China cuts import tariffs on cosmetics goods

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

China cuts import tariffs on cosmetics goods
From 1st July, China will lower the import tariff on cosmetics, as part of a reduction on nearly 1,500 consumer products.

Cosmetics will see a tariff cut from 8.4% to 2.9%. Some health and medical products will also receive the same drop in tariff requirements.

The average duty on consumer products is expected to drop to 6.9% from 15.7%, business news provider Reuters​ revealed. 

On 30th May 2018, the State Council, China’s cabinet, revealed that it would cut import tariffs on a variety of consumer items including cosmetics and drugs. It also stated that the ministry had identified five measures that it would strive to actively and efficiently follow. These include the relaxation of market access, the promotion of international standards for investment facilitation, the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of foreign capital, and the strengthening of the use of foreign capital.

Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China held that this decision to lower the import tariff on consumer goods will “not only help further open up and better meet the growing diversity of consumer demand of the broad masses of people, but it will also enable the 'squid effect' and force domestic product upgrades and industrial upgrading”.