Ministry says e-commerce tax no trouble for outbound tourists
Ministry of Finance says new tax on imported goods purchased from e-commerce sites will not affect Chinese travelers who buy abroad
The new tax on imported goods purchased from e-commerce sites will not affect Chinese travelers who buy abroad, the Ministry of Finance said on Saturday.
"The new policy targets e-commerce, not individual outbound tourists," People's Daily quoted an unidentified ministry official as saying.
According to the authority, the rules for tourists returning from abroad remain unchanged, with purchases up to the value of 5,000 yuan ($770) exempt from duties. The new tax relates only to e-commerce platforms that allow consumers to order imported goods online to be delivered through postal services.
Cross-border e-commerce has boomed with the surge in demand for higher-quality products among China's middle class. For a time, websites have enjoyed an edge over other channels, such as onshore duty-free shops, as they did not need to pay tariffs, import value-added tax or consumption tax.
Fitch Ratings said in its latest report that China's restrictions on overseas purchases may narrow the price differential of luxury goods between China and the rest of the world, potentially boosting domestic consumption.
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