Insight
Retail trade firms get policy support on cross-border e-commerce
Last Updated: 2013-09-30 13:20 | CE.cn
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By Kang Shu

Recently, departments including Ministry of Commerce have issued the Notice on Implementing Relevant Policies Suggestions to Support Transboundary E-commerce Retail Export, containing the targeted concrete measures for problems encountered by retail export enterprises on customs, inspection & quarantine, taxation, etc. This policy undoubtedly breaks the ice of export barrier, and brings great benefit to all the retail export enterprises.

As network gradually penetrates into commercial circulation field, transboundary e-commerce becomes more prevalent. However, there is huge difference between e-commerce retail export and traditional mode of trade, current management systems, policies, regulations and existing environmental conditions cannot meet the development requirements of e-commerce. To promote the healthy development of transboundary e-commerce, General Office of the State Council has forwarded the Notice on Implementing Relevant Policies Suggestions to Support Transboundary E-commerce Retail Export issued by departments including the Ministry of Commerce recently.

Retail export enterprises gladly obtain the benefits

E-commerce retail export is quite different from traditional mode of trade in mode of trade, goods transportation, payment and settlement, etc. Current relevant policies fail to meet the requirements of transboundary e-commerce retail export enterprises.

According to the statistics, in 2011, China's trading volume of transboundary commerce is around RMB 1.6 trillion yuan, and about RMB 2 trillion yuan in 2012, which implies a faster growth rate of trade scale.

However, e-commerce retail export is quite different from traditional mode of trade in mode of trade, goods transportation, payment and settlement. Current relevant policies fail to meet the requirements of transboundary e-commerce retail export enterprises developed by forms of posting, express freight and the like, which causes much inconvenience in customs, inspection & quarantine, exchange collection and payment, taxation and other aspects. The Suggestions on Implementing Relevant Policies to Support Transboundary E-commerce Retail Export has raised concrete measures specific to the above-mentioned questions.

It is understood that currently China's transboundary e-commerce is mainly divided into two modes of trade including Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Customer (B2C). In the B2B mode, the enterprises focus on advertisement and information publish by use of e-commerce, the conclusion of transaction and customs clearance procedures basically are completed offline, which still belongs to traditional trade essentially, and is contained in the general trade statistics of customs. In the B2C mode, Chinese enterprises directly face the foreign customers, and focus on selling personal customer goods, and mainly adopt air mail, posting, express delivery and other ways for logistics, with post or express companies as entity of customs declaration, and most enterprises haven't registered with customs at present.

Six measures for achieving convenience and high-efficiency

The Suggestions has put forward 6 concrete measures, which enable the transboundary e-commerce retail export more convenient and efficient.

Specific to problems encountered by retail export enterprises in such aspects as customs, inspection & quarantine, taxation and exchange collection and payment, six concrete measures have been raised in Notice on Implementing Relevant Policies Suggestions to Support Transboundary E-commerce Retail Export.

To solve the current problem that retail export fails to handle customs supervision statistics, the Suggestions clarify that new e-commerce export customs supervision mode will be established and conduct special statistics. After establishing new supervision mode, customs will conduct intensively supervision to export commodities of business entity, and adopt the mode of detailed list check before clearance, summary declaration to handle customs procedures, and reduce the expenditure of declaration to customs.

The Suggestions clarify that it will carry out convenient measures to intensively declare and handle procedures related to inspection & quarantine. After establishing new inspection supervision mode, it will conduct inspection & quarantine filling or admittance management to e-commerce export enterprises and their products, and evaluate the product quality safety by use of the third party inspection and accrediting authority.

At present, it's difficult for enterprises in handling export exchange collection, which mainly due to that the customs declaration entity of customs system is post or express company, Foreign Exchange Administrative Department fails to confirm the authenticity of trade and goods logistics. After issuing the Suggestions, it will allow the business entity to apply to open foreign exchange accounts, and handle exchange collection and settlement business for goods export with customs declaration information. The Suggestions also encourages banks and payment institutions to provide payment service for transboundary e-commerce.

As for the difficult problem of export rebates handling commonly concerned by e-commerce export enterprises, the Suggestions clarify that it will carry out exemption of value-added tax and consumption tax or tax rebates policy to qualified e-commerce goods.

Currently, some enterprises ignore the business credit in e-commerce export, which harms the reputation of our national enterprises and bring negative effects to the international image of our products. As for the above situation, the Suggestions clarify that relevant departments will strictly investigate and prosecute business fraud, fight against such behaviors as infringing upon intellectual property and sell counterfeit and shoddy products, to continuously strengthen the construction of e-commerce export credit system.

Local governments will issue supporting measures

Besides that various departments shall carry out works based on assignment of responsibility as soon as possible, the positive promotion of local governments will play a key role in the effective and timely implementation of the Suggestions.

As introduced by relevant principals of Department of Foreign Trade and Department of E-commerce of Ministry of Commerce, during implementing the Suggestions, all regions shall handle the following problems well:

Firstly, all regions shall formulate the implementation plan to develop transboundary e-commerce and expand export, practically assume the responsibilities to guide, supervise and regulate, and find, dispose and report the problems early arising in the implementation process.

Secondly, they shall issue supporting measures. Local relevant departments shall carry out supervision measures and rules on customs, tax, inspection & quarantine, foreign exchange, etc. to support the policies, ensure the policies to be implemented in place with effective supervision and competent guarantee. Meanwhile, it shall accelerate infrastructure construction; make efforts to connect customs e-ports of various regions with local department systems on foreign exchange, tax, etc.

Furthermore, it shall comprehensively improve the development of transboundary e-commerce. The Suggestions require that all regions shall actively guide business entity to insist in winning through high quality, lay emphasis on brand cultivation; rely on e-port platform, establish the integrated management system containing business entity and overall procedures for e-commerce export, achieve the information sharing among departments of commerce, customs, national tax, industry and commerce, inspection & quarantine, foreign exchange, etc.; enhance the construction of credit evaluation system, commodity quality supervision system, pre-warning control system for risks in international trade and intellectual property protection system, and ensure the healthy and sustainable development of e-commerce export.

As emphasized by relevant principals of Department of Foreign Trade and Department of E-commerce of Ministry of Commerce, besides that various departments shall carry out works based on assignment of responsibility as soon as possible, the positive promotion of local governments will play a key role in the effective and timely implementation of the Suggestions.

It is understood that since the day of Suggestions issuance, the above-mentioned policies will be tried out in Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Zhengzhou, the five pilot cities for transboundary trade e-commerce customs clearance service. Since October 1, 2013, the policies above will be implemented in qualified placed nationwide.

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