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The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

McClay: Govt assessing China's new online goods tax

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Trade Minister Todd McClay says the Government is assessing the implications of recent regulatory changes in China's cross border e-commerce market.

China's tax bureau introduced a tax on imported products purchased online this month.

In another development, it has issued a "positive list" of types of goods allowed to enter the country via free trade zones and sold online.

Products including milk powder and long-life milk are understood to have been excluded from the tax bureau's list.

News of the changes drove steep falls earlier in the week in stocks linked to infant formula and vitamin sectors, including NZX-listed A2 Milk.

McClay said the announcements had addressed tax differences that existed for goods imported via cross border e-commerce compared with similar items imported via normal trade channels.

"We are in the process of examining the implications of these announcements," McClay said yesterday.

"On first look they do not appear to be discriminatory against any particular country."

He said it was "any country's prerogative" to set its own tax policy.

The e-commerce changes come as Prime Minster John Key and McClay prepare to head to Beijing next week for talks including discussions around an upgrade to New Zealand's free trade agreement with China, which entered into force in 2008.

- NZ Herald

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