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To all the cross border eCommerce retailers in China, the new tax policies for cross border eCommerce retail imports announced last month brought mixed feelings, since it not only raised import tariffs, but also set a limitation on imported goods via eCommerce. On May 20th, good news came in, finally: parts of the new regulation will be postponed for a year.
To be more specific, customs clearance certificates for imported goods can be exempted until many 10th, 2017. This 1-year delay policy will come into effect in 10 cross border eCommerce pilot cities, including Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Fuzhou and Pingtan.
China cross border eCommerce: click http://www.tmogroup.asia/ecoss-globe/
Customs clearance certificate is delayed
Among all the new tax policies for cross border eCommerce retail imports, the most controversial one is that for every imported good, customs clearance certificated is essential to enter the bonded zones in China.
Customs clearance certificate, or “Customs Clearance of Entry Commodities”, requires documents like Original invoice, quarantine inspection report, guarantee slip, etc. Most of cross border retailers stock goods from distributor overseas, which made them impossible to prepare for this customs clearance certificate. The new policy addressed that one cannot sell their goods without the certificate, even though they’re already stocked in the bonded zone. With that being said, this sudden policy will put many cross border eCommerce out of business.
Example of Customs clearance Certificate
Luckily, China government has now put a 1-year probation on this rule. Cross border eCommerce can still sell their products, and now they have more time to prepare for the documents needed, and make adjustments according to the new policies.
No Change on tax yet
Nothing related to taxation policy has been mentioned in the adjustments. In other words, imported value-added tax & consumption tax instead of parcel tax, the biggest change in the tax policies, will still stay valid.
Data shows that after the new cross border eCommerce tax policy announced, the cross border eCommerce orders in Ningbo, Hangzhou and Shenzhen have dropped 62%, 65% and 61%, respectively.
China is discovering a best approach
In fact, it’s the third adjustments for the new restrictions on cross border imports in the past month. Earlier, authorities did some fine-tuning in the policy of importing goods for the first time, then, the second batch of “positive list” was unveiled to cover more commodities.
All the signs are pointing to the fact: China government is being supportive to cross border eCommerce, and the authority is still discovering a best approach to the tax reform with the cross border eCommerce retailers. New policy for cross border eCommerce was adopted too hastily. The country realized it, and it is taking a soft method to let enterprise adapt it.
What could be the next? It is estimated that the new version of “positive list” will come up soon, which deliver a more clear description to all the imported products.
Overall, the government is trying to minimize the damage of the new tax policies, and make sure every business can have a smooth transition.
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