Cross-Border E-commerce in China: Your Ultimate FAQs Guide


As a new business model, cross-border e-commerce has become a new engine for China's foreign trade development, a new channel for transformation and upgrading, and a new focus for high-quality development. In 2015, China established the first cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zone. In recent years, the model of China's cross-border e-commerce pilot zones has become increasingly mature, with the number of pilot zones expanding to over 165.

With the trial-and-error development of cross-border e-commerce, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) recently responded to public comments. It addresses public concerns and provides valuable insights into Cross-Border E-Commerce in China.

With the aim of providing clarity and guidance to those seeking to engage in e-commerce activities within China, ZMUni undertakes the task of compiling and translating essential information into English. This unravels the nuances and dispels the confusion surrounding e-commerce in China.

Q1: During the inspection and case handling, law enforcement personnel found that some domestic merchants purchased infant formula imported through cross-border e-commerce and resold it through takeout platforms. These infant formulas do not have Chinese labels and do not mark the registration number of the infant formula. In this case, how should law enforcement personnel deal with it? Can these domestic merchants be regarded as engaging in cross-border e-commerce sales behavior?

According to the Notice on Improving the Supervision of Cross-Border E-commerce Retail Imports (Commercial Finance Issue [2018] No. 486) stipulated by the Ministry of Commerce, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, General Administration of Customs, State Taxation Administration, and State Administration for Market Regulation: Goods purchased by consumers are limited to personal use and should not be resold.

According to the provisions of Articles 71, 74, 81, and 97 of the Food Safety Law, the state implements strict supervision over infant formula. A registration system is implemented for the product formula of infant formula milk powder. Additionally, strict requirements are placed on the entire production process. The labels of imported food should comply with the provisions of the Food Safety Law.

For food operators who resell special foods such as cross-border e-commerce infant formula, they should be dealt with according to Articles 124 and 125 of the Food Safety Law. Food operators who resell other cross-border e-commerce foods except for special foods should be dealt with according to Article 125 of the Food Safety Law.

Q2: Is it legal or illegal for the product received by the customer to not have a Chinese label?

Relevant goods directly purchased from abroad may not have Chinese labels, and consumers can view the Chinese electronic labels of goods through the website. However, cross-border e-commerce companies need to fulfill their duty to remind and inform consumers, that is, the platform shall provide consumers with a risk notice at the product ordering webpage or other prominent locations. Consumers can place an order to purchase only after confirming the agreement.

Q3: Can food supplements that do not require registration or notification and are imported through cross-border e-commerce retail still be considered food supplements and advertise health functions in domestic advertising promotions?

The Food Safety Law stipulates that China implements a dual-track system of registration and record-keeping for food supplements. Foods (food supplements) imported through cross-border e-commerce are supervised as personal belongings, cannot be resold, and are not considered food supplements as stipulated by China's laws, regulations, and standards.

According to Article 18 of the Advertisement Law, the advertisement of food supplements shall not contain the following contents:

1)Assertions or guarantees indicating efficacy and safety;

2) Involving disease prevention and treatment functions;

3) Claiming or implying that the advertised goods are necessary for health;

4) Comparisons with drugs, other food supplements;

5) Using advertising spokespersons for recommendations, proofs;

6) Other content prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

The advertisement of food supplements shall clearly state "This product cannot replace drugs".

ZMUni specializes in providing comprehensive assistance and guidance on food supplement compliance in China. Our team of experts is dedicated to ensuring that your business meets all the necessary regulatory requirements in this dynamic market. If you have any questions or concerns regarding food supplement compliance, we are here to help. Feel free to reach out to us, and let our knowledge and expertise support your success in navigating the intricacies of the Chinese market.

Contact us today for personalized assistance tailored to your specific needs:

Post a Comment