Can you confirm or dispel a rumor about China pulling the plug on VAT refund of battery products (namely those exported under headings 8507.1000 or 8517.7030)? Is there some official government site I can get this information?

ANSWER:

I don’t know of an online government site (let me know if you find one), so I for your reference I asked around among licensed customs brokers in China as well as with relevant government offices in Shenzhen.

Here is what I found.

For HS code 8507100000, in the recently two years, the VAT rebate rate is 0%. There were not any recent changes.

For HS code 8517703000, in the most recent two years, VAT rebate rate has been 17% with no recent changes.

Sudden VAT rebate policy changes can be made on short notice with no warnings, but the HS codes you have listed are not officially slated to change in the near future and the people we spoke with at the customs office and VAT office were not aware of any rumors to the contrary.

To be safe, are you buying FOB rather than ExW? And how are your payment terms?  A change in VAT policy would have big ramifications for the industry, but if you are buying FOB rather than ExW, then there is less likelihood you will be the one stuck in a jam if the rate changes over night while you have an order being processed.

Wishing you successful China sourcing!

Question answered by Mike Bellamy, host of “Ask the Experts” at the China Sourcing Information Center.

Mike Bellamy is an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center (www.ChinaSourcingInfo.org). He is also the author of, “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” (chinasourcinginfo.org/book) and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions (www.PSSchina.com)

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