21st October 2020 –
Guangzhou has historically been one of China’s leading foreign trade centres. Even in the e-commerce era, Guangzhou still retains certain trading advantages. From January to July 2020, the volume of import and export passing through the customs cross-border e-commerce management platform in Guangzhou reached RMB 20.87 billion, ranking first in the country, with a year-on-year growth of 1.83%. Guangzhou is taking steps to further improve its e-commerce position.
In order to foster its advantages in cross-border e-commerce market and to promote its further development, the Guangzhou Commerce Bureau issued “Certain Measures of Guangzhou for Promoting the High-quality Development of Cross-border E-commerce” (the “Measures”) on 4 September 2020, which sets out 19 measures in respect of optimising the business environment for cross-border e-commerce, enhancing the efficiency of customs clearance, striving for the approval of e-commerce related pilot projects, establishing industrial parks and public service platforms for e-commerce, and attracting industry leaders and talent, etc. Relevant authorities have been assigned to implement each of those measures. The Measures shall be valid for three years from the date of issuance.
Key points of the 19 measures include the following:
- Consolidating supervision and operating procedures so that regulatory supervision and legal enforcement for cross-border e-commerce can be unified. Allowing cross-border e-commerce products to be stored and handled in the same warehouse with other goods if relevant conditions are satisfied.
- Improving the return mechanism for cross-border e-commerce retail export, and allowing qualified cross-border e-commerce retail exports to be returned into China without the payment of tax. Striving to achieve mutual recognition of the qualifications of inbound and outbound express consignment operators in different customs districts within Guangzhou.
- Promoting pilot projects in cross-border e-commerce B2B exports. Implementing on an assessment basis in the comprehensive pilot zone the policies of collecting income tax, verification and collection for cross-border e-commerce enterprises. Simplifying the foreign exchange receipt and payment procedures for trading in goods by small and micro cross-border e-commerce enterprises.
- Striving to obtain approval from the relevant state authorities to launch pilot projects for the cross-border e-commerce retail import of healthcare products and pet food, and simplifying import formalities and procedures.
- Clarifying administrative charges payable by cross-border e-commerce enterprises. Allowing logistics enterprises to tally directly imported cross-border e-commerce commodities on their own.
- Including land usage for cross-border e-commerce logistics bases and special customs supervision zones in the central urban area in the industrial land planning of Guangzhou. Park sponsors who succeed in introducing leading cross-border e-commerce enterprises into any cross-border e-commerce industrial park will be rewarded.
- Guangzhou will support the development of a single window cross-border e-commerce public service platform and provide one-stop service to relevant enterprises. Blockchain technology will be applied to the development of cross-border e-commerce enterprises credit system and risk management system.
- Warehouse owners in special zones or bonded logistics centres (B type) will receive subsidies for letting premises for use as warehouses for cross-border e-commerce related businesses based on the leased area.
- Guangzhou will promote the “Silk Road E-commerce” project and establish a cross-border e-commerce international cooperation mechanism with countries (regions) along the Belt and Road. Guangzhou will also guide enterprises to build cross-border e-commerce offshore warehouses.
- Guangzhou will support enterprises to attract cross-border e-commerce talent and to cultivate local professionals. Eligible talent may apply for the Guangzhou Talent Green Cards or “You Yue Cards” to enjoy the relevant preferential policies.
- Guangzhou will actively organise various activities with the theme of cross-border e-commerce and gather the advantageous resources of cross-border e-commerce operators in Guangzhou. Each district of Guangzhou is encouraged to establish cross-border e-commerce industrial parks with distinctive characters based on its actual circumstances.
On the whole, the foregoing measures will help cross-border e-commerce enterprises to reduce their operating cost and enhance their operational efficiency. Cross-border e-commerce enterprises in Guangzhou may gain more advantages over their competitors in other regions if the measures are implemented effectively. Relevant operators in Hong Kong and Macao should keep a close eye on the development and implementation of the foregoing measures so as to take full advantage of their geographical advantages and seize the opportunity to develop their businesses.