Shanghai Customs College is a full-time higher education institution approved by the Ministry of Education, which is under the leadership and administration of the GACC. The college, with its address at No.5677 West Huaxia Road (Central Ring Road) in the south of Pudong New Area, Shanghai, offers customs-related courses and programs for undergraduate students.

As a higher education institution directly subordinated to the GACC and aimed at cultivating customs officials and trade personnel, Shanghai Customs College has evolved from a technical secondary school to a junior college, and then from a vocational college to an undergraduate college in 58 years.

Campus at No.45 Fenyang Road in the early days of founding

Shanghai Customs School is the predecessor of Shanghai Customs College. In May 1951, the GACC launched an official training session in Shanghai and contemplated to establish the Shanghai Customs School. In early 1952, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the GACC decided to establish a technical secondary school to meet the needs of customs operations. After being approved by the Central Finance and Economics Committee, the school was founded in Shanghai under the direct leadership of the Shanghai Customs on behalf of the GACC and the Commissioner General of Shanghai Customs was designated as the chairman of the school preparatory committee. Its faculty includes one physician, one nurse, one teacher, two workers, officials from subordinate customs houses and employees from the Shanghai Customs. Shanghai Customs School officially started on September 14, 1953. However, as the school campus was not completed yet, students had to study and live in the Shanghai Customs Tower temporarily. The school was relocated to No.45 Fenyang Road during 12-18 November, becoming the first technical secondary school of customs in new China which is responsible for cultivating customs officials with socialist ideology for customs nationwide and for on-job training of customs officials.

The years between 1953-1966 witnessed the development of Shanghai Customs School which enrolled students in nine years who were initially middle school students and then high school students as the enrollment rolled out nationwide. During the education revolution in 1958, the school made it clear that it will cultivate customs officials who were firm-positioned, ideologically progressive, healthy, hardworking, devoted to the customs, and resourceful, comply with disciplines, have practical ability to analyze and solve problems with Marxist-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thoughts and have received high school education and command basic knowledge about customs operations. In 1961, in line with the spirit of Shanghai culture and education meeting as well as the education seminar of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the school amended its objective as cultivating customs officials with socialist ideology, appropriate culture and science knowledge, basic theoretical knowledge and practical skills, and capable of both mental and physical labor in accordance with the CPC guidelines on education and the needs of national construction. According to the No.1 classified message of the Ministry of Education, the school was approved as a confidential institution by the Ministry from July 1959 as enrollment was conducted with confidentiality obligations, and the objective remains to be cultivating middle-level customs professionals. During the years between 1958-1960, the school hosted two cadre training sessions (senior cadre sessions) to improve the political and operating performance of customs officials. Such training played a positive role in the customs personnel structure as 84 cadres from agricultural and industrial sectors received training. In the 13 years before Cultural Revolution, the school cultivated 1,208 graduates who catered for national needs and were dedicated to the customs. Their footprints were left from hinterlands to border regions as many of them becoming customs leaders or key officials. Shanghai Customs School has made positive contributions as it cultivated so many cadres for the customs nationwide.

The Cultural Revolution wreaked great havoc to Shanghai Customs School. In August 1968, the school was forcibly revoked and incorporated into the Shanghai Foreign Trade College which was shut down later in April 1972. Thereafter, the school, together with the Shanghai Foreign Trade College, was again consolidated into the Shanghai Foreign Language College. The mission of cultivating customs professionals was disrupted for as long as 12 years as the premises and properties on Fenyang Road were all redistributed and reassigned.

In the wake of the Cultural Revolution, the priority of the country shifted to economic construction. However, the quality of customs officials, their professional knowledge and foreign language competency were all on decline as there is no regular source of official cultivation. In order to cater for the new circumstances, the Ministry of Foreign Trade approved to resume the school and renamed it as the Shanghai Customs Administration School in April 1978. The school was officially resumed in September.

The school ushered in a new phase of development after 1979. As one of the strategic priorities of modernization drive, customs education has witnessed significant development in all fronts under the support of the GACC as it aimed at cultivating customs professionals with ideals, morality, culture and disciplines.

In February 1979, GACC decided to host the foreign language training session for customs cadres as the campus was still occupied. The training session was open to cadres who were ideologically progressive, dedicated to the customs, healthy, under 35 years old and have received middle school education and appropriate foreign language basis. More than 100 trainees from 15 subordinate customs nationwide attended the training. At the same time, the Shanghai Customs Junior College was under preparation to enroll high school graduates and cultivate regulators with appropriate foreign language competency and practical work ability under all-around development. In the same fall, the school enrolled 32 Shanghai high school graduates under national enrollment of higher education institutions and launched the first junior college degree program.

