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Updated Regulations on Cross-Border E-Commerce Retail Imports

In 2018, China announced a series of new regulations which are designed to improve the regulatory framework of Cross Border E-Commerce (hereafter CBEC) retail imports and promote the development of this sector. These regulations with effectiveness on 1st of January 2019 have clarified the general supervisory principle for CBEC retail imports, expanded the qualified CBEC retail import system, adjusted tax policies and enhanced the CBEC import supervision system.

Hong Kong

CBEC platforms are highly popular among Chinese consumers and have become one of the major channels to buy authentic foreign products. The volume of CBEC retail imports reached RMB78.58 billion in 2018 (Renminbi, Chinese yuan), an increase of 39.8% on the year before according to Chinese Customs’ statistic. For many Swiss brands and retailers, the CBEC channel is a good starting point to test the Chinese market.

In 2018, the Chinese authorities have made a number of updates on the CBEC regulations to facilitate further growth and development of the CBEC market. The major updates include:

  1. E-Commerce Law of the People’s Republic of China, adopted by the National People’s Congress (NPC)
  2. Circular [2018] No. 486 on Improving the Supervision of Retail Imports in Cross-Border E-Commerce, jointly issued by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Finance (MOF), General Administration of Customs (GAC), State Administration of Taxation (STA) and State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR)
  3. Announcement [2018] No. 194 of the General Administration of Customs on Matters concerning the Supervision of Retail Imports and Exports in Cross-Border E-Commerce
  4. Announcement [2018] No. 157 on Adjusting the List of Retail Imports in Cross-Border E-Commerce, jointly issued by the Ministry of Finance, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MOA), the Ministry of Commerce, the People’s Bank of China (PBC), the General Administration of Customs, and the Other Departments
  5. Notice [2018] No. 49 of the Ministry of Finance, General Administration of Customs and State Administration of Taxation on Improving the Tax Policy over Retail Imports in Cross-Border E-commerce
  6. Announcement [2018] No. 177 of the General Administration of Customs on Issuing the Criteria of Certified Enterprises of the Customs Administration

Find out more about the highlights of the Updated Regulations on Cross-Border E-commerce Retail Imports in China in the PDF below!

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