Forex Authority Loosens China’s Cross-border Payments Restrictions for E-commerce

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The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has issued a new directive that significantly scales back China’s restrictions on cross-border payments operations.

On 20 May the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) issued the “SAFE Notice Concerning Support for the Development of New Trading Conditions” (国家外汇管理局关于支持贸易新业态发展的通知), with the goal of “accelerating the growth of cross-border e-commerce operations” and increasing the convenience of trade-related forex payments.

According to the Notice domestic individuals who engage in cross-border e-commerce will be allowed to process cross-border e-commerce settlement via their personal forex accounts.

When domestic individuals perform forex settlement as part of cross-border e-commerce, it will not be included in their personal annual forex quota if they provide electronic transaction information or documentary materials for the transaction amount.

The Notice reiterates the contents of the “SAFE Notice Concerning the ‘Payments Organisation Forex Operation Administrative Measures'” (国家外汇管理局关于印发〈支付机构外汇业务管理办法〉的通知) that was issued in 2019.

A key area of focus is support for payments organisations providing forex settlement and related fund acceptance and payments services to the cross-border e-commerce market.

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