"Grace Period" for Cross-Border E-Commerce
The State Council Executive Meeting chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on 20 September 2017 decided that the "grace period" for the Cross-Border E-Commerce Pilot Program (CBE Program), which was previously set to expire on 31 December 2017, be further extended until 31 December 2018.
As background, China amended its regulations on the CBE Program in April 2016 to impose import licensing, product registration and commodity inspection and quarantine (CIQ) requirements on consumer goods imported and sold under the CBE Program. These include, most notably, the pre-importation registration of infant milk formula, cosmetics, health food, medical devices and other sensitive products, as well as the requirement for most consumer goods undergoing the CIQ procedure to ensure compliance with Chinese national standards and product safety and quality rules. Nevertheless, Chinese government subsequently offered a "grace period" during which the implementation of these requirements was suspended. The further extension of the "grace period" suggests that imported consumer goods sold under the CBE Program will continue to be exempted from these requirements until the end of 2018.
Based upon our observation, notwithstanding the general exemption provided by the central government policy, local practices in this regard could still vary substantially from port to port.