China will allow domestic companies to freely import a wide range of materials and products, in order to help achieve trade balance. Starting April 1, Chinese firms will no longer need to apply for an import license to import products in 338 categories, state media reported. Steel products and plastic materials as well as some machinery and electronics are included on the list. Alternatively, Chinese traders will need to get an "automatic import license" for these products, meaning they do not need official approval, but their imports will have to be recorded at the ministry. The relaxation of import licensing marks the latest attempt by the ministry to help re-balance the country's imports and exports.