Paramilitary Management

Paramilitary Exercise

On May 8, 1980, Shanghai Customs Junior College was founded on the basis of Shanghai Customs School at the approval of the State Council. Shanghai Customs Junior College is a higher education institution which is directly subordinated to the GACC and aimed at cultivating high-caliber customs administrators. The school offered Customs Administration program which enrolls high school graduates nationwide under a three-year education system. On November 1, 1985, Dai Jie, the former Commissioner General of the GACC, visited the school and made important instructions on its academic orientation and management. The school accordingly put forward the guiding principles of serving for and depending on the customs.

Shanghai Customs Junior College

In September 1990, Dai Jie, the former Commissioner General of the GACC, envisaged the new campus in Pudong New Area for the first time as he delivered an important speech upon the celebration of the Teachers’ Day. In 1992, in line with the instructions of the GACC on the customs serving for the development and opening-up of the Pudong New Area as well as the eighth Five-Year Plan and Ten-Year Plan of the Office of Education and Health of the Shanghai People’s Government on education in Pudong New Area, the established of Shanghai Customs College in Pudong New Area was incorporated into the Eighth Five-Year Plan of Shanghai education development. In May 1992, Dai Jie, the former Commissioner General of the GACC, directed the Shanghai Customs to assist the school in deciding the site of campus when he was in Shanghai. In his meeting with Wu Bangguo, the former Party Secretary of Shanghai, Dai Jie again request the Shanghai Party Committee to extent support for the establishment of new campus in Pudong New Area. Mr Wu Bangguo agreed to provide convenience. On July 18, 1992, Mr Wu Bangguo and Huang Ju, the former Mayor of Shanghai, hosted a seminar with the leaders of the Shanghai Customs as the GACC directed the Shanghai Customs to report school relocation to the municipal leaders as one of the four issues. Mayor Huang Ju immediately addressed the issue of school relocation. In 1993, the GACC approved the No.24 document Report on Assessment of School Site and Opinions, deciding to commence relocation construction. The new campus was situated in the southeast of Beicai County of Pudong, covering an area of 194 mu with a planned floor area of approximately 50,000 square meters. In May 1995, the GACC convened the national customs education & training meeting, which determined the strategic position of customs education and specified the objective and direction for the school to roll out paramilitary management. In 1995, Qian Guanlin, the former Commissioner General of the GACC, and Meng Jianzhu, The former Deputy Mayor of Shanghai, visited the school to celebrate the Teachers’ Day. With the support of the GACC leadership and the customs, a school board and an education development foundation were established during the Teachers’ Day celebration, creating the conditions for the school to deepen education reform.

On April 9, 1996, the Planning & Construction Department of the National Education Committee agreed that Shanghai Customs Junior College renamed as Shanghai Customs Vocational College in accordance with the Regulations on Application for Renaming of Higher Education Institutions and Opinions on Strengthening of Vocational College Education.

In 1997, in order to explore the model for cultivating high-caliber customs professionals, the school made it clear that the objective is to cultivate applied and versatile customs professionals and set out specifications which comply with the reality and criteria which could gauge the actual conditions of cultivation objective. On August 8, Li Lanqing, the former Vice Premier of the State Council, wrote on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the school that: secure customs higher education and cultivate more outstanding customs professionals.

In the summer holiday 1997, the school was relocated to the new campus in Pudong New Area. In the afternoon of August 15, Qian Guanlin, the former Commissioner General of the GACC, visited the new campus and noted that the school should strive to operate on a higher level. Thereafter, the school repeatedly discussed the operation model with superior leaders and experts, striving to find reasonable, effective and viable solutions so as to realize the strategic goal of transforming from a vocational college to an undergraduate college. In order to realize the goal of gradually building itself into an undergraduate college as well as the base for academic, scientific research and international cooperation and exchange as set out in the document Decisions on Strengthening Education & Training issued by the GACC, it has become an urgent task of the customs system.

From 1997 onwards, the school begun actively preparing and discussing the model and plan for undergraduate education, and submitted its plans and opinions of implementation to the GACC for three consecutive times in 1998, 1999 and 2000. On February 19, 1999, at the invitation of the GACC, Chen Zhili, the former member of the Central Party Committee and the former Minister of Education, visited the new campus in Pudong, and supported the GACC to sponsor a college for undergraduate education, provided that the school should increase investment and secure the fundamental conditions before making application.

