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China Great News on Cross-border E-commerce (CBEC) Published on November 21st, 2018

from CIRS by

China,Food,Cross-border,E-commerce,CEBC,Transitional period

On November 21st, 2018, Premier Li Keqiang held an executive meeting of the state council, and decided to continue and improve the cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) retail import policy and expand the scope of application, so as to better stimulate the consumption potential and improve the quality and efficiency of the national economy. The policies decided on the meeting will be implemented on January 1st, 2019. In a word, the grace period of CBEC will continue since 2019, and for the moment, no one knows when the grace period will end.

Longer Positive List, no registration/filing required

It is decided on the meeting that 63 commodities in high demand will present on the list. Meanwhile, registration/filing and first-import permitted license will not be required for CBEC retail imported commodities, but they will be supervised as personal imported items.

More cities, higher transaction limits

Otherwise, the meeting decided to expand the scope of cities for establishing CBEC pilot zones, increasing the total number from 13 to 35 cities (refer to table 1 for specific information). Moreover, the single transaction limit and annual transaction limit will be increased from RMB 2,000 and RMB 20,000 to RMB 5,000 and RMB 26,000, respectively.

Table 1 Cities approved to establish CBEC pilot zone in China

Approval time

New Approval cities

March 12th, 2015


January 12th, 2016

Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hefei, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Suzhou

July 24th, 2018

Beijing, Hohhot, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin, Nanjing, Nanchang, Wuhan, Changsha, Nanning, Haikou, Guiyang, Kunming, Xi 'an, Lanzhou, Xiamen, Tangshan, Wuxi, Weihai, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Yiwu

Since April 8th, 2016, CBEC policies have been adjusted for many times, and the main change process is shown in table 2.

Table 2 Main changes of CBEC policies in China


Adjusted matters

April 8th, 2016

  • Publish Positive List;
  • Single transaction limit of CBEC retail import commodities is RMB 2,000, annual transaction limit of is RMB 20,000;
  • For goods imported within the transaction limits, the tariff rate shall be temporarily set at 0%;
  • Cancel the exemption of VAT and consumption tax, and temporarily levy 70% of the amount of tax payable by law;
  • Any excess of the transaction limit shall be taxed in full in accordance with the general mode of trade.

May 24th, 2016

  • To ensure enterprises gradually adapt to the regulatory requirements, transitional period is set: before May 11th 2017, cosmetic, infant formula, medical devices and health food, food for special medical purposes will not be required to provide registration/filing certificate or first-import permitted license.

November 15th, 2016

  • The transitional period for CBEC will be extended to the end of 2017;
  • The commodities will be monitored temporarily as personal items in 10 pilot cities (regions) including Tianjin, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Fuzhou and Pingtan.

March 17th, 2017

  • The transitional policy of CBEC will continue to be implemented before the implementation of the new supervision policy, which will take effect on January 1st, 2018.

September 20th, 2017

  • The state council decide to extend the transitional period of CBEC to the end of 2018.

December 7th, 2017

  • From January 1st, 2018, the transitional policies will be extended to five cities including Hefei, Chengdu, Dalian, Qingdao and Suzhou.

At the end of the transition period, the great news were finally published on the executive meeting of the state council, showing the determination to promote and improve international trade in the nation.