expected, the CORONAVARIUS impact is starting to flow through to International Trade. Here at Transways, were are receiving various pieces of information from our team’s in CHINA along with Industry bodies in AUSTRALIA.

We thought its best that we share some of this information with you, so that you can try and minimise the impact where possible.

  • China government has extended their national lunar holiday in many cities until the 9th FEB 2020, with workers only permitted to return to work on MON 10th. This will see manufactures, customs, shipping & air lines impacted.

  • Boarders with China are being closed, or travel limited. Hong Kong is a major gateway for cargo into and out of China, and the Hong Kong government has shut down various rail access and is limiting flights. This will see it difficult for AIR cargo normally shipped from HONG KONG, but originating in China to flow. Sea freight will also be impacted, with truckers in HONG KONG not willing to go cross into CHINA.

  • Factory Workers not returning to work post the official holiday is normal, but in 2020 the number of workers not returning is set to increase drastically, as they do not wish to travel. This will see a shortage of labour, which will then impact production lead times

  • Flight Cancellations, many airlines are cancelling flights, this will have a direct impact on any client moving Air freight, with word that space is already at critical levels and inbound flights having medical goods prioritised. Expect significant delays on airfreight and price increases to follow.

  • Wuhan Sea port has closed operation. Wuhan is located along the Yangtze River system, which is West of Ningbo and Shanghai, with many smaller feeder ports located along this river system. Other ports may soon be closed as well.

  • CHAFTA Free Trade Certificate of Origins, we expect delays in shippers being able to obtain these moving forward, this could see DUTY fall due on imports. Importers will need to arrange for the payment of outstanding duty amounts at time of import and then arrange for a refund once the CHAFTA COO is presented. Transways will not be responsible for the payment of duties on behalf of importers without CHAFTA COO.

  • Locally in AUSTRALIA, food exporters to China have seen trade lanes closed already, example being the rock lobster trade. If you are involved with exporting food (or similar produce) items to China, please liaise with your industry body for further guidance.

  • Australian Ports handling vessel arrivals, have increased screening and quarantine measures to evaluate the risk of crew, water (including ballast) and food items. The scrutiny and measures under taken are open to review and may increase to ensure public safety. This could ultimately see delays in ships berthing or discharging cargo in Australia and similar with Airlines.

  • Office Closures, major international companies are keeping doors shut in both Hong Kong and China. Google and Starbucks two major examples of this, smaller companies may follow this trend to protect their workers.

As further information comes to hand, Transways will share with you. If you wish to discuss any of these points then please feel free to contact one of the team.

Kind regards,

Dion Williamson
NSW Branch Manager


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