Thursday, January 3, 2019

Goods from Alibaba can’t be shipped as ‘gifts’

Govt Clamps Down On Chinese E-Tailers Evading Import Duties

The government has ordered a clampdown on shipments from Chinese e-commerce platforms allegedly sent to India under the guise of gifts. This will tighten the noose around e-tailers that exploit loopholes in regulations. The move by the customs department to impose curbs on such consignments comes against the backdrop of the government receiving several complaints about sellers on Chinese online platforms, including Shein, Club Factory and AliExpress, sending goods as ‘gifts’ to customers in India to avoid duties.
This brings the prices of such goods down and gives them an unfair advantage over sellers on domestic e-commerce marketplaces. The government is expected to take up the issue in the draft e-commerce policy that is set to be unveiled soon. Officials said the clampdown will also have an impact on illegal food products and spurious cosmetics being smuggled into India.
An order by the Mumbai customs department last week said multiple consignments of goods to the same addresses, of dutiable goods imported for trading, in the guise of gifts and samples, has been noticed. “In most of such cases, the declared consignees or their address or both are fictitious.” The order said courier companies had delivered the packets.
The government exempts gifts of up to Rs 5,000 under existing laws to allow NRIs to send them back home to relatives. The courier costs, too, need to be included within this amount, an official said.
“The courier costs for a package of around 1kg would be nearly Rs 1,200. We have noticed consignments marked as gifts being over 15kg, bearing the declared value of Rs 3,000,” the official said.
“This problem should be solved holistically by compulsory registration of any foreign e-tailer who wants to sell goods in India and the duty should be imposed right at the point when a customer is paying for goods,” said All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA).

No comments:

Post a Comment