China has looked again at recent changes to e-commerce regulations that had initially penalised UHT and adult milk powder producers, Australian companies Murray Goulburn and Freedom Foods Group, two of the companies affected, have announced.
Murray Goulburn said Beijing had revised its list of products allowed to be sold on cross-border websites and enter China via the country’s free-trade zones tariff-free. “Both UHT and adult milk powder products, which were omitted from their previous list, are specifically included on this revised list,” Murray Goulburn said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange. “MG has been advised by various commercial partners that they intend to return MG’s Devondale UHT and adult milk powder products to their cross-border platforms in the coming days.”
The co-operative reiterated the “interruption” had not had “a material impact” on its business.
Last week, Murray Goulburn was among a clutch of Australian companies that saw their shares tumble after changes to the regulations. The new rules have seen China change the tax it charges on imported products sold through cross-border, business-to-consumer internet platforms. Import tariffs are now imposed on shipments worth over CNY2,000, with 70% of import VAT and consumption tax levied for orders below that amount. Previously, goods bought on the cross-border business-to-consumer websites had been subject to a lower “parcel” tax rate. The new policy is being introduced as China imposes new increased tariff rates more broadly.
Freedom Foods Group does not sell adult milk powder in China but does market UHT milk in the country. In a stock exchange announcement today, Freedom Foods Group said it expects sales of its So Natural and Vitalife UHT products to re-start “in the coming days” with retailers JD.com and Tmall.
The company reaffirmed the majority of its sales of UHT milk in China are through manufacturing products for domestic dairy companies and through its own brand Australia’s Own Kids Milk.