China imposes new taxes on goods purchased through foreign websites

Baku, April 25, AZERTAC

At the same time, China waives certain duties. Some imported products will be more expensive and others less costly, according to Internet Retailer.

Overseas brands and retailers selling to Chinese online shoppers will have to adapt to new cross-border regulations that took effect today. Companies involved in that booming cross-border e-commerce trade say the new rules will make some goods more expensive, but in general should not put a big damper on their sales.

The regulations will raise the cost to Chinese web shoppers of certain products, such as food, on which the previous import duty was only 10%. But prices will decrease on cosmetics, on which China previously charged a 50% tariff.

The new policy allows consumers to import up to 2000 yuan ($309) worth of goods from an e-commerce site outside of China and pay a flat tax of 11.9%. That’s lower than the 17% value-added tax consumers pay when making purchases in stores in China. China’s cross-border import e-retail market was $18.32 billion in 2015, up 111.9% from 2014.

The government’s new policies should not slow the growth in Chinese consumers buying products from foreign websites, financial services firm UBS AG wrote in a recent report. UBS says China’s growing middle class increasingly wants higher-quality goods, especially in areas like baby and maternity products where safety is important, and that they are not overly price-sensitive.

Chinese online shoppers, however, may see a temporary delay in receiving goods ordered from abroad. Tmall Global, an online marketplace for imported goods operated by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., says orders may come into the country more slowly in the next week as China’s customs agency upgrades its systems to account for the new policies.

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