China Regulatory Brief: Draft Rules on Online Payment & Paperless Clearance System

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China Clarifies Issues Related to the Certificate of Imported Goods

On July 29, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) issued the Announcement [2015] No.34 to clarify matters related to the Certificate of Imported Goods. According to the Announcement, the Customs shall not issue the Certificate to the following goods:

  1. Goods re-exiting China (e.g., temporarily imported goods, repaired goods, processing trade or leasing trade);
  2. Exported goods re-entering China;
  3. Bonded goods entering special customs/bonded supervision areas from outside China; and
  4. Bonded goods transported between special customs supervision areas and bonded supervision areas. 

In the case of importing complete cars and motorcycles, the consignees need to apply to the customs for the Certificate after completion of release formalities for imported goods. This is also the case when importing goods for which it is explicitly required that the Certificate must be issued; when state parties are obliged to issue the Certificate according to international conventions joined or concluded by China; and when importing goods for which the customs have agreed to issue the Certificate. 

PBOC Plans to Release Online Payment Rules

On July 31, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued the “Administrative Measures on Online Payment Business of Non-banking Payment Institutions,” which is currently seeking public opinion. The Measures will put more restriction on online payment businesses and online transfer businesses carried out by non-financial institutions. Specifically, the PBoC plans to limit the amount an individual can pay online to RMB 5,000 (US$805) per day through third-party payment accounts, unless the customer’s identity can be verified by a security token and electronic signature. Though the final version has not been released yet, the draft Measures have already caused widespread concerns that it would have a negative impact on China’s third-party payment and internet finance industry.

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China Expands the Pilot Program of Paperless Customs Clearance for Automatic Import Licenses

On July 29, the Customs and the Ministry of Commerce have decided to further expand the pilot program of paperless customs clearance for automatic import licenses to ten customs, including the three newly established free trade zones (FTZs) in Tianjin, Fujian and Guangdong. The “Paperless Clearance” system was previously implemented in the Shanghai FTZ. 

According to the decision from August 1, 2015, eligible goods (excluding oil and fuel oil) which are subject to the Automatic Licensing system under the “one-batch-one-license” mode (meaning that the same import license can only be used for clearance once) will be exempt from submitting the hardcopy version of the Automatic Import License. The information and licenses of such goods will instead be checked by Customs through the online verification system. 

The Automatic Licensing system was implemented by the MOFCOM to monitor the importation of goods falling under the “permitted” category. MOFCOM and the GAC jointly issue a catalog of goods subject to automatic licensing annually. An automatic license needs to be applied for, and the goods’ import contract is one of the required application documents.


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