Excellent news for foreign businesses utilising cross-border e-commerce came last night (Nov 21, 2018) from China Premier, Li Keqiang, during a regular conference at The State Council. It was announced that the current policy on cross-border e-commerce will continue past the end of the grace period, whilst China develops new regulations and improves existing policies/regulations on imports and exports via cross-border e-commerce from Jan 1, 2019.
Over the past few weeks, particularly at the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai, the Chinese government has expressed great interest in promoting the expansion of cross-border e-commerce. President Xi Jinping confirmed in his opening speech at the Expo that China will continue to step up its stance in cross-border e-commerce by creating effective yet accommodating regulations. The announcement yesterday may be seen as a more ‘relaxed’ approach to cross-border e-commerce as these goods will be regulated as personal use items, compared with strict regulations that were supposed to take effect from Jan 1, 2019 when the Grace Period ends.
As of Jan 1, 2019, existing regulations for cross-border e-commerce shall continue, these include:
- No product registration, filing or certification for cosmetics, health foods and infant formula that are being imported through cross-border e-commerce.
- Up until now, goods have enjoyed zero tariffs within a set quota (see below) and had import VAT and consumer tax collected at 70 percent of the statutory taxable amount. This will now continue past Jan 1, 2019, with the addition of 63 new tax categories of high-demand goods.
- Limitations for single purchase via cross-border e-commerce will be increased from RMB2,000 to RMB5,000 and the yearly purchase amount will be increased from RMB20,000 to RMB26,000.
It’s also essential to remember that the new E-commerce law will still come into effect from Jan 1, 2019. The purpose of this law is to ensure E-commerce platform operators, businesses and logistic service providers are complying with relevant import and export laws and fulfilling their obligations of consumer protection. Product quality, safety inspection and risk prevention should all be closely monitored.
With the Chinese government officially announcing that cross-border e-commerce imports reached 67.2 billion yuan between January and October 2018, up 53.7 percent year-on-year, this is brilliant news for both foreign businesses and Chinese trade.
See the official English announcement here: http://english.gov.cn/premier/news/2018/11/21/content_281476400253110.htm?from=groupmessage&isappinstalled=0