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Rules and Regulations
  • Index number:
    000014453-2020-0077
  • Dispatch date:
    2020-05-20
  • Publish organization:
    State Administration of Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Reference number:
  • Name:
    Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Supporting the Development of New Forms of Trade
Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Supporting the Development of New Forms of Trade

The branches and foreign exchange administrative departments of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) in all provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government; the branches in Shenzhen, Dalian, Qingdao, Xiamen, and Ningbo; and all designated Chinese-funded foreign exchange banks:

To enhance quality and improve efficiency in foreign trade, speed up the development of new forms of trade including cross-border ecommerce, and improve facilitation of the foreign exchange receipts and payments under trade, relevant issues are notified as follows:
I. In accordance with the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Printing and Issuing Measures for the Administration of Foreign Exchange Business of Payment Institutions (SAFE Document No.13〔2019〕) when meeting the conditions for customer identification, electronic transaction information collection, and authenticity verification, banks can apply to provide foreign exchange sales and settlement and relevant receipts and payments services to market players of new forms of trade including cross-border ecommerce and comprehensive foreign trade services based on electronic transaction information. As for payment institutions, they can provide these services to cross-border ecommerce players based on electronic transaction information.
II. Cross-border ecommerce players can conduct netting settlement between expenses on overseas warehousing, logistics and taxes, and export proceeds, and make declaration of actual receipts and payments data and original data as required. In exports to overseas warehouses by cross-border ecommerce players, the actual sales revenue repatriated can be different from the amount of the same goods on the export declaration form. Cross-border ecommerce players need to submit foreign exchange reports in accordance with the existing regulations on foreign exchange administration for trade in goods.
III. Domestic companies engaged in international delivery services, logistics providers and cross-border ecommerce platform companies can pay the overseas warehousing and logistics charges, and taxes that are related to cross-border ecommerce for their customers in advance, but not longer than 12 months in principle. If the advance is paid for non-affiliates or has not been repaid for longer than 12 months, the above domestic companies shall report it to local foreign exchange authorities as required.
IV. Domestic individuals engaging in cross-border ecommerce can handle foreign exchange settlement for cross-border ecommerce through their individual foreign exchange accounts. Their annual facilitation quotas will not be employed, provided that they can provide supporting materials or electronic transaction information indicating trading amounts to handle foreign exchange sales and settlement under cross-border ecommerce.
V. Any market player that entrusts a third party with export declaration under market procurement trade, if meeting the following conditions, can handle foreign exchange receipts in its own name:
(1) The market player engaging in market procurement trade has been filed with the local government platform for market procurement trade ("market procurement trade platform"). The market procurement trade platform shall be able to collect whole process trading and export information, and provide detailed export data corresponding to enterprises and self-employed individuals.
(2) The handling bank is technically eligible for receiving and storing trading information, with its system interfaced with the market procurement trade platform, and can use necessary technologies to identify its customers' identities, verify the authenticity of the transactions and guard against repeated use of trading information.
VI. Domestic and overseas individuals engaging in market procurement trade can handle foreign exchange settlement for market procurement trade through their individual foreign exchange accounts, in accordance with Article V above. Their annual facilitation quotas will not be employed, provided that they can provide supporting materials or electronic transaction information indicating trading amounts to handle foreign exchange settlement under market procurement trade.
VII. Comprehensive foreign trade service providers can handle foreign exchange receipts from exports on a commission basis. Handling banks can handle foreign exchange receipts for exports based on the electronic transaction information pushed by the comprehensive foreign trade service providers, and directly transfer foreign exchange or settled funds into the entrusting customers' accounts. Comprehensive foreign trade service providers and handling banks should meet the following conditions for this business:
(1) The handling banks need to meet the requirements of Article I above.
(2) The comprehensive foreign trade service providers need to sign the comprehensive service contracts (agreements) with their customers, and have provided comprehensive services including customs and quarantine declaration, logistics, export tax refunding, settlement and credit insurance to their customers.
(3) The comprehensive foreign trade service providers have sound risk control systems and are technically eligible for "tracking transactions and keeping risks under control".
