From January 8, 2023, China will no longer apply quarantine and infectious disease control measures to the entry of personnel and goods into the country. After nearly three years of strict measures, the government has loosened control of the pandemic. The classification of Covid-19 as a slightly less dangerous virus and the revised protocols for its control and prevention, released on December 26, are indicative. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to RailFreight.


Could these latest developments affect China-Europe rail freight business?

First, the lack of quarantine applies to both people and goods. This will facilitate the transportation of goods destined for China, as the waiting time to ensure the safe entry of goods into the country will be eliminated. Both Europe and China are optimistic about developments as this could signal a new peak season after winter production and related eastbound exports in 2023.

Rail transportation on the Crimean bridge is still limited

In addition, the second point concerns the optimization of passenger flows between China and foreign countries: “Personnel traveling to China must be tested for Covid-19 48 hours before departure. Those who test negative can travel to China without applying for a health code at an embassy or consulate abroad. Testing and centralized isolation of all personnel upon entry will cease,” the revised rules state.

In addition to restricting the import of goods, staff restrictions on multimodal transport have also increased the overall transit time between China and Europe. As an integral part of multimodal transportation, truck drivers have faced slow customs clearance procedures and even travel bans due to strict epidemic prevention and control measures. China’s upcoming easing of Covid-19 rules could lead to better conditions for truck drivers. In addition, they can facilitate the development of domestic multimodal routes, such as a direct freight link between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, which will also facilitate faster and more efficient delivery of goods on China-Europe freight trains.

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