Chen Zhili, the Minister of Education visited the school

On October 30, 2000, the Leading Party Members’ Group of the GACC decided to relocate the Academy of Customs Administration to Shanghai. On August 24, 2001, the GACC approved and elevated the school to director-level organization which operates under the same leadership together with the Academy of Customs Administration. In October, the Academy of Customs Administration was officially relocated. On May 18, 2002, Wang Daohan, the President of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait and the former Mayor of Shanghai, inscribed the title of the Academy of Customs Administration after it is relocated to Shanghai.

On July 13, 2001, the Leading Party Members’ Group of the GACC, out of the needs of customs development and team building, set out the guidelines for the school development that degree education must be adjusted and training must be strengthened. On November 8, 2003, Mou Xinsheng, the former Commissioner General of the GACC, set out the strategic objective for the school on the occasion of its 50th anniversary celebration.

On November 24, 2004, the WCO Asia-Pacific Training Center was established in the school. As the training center of international customs organization in the Asia-Pacific region, it is responsible for training customs officials from the region and provides wider and deeper space for the school to further develop in the region and on the international stage. On April 13, 2005, the Party School of the GACC was established in the school. On August 10, 2006, the Leading Party Members’ Group of the GACC decided to establish the Center for Customs International Issues relying on the school. The center is meant to complete research projects in the field of international customs cooperation contemplated by the GACC, produce research thesis and publications and provide references to GACC leaders, its relevant departments or directly subordinate customs when engaging in international exchanges or dealing with international issues by intensifying research on policy-based, forward-looking and specific issues of Chinese customs in engagement in international cooperation. On March 19, 2007, the Ministry of Education issued No. 53 document Notice on Agreeing Establishment of the Shanghai Customs College on the Basis on the Shanghai Customs School, marking the success of the efforts to elevate to undergraduate education. Thereafter, the school was officially recognized as an undergraduate college and renamed as Shanghai Customs College. On June 6, 2007, the Shanghai Customs College was officially founded and the national customs education & training meeting was convened, on which occasion, Xi Jinping, the former Party Secretary of Shanghai, and Mou Xinsheng, the former secretary of the Leading Party Members’ Group of the GACC as well as the Commissioner General of the GACC, hosted the inauguration ceremony, and Han Zheng, the Mayor of Shanghai, extend congratulations on behalf of the Shanghai municipal party committee and government.

Inauguration of Shanghai Customs College

Inauguration of the WCO Asia-Pacific Training Center

On August 30, 2010, the GACC approved and agreed that the Department of Student Affairs operates under the title of Department of Student Affairs of the Party Committee of Shanghai Customs College, and the Department of Training operates under the title of Work Department of the Party School of the GACC.

On October 17, 2011, the Office of the State Council Academic Degrees Committee designated the college as a trial institution with college degree conferring authority to offer master programs. In October 27, the Commissioner General Yu Guangzhou commented that (the college should) strive to improve the quality of personnel cultivation and fulfill related works in a timely and appropriate manner.

On June 26, 2012, the college entered into MOU with the Department of Duty Collection of the GACC and the Shanghai Customs with respect to the joint cultivation of master candidates in taxation. The three parties will engage in such joint cultivation through innovative measures such as dual-supervisor mechanism and topic selection of graduation dissertation.

On April 18, 2013, Mou Xinsheng, the former Commissioner General of the GACC was engaged as the honorary president of the college.

In April 2016, the college successfully passed the qualification assessment of undergraduate teaching.

On May 10, 2018, the college was granted the authority to confer master’ degree and was approved to offer two master programs in taxation and public administration respectively.

As one of the important bases for training of customs officials, the college has always been responsible for domestic/international training delegated by the GACC. After the college is resumed, it has been undertaking the continued education, knowledge updating and operations training of middle- and high-level customs officials, and has hosted various training sessions for intermediate officials, leaders at director or bureau level and college students studying non-customs programs, and irregularly hosted thematic workshops and short-term training sessions including enhancement sessions for key customs personnel. As of late 2018, a total of 7,8000 trainees have received training.

Foreign-related training begun in 1999. As of the end of 2018, 6,000 trainees have received training, involving 140 countries, areas or international organizations including Vietnam, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, U.S., Netherlands, Venezuela, DPRK, central Asian countries, African countries, UNEP, WCO, WTO, SCO, Hong Kong and Macau.

The college proactively devoted to the construction of two civilizations. From 2001 to date, the college has been honored as Civilized Unit of Shanghai for nine consecutive years, and has made due contributions in disseminating customs culture and forging customs image.