Gao Feng, the press spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce of P.R.C., said on the regular press conference held on 22th, China's transitional arrangement of "interim regulation as individual articles" on the retail import in cross-border e-commerce had effectively promoted the development of relevant industries since May 2016. From January to September, China's cross-border e-commerce has realized a retail import volume of RMB57.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 56.6%.
The post-transition regulatory program for cross-border e-commerce had been reviewed and passed in principle, and the Ministry of Commerce would issue the program and organize its implementation jointly with other departments concerned as soon as possible, he said. On the regulatory principles of "inclusiveness and discretion", this program has inherited and improved the existing regulatory arrangements. On one hand, it confirms the principle of "interim regulation as individual articles" as a permanent one and clarifies that imported retail commodities in cross-border e-commerce should be regulated as individual-used imported articles, and not subject to the requirements of licensing, approval, registration or filing for the first-time import, which keeps the continuity and stability of regulatory policies. On the other hand, it has improved and refined relevant regulatory requirements, clarified the responsibilities of all participants, such as the government sectors, cross-border e-commerce enterprises, cross-border e-commerce platforms and domestic service providers, and strengthened the regulation of commodity's quality and safety, and risk prevention and control to further safeguard the market order of fair competition and the rights and interests of consumers.
Meanwhile, to positively support the development of retail import in cross-border e-commerce, on the basis of 15 existing cities, the policies that take into effect from 2019 will be expanded to cover 22 cities with cross-border e-commerce comprehensive test zones newly established including Beijing. For direct-purchasing import businesses in non-pilot cities, relevant regulatory policies can be referred to.
Upon introducing this program, Gao Feng said, the competent commerce departments would closely follow the operation of relevant policies, and timely improve relevant policies and measures based on needs; enterprises in the industry were expected to further strengthen their self-regulation and inner managements as per the regulatory program and implement risk prevention and control on quality and safety to practically guarantee the legal rights and interest of consumers and jointly promote the sustainable and healthy development of retail import in cross-border e-commerce.
In response to questions related to pilot free trade zones, Gao Feng said that the construction of pilot free trade zones is of milestone significance in the process of China's reform and opening- up. In the past five years, all pilot free trade zones have given full play to the role of comprehensively deepening and reforming pilot fields, witnessed the continuous expanding of pilot contents and the gradual perfection of construction layout, and gained significant achievements in system innovation such as free and convenient trade and investment, financial services to the real economy, and government function transformation; a total of 153 pieces of reform and pilot experiences have been promoted and generalized nationwide and have contributed to the formation of a multi-level, wide-range, and compound comprehensive reform situation, and a new pattern for opening up and reform.
Gao Feng stressed that we would center on the goal of creating a new highland for reform and opening up in the new era to positively advance the reform and innovation of pilot free trade zones in key fields and links, explore the construction of free trade ports with Chinese characteristics, and further reduce the negative lists in foreign investment. In the aspects of advancing the market opening up in manufacturing and service industries, continuously improving the free and convenient levels of trade and investment, and promoting higher levels of intellectual property protection, we'll take the leading role, make great efforts to form more quality experiences replicable and promotable, and promote to construct a new economic pattern in a higher level.