10 things you need to know about China cross-border eCommerce


Since 2018, China's authority further released improved regulation on retail CBEC (cross border eCommerce) for import products that have significantly benefited foreign brands. With 2018 new rules, more items are allowed to sell directly to Chinese consumers via CBEC with lesser administrative hassles. Below is the top 10 must-know regulation about China imported CBEC:

1.    Importing China CBEC (cross-border eCommerce) products are meant for providing more options to Chinese consumers. Based on this principle, all imported CBEC products are strictly for individual consumption only. Therefore, products sold over CBEC platforms are NOT allowed to be re-sold, re-distributed offline in the domestic market.

2.    As imported CBEC products are for personal use, the buyers (or consumers) are responsible for paying imported taxes.

3.    As CBEC imported products are considered personal use, therefore, if CBEC products are delivered over “direct mail” model (please refer to our earlier articles about “Best routes to sell to China for foreign brands”), the first-time imported products are not required to register or apply for approval for the products.

4.    Since 2018, China's authority has increased CBEC purchase allowance on an individual basis from RMB 2000 to RMB 500, annual allowance from RMB 20,000 to RMB 26,000.

5.    If a transaction exceeds RMB 5000 (including taxes) but the total annual transaction is below annual allowance of RMB 26,000, and the transaction only has one single item, it can still be considered as a CBEC transaction

6.    If CBEC products are delivered via direct mailing model, it is based on mailing taxes for importing goods by personal (个人行邮物品税), ranging from 10% to 50%. High-value products such as imported watches or bags or each product selling price exceeding RMB 10,000, the tax charged to buyers is at 30%. The highest tax to buyers is imported cosmetic products or imported alcohol products such as wine, which could reach 50% of selling prices.

7.    A new list of “Cross border eCommerce retail import goods (2019 version)” further widen 63 CBEC product categories, the total products allowed over CBEC is now more than 1,400 items

8.    Out of over 1,400 items, if the original ingredients of products are on the list of “Import and export of wild animal and plant species (进出口野生动植物种商品目)”, it may not be allowed to be sold over CBEC imported goods

9.    If imported CBEC products are delivered over FTZ bonded warehouse model, it is required to present “3 orders and 1 certificate” ( 三单一证) – customer order, payment order, warehouse delivery order, and China custom certificate

10.  If imported CBEC products are delivered over the direct mailing, “3 orders and 1 certificate” ruling is not necessarily applicable.

China CBEC for imported retail is still growing strong, at over 25% year-on-year. If you are foreign brands and would like to have better control over your products and distribution, consult with us to find out more details

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