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But what if certain commodities were suddenly no longer accepted through e-commerce channels, or became dramatically more expensive? Chinese importers almost found out the hard way this spring, when a sudden overhaul of the tax structure on cross-border imports briefly went into effect on April 8, along with a crackdown on the types of goods permitted to move through bonded cross-border warehouses.
For a short time – until a near revolt by the Chinese business community halted the chaos after a few days – sales of many commodities were no long permitted through online portals such as Alibaba’s T-mall. The government pulled back on these policies, but only temporarily. By next spring – May 11, 2017, to be exact – the restrictions will return, giving the Chinese logistics industry less than a year to prepare.
“Overall, the impact recent customs policy adjustments have, and will continue to have on the cross-border e-commerce market, is tremendous,” according to China-based freight forwarder Sinoair, a subsidiary of Sinotrans.
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