Located in central East Lake High-tech Development Zone, Wuhan East Lake Free Trade Zone is a special customs supervision area functioning as a bonded logistics area and an export processing zone. It has a planned area of five square kilometers, 1.82 square kilometers of which went into operation in 2013.
Proposed by the State Council, the free trade zone will build nine key platforms for bonded processing and manufacturing, international biomedicine, cross-border business services, bulk commodity trading, bonded stock exhibition, comprehensive services in foreign trade, international examination and maintenance, cross-border financial services and researches and design of bonded zones, respectively.
The zone will strengthen its role as a domestic and international hub of openness, innovation and ecology.
People can enjoy a series of services, including duty-free imports of equipment, bonded goods, tax rebates, and VAT and consumption tax-free transactions done within the territory.
It is free from the import and export quota license system, the bonded warehousing storage period, the bank deposit account system for processing enterprises, and foreign exchange offset procedures for imports and exports so taxes and transactions can be settled in a foreign currency or RMB.
Since the first phase of Wuhan East Lake Free Trade Zone started operations in June 2013, its export volume has increased from $343 million in 2013 to $6.714 billion in 2017.
As of April 2018, its total export volume had reached $18.2 billion, accounting for more than one-third of annual export volumes in the city of Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei province.
In 2017, the trading volume of the zone's commodities trading platform topped 55 billion yuan ($7.91 billion), achieving tax revenue of 81 million yuan. Officials said Hubei's cross border e-commerce public service platform in the zone has attracted about 80 enterprises to complete filings and carry out business. Three business models for general imports, general exports and bonded imports have been developed in the zone.
The Wuhan East Lake Free Trade Zone is:
the first comprehensive bonded zone in the National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone;
the first comprehensive bonded zone in Central China to carry out bonded exhibitions and trade;
first pilot reform and innovative comprehensive free trade zone in Hubei Province;
first comprehensive bonded zone included in provincial legislative protection;
first comprehensive bonded area in Hubei to realize tax rebates for water and electricity;
first comprehensive free trade zone in Hubei to provide comprehensive foreign trade services;
Hubei's first comprehensive bonded zone to launch cross-border e-commerce public service platforms;
first comprehensive bonded zone in the Wuhan Customs area to achieve seven days a week, 24-hour customs clearances of goods.