Introduction and Interpretation of Regulations on Cross-border E-commerce

In recent years, the cross-border e-commerce has developed rapidly. According to statistics, the value of cross-border e-commerce trade counted for about 17.6% of import-export trade in 2015, and it will increase to 20.3% in 2016 according to the preliminary estimation of Ministry of Commerce. Related Chinese authorities have published several regulations and notices on products regulatory compliance, custom clearance, inspection and quarantine, tax and etc. successively to guide, regulate and govern the trade order. 
In early 2015, China (Hangzhou) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot area was first established in Hangzhou. In early 2016, new cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot areas have been set up in 12 cities decided by the state council, such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and etc. High attention has been paid to cross-border e-commerce by the government.  And at the meanwhile, more and more domestic and oversea enterprises have focused on and participated in the trade of cross-border e-commerce due to the great convenience and yield.  
Two types of the cross-border e-commerce
1. Direct mail cross-border e-commerce: Products are sold to Chinese customers directly by international express from overseas and the consignee is individual customer.
2. Online shopping bonded cross-border e-commerce: The whole batch of cargoes are imported into China and stored in a special supervision area. The products are then retailed to customer online and delivered to customers individually.
Which food categories the cross-border e-commerce applied to at this moment?
1. Foods that can be imported through traditional trade.
2. Foods that belong to new category in China but doesn’t have corresponding Chinese national standards.
3. Foods that contain approved raw materials, food additives, etc. in the country of origin, but not approved in China.
4. Foods that need to be registered in China with long duration through traditional trade before importation, such as dietary supplement, but without registration certificates.   
5. Foods that have compliant original label, but do not have compliant Chinese label.
6. Foods that are expected to be imported into China market and become popular in a short time.
Key points of cross-border e-commerce trade
Direct mail cross-border e-commerce
  • High-quality foods
  • Well known online trade platform
  • Fast and efficient international express
Online shopping bonded cross-border e-commerce
  • High-quality foods
  • Well known online trade platform
  • Fast and efficient international express
  • Logistics company
  • Warehousing company
  • Custom clearance company
Related regulations and notices
Publish Date Published By Regulations or Notices Implementation Date
2013.8.21 General Office of the State Council Opinions on Implementing the Policy of Supports the Retail Export under Cross-border E-commerce 2013.8.21
2014.7.23 General Administration of Customs Notice on the Supervision of Import-export Cargos, Articles under Cross-border E-commerce (No. 56 of 2014) 2014.8.1
2014.7.30 General Administration of Customs Notice on adding the code of custom supervision mode (No. 57 of 2014) 2014.8.1
2015.5.4 The state council Opinions on Developing E-commerce Rapidly and Speeding up to Cultivate the New Impetus of Economy (No. 24 of 2015) 2015.5.4
2015.5.12 The state council Several Opinions on Speeding up to Cultivate the New Foreign Trade Competitive Advantage 2015.5.12
2015.5.14 AQSIQ

Opinions on Further Play the Function of Inspection and Quarantine to Promote the Development of Cross-border E-commerce

2015.6.16 General Office of the State Council Guidance on Accelerating the Health and Rapid Development of Cross-border E-commerce (No. 46 of 2015) 2015.6.16
2015.8.18 CFDA Supervision and Management on Online Food Operation (exposure draft) Draft
2015.9.9 General Administration of Customs Letter on Strengthen the Importation Supervision of Cross-border E-commerce Online Shopping Bonded Type (No. 58 of 2015) 2015.9.9
2015.10.14 AQSIQ Supervision and Management on Cross-Border Electronic Commerce of Imported Food through Bonded Online Shopping (exposure draft) Draft
2015.11.24 AQSIQ Managements Specification on Cross-border E-commerce Operator and Products Record (Notice No. 137 of 2015) 2016.1.1
Different requirements between cross-border e-commerce and traditional trade 
Requirements Traditional Trade Cross-border E-commerce
Corresponding Chinese product national standards Yes, it is mandatory No, it is optional
Approved product formula Yes, all raw materials must be approved in China No, some raw materials could be unapproved in China but approved in other countries.
Compliant Chinese label Yes, it is mandatory No, it is optional
Major Tax Added-value tax, import tax Personal postal articles tax
Documents for inspection declaration Lots materials are needed, such as the original labels and corresponding Chinese label, country of origin certificate, nutrition test reports as and etc. 1. direct mail type: managed as imported international parcel or express.
2. online shopping bonded type: Few materials are needed, such as the operator notification certificate, product qualification certificate and etc.
Duration of custom clearance Longer Shorter
Inspection and quarantine Casual inspection 1. direct mail type: managed as imported international parcel or express. And the casual inspection will be conducted on foods which are bought by the inspector online
2. online shopping bonded type: casual inspection
Compared with traditional trade, cross-border e-commerce trade has huge advantages in time and cost at this moment. However, according to the new draft on Supervision and Management on Cross-Border Electronic Commerce of Imported Food through Bonded Online Shopping which published by AQSIQ recently (click here for detailed information), the requirements on either product itself (including product raw materials, product Chinese label, product registration etc.) or the product inspection and quarantine of food imported through cross-border e-commerce will be consistent with that of traditional trade. It is very necessary for food safety control.  
Related enterprises should pay more attention to these regulations and be ready to respond to the new requirements of the government by making your products regulatory compliance in time. CIRS will update the following progress continuously.

Contact us

Ms. Alice Yang, Food & Health Products, CIRS China
11F Dongguan Building, 288 Qiuyi Road, Binjiang District, Hangzhou, China, 310020
Tel: +86 571 8720 6555 | Fax: +86 571 8720 6533

① 凡本网注明"稿件来源:“杭州瑞旭科技集团有限公司"的所有文字、图片和音视频稿件,版权均属杭州瑞旭科技集团有限公司所有,任何媒体、网站或个人未经本网协议授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式复制发表。已经本网协议授权的媒体、网站,在下载使用时必须注明"稿件来源:杭州瑞旭科技集团有限公司",违者本网将依法追究责任。
② 本网未注明"稿件来源:杭州瑞旭科技集团有限公司 "的文/图等稿件均为转载稿,本网转载出于传递更多信息之目的,并不意味着赞同其观点或证实其内容的真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人从本网下载使用,必须保留本网注明的"稿件来源",并自负版权等法律责任。如擅自篡改为"稿件来源:杭州瑞旭科技集团有限公司",本网将依法追究责任。如对稿件内容有疑议,请及时与我们联系。
③ 如本网转载稿涉及版权等问题,请作者在两周内速来电或来函与杭州瑞旭科技集团有限公司联系。
Contact Us
Tel:+86 (0) 571 87206538
ADD: 11/F., Bldg 1, Dongguan Hi-Tech Park, 288 Qiuyi Rd Binjiang District Hangzhou, China