International health food companies and infant formula food suppliers rejoiced on March 17, 2017, when the China Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) confirmed that the current supervision model will likely be adjusted for cross border e-commerce retail imports (“CBEC”). The announcement advised that the new model, which will take effect from January 1, 2018, will apply to 15 pilot zones.
The mood was markedly different back in April 2016, when several PRC authorities officially issued new policies regulating cross border e-commerce. The most concerning aspect of the April 2016 measures was that a range of products, including health food, infant formula, cosmetics and medical devices, would need to be registered or filed with the PRC authorities. These polices caused panic in the market and resulted in a sharp drop (almost one third) of CBEC business revenue. A later notice in May 2016 granted a grace period for the implementation of registration and filing requirements until May 2017, which was extended by MOFCOM in November until the end of 2017.
Continue Reading Respite or False Dawn: MOFCOM Hints at Softening of Tough PRC E-commerce Policies