(4) The comprehensive foreign trade service providers shall explicitly show their customers the real exchange rates and will not be allowed to make illegal gains from exchange rate spreads.
VIII. The SAFE will support enterprises to optimize the foreign exchange business processes using technologies. Market players of new forms of trade can access the foreign exchange monitoring system for trade in goods through the connected interface service to search for the status of the list, submit foreign exchange reports for trade in goods, and so on. They can declare the balance of payments based on banks' electronic documents, or declare foreign-related receipts on the ASONE enterprise version online.
IX. Banks and payment institutions who verify electronic transaction information shall handle actual receipts and payments data and original data declaration in accordance with the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Printing and Distributing the Guidelines for the Declaration of Balance of Payments Statistics through Banks (2019 Version) (SAFE Document No. 25 〔2019〕). For original data, summary declaration shall be made in the names of banks and payment institutions if a single transaction is within the maxium of US$ 5,000 (US$ 5,000 is permitted). For foreign-related receipts and payments that involve export tax refunding and financing, summary declaration of transactions of the same nature and with the same counterparty can be made on a transaction-by-transaction basis and in the names of enterprises. When handling foreign-related receipts and payments for trade in goods and in services relating to cross-border ecommerce, market procurement trade and comprehensive foreign trade services, banks shall indicate "cross-border ecommerce", "market procurement trade" or "comprehensive foreign trade services" in the remarks on transactions for foreign-related receipts and payments declaration.
X. For foreign-related receipts and payments under new forms of trade including cross-border ecommerce, market procurement trade and comprehensive foreign trade services, the SAFE will perform supervision, management, monitoring, verification and inspection in compliance with laws. It will adopt a key list approach to manage unusual transaction players and issue the list to banks and payment institutions. It will keep assessing banks and payment institutions that verify electronic transaction information and disqualify ineligible banks or payment institutions in accordance with laws.
XI. Based on the business principles, banks and payment institutions serving new forms of trade shall improve identification and management systems for customers engaging in new forms of trade, tighten classified credit management and conduct sample inspections and verifications of customer IDs and transactions. They shall improve compliance restriction and classified labeling mechanisms, and prudentially handle foreign exchange transactions for market players on the key list and guide customers to handle foreign exchange receipts and payments in compliance with regulations.
XII. The SAFE will track innovative development in new forms of trade closely in line with the principle of "serving the real economy, facilitating opening up, tracking transactions and keeping risks under control" to actively respond to market demand. For receipts and payments for new forms of trade that are aligned with the directions of reform and development and are true and reasonable, the branches and foreign exchange administration departments of the SAFE can address them, if necessary, through collective review and deliberation in appropriate processes, but no new administrative permission will be allowed.
XIII. Any violations of this Circular and related regulations on foreign exchange administration will be punished in accordance with the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Foreign Exchange Administration.
XIV. Definitions
(1) Cross-border ecommerce refers to import and export activities through information networks like the Internet for trade in goods or in services.
(2) Market procurement trade is a type of trade where commodities are purchased in recognized marketplaces, with export clearance handled by eligible operators.
(3) Comprehensive foreign trade service providers refer to enterprises that have foreign trade qualifications and are entrusted by domestic and foreign customers to handle comprehensive services including customs and quarantine declaration, logistics, export tax refunding, settlement, and credit insurance, and to assist with financing through the comprehensive service information platform based on the comprehensive service contracts (agreements) lawfully signed.
XV. This Circular will become effective as of issuance. It will prevail in case of any discrepancies with the previous regulations.
Upon receiving this Circular, the branches and foreign exchange administration departments of the SAFE shall promptly forward it to the central sub-branches, sub-branches, city commercial banks, rural commercial banks, foreign-funded banks and rural cooperative banks in their respective jurisdictions, and national Chinese-funded banks shall immediately forward it to their branches and sub-branches. In case of any problems during implementation, please contact the SAFE without hesitation.

                                                                                                                                State Administration of Foreign Exchange
                                                                                                                                                                            May 20, 2020

The English translation may only be used as a reference. In case a different interpretation of the translated information contained in this website arises, the original Chinese shall prevail.

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