China delays restrictions on foreign online food product purchases

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 14th June 2016

ChinaChina has announced it is delaying the introduction of regulations which would apply to cross-border e-commerce purchases of Australian food products.

e-commerce product distribution compliance

The new laws are to be delayed until May 2017.

Currently, goods arriving in China through e-commerce distribution are able to be sold with no changes to aspects such as labelling, provided that they complied with the regulatory requirements of the place where they were first sold.

However, the incoming laws would require these products to meet the Chinese retail regulations, which in some instances could result in a lengthy compliance and approval process.  Imported products sold through e-commerce would have to meet the same requirements as Chinese-made goods.

Positive list

The delay also applies to laws which would require companies to have their products comply with “positive list”.  The list would limit what can be sold on China’s e-commerce platforms.

The list has been a source of confusion for some Australian dairy and healthcare companies.  If a product does not appear on the list, approval must be sought from China’s Food and Drug Administration.

Tax stays put

The delay does not apply to the 11.9 per cent tax on all online purchases made from outside of China, which was introduced in April 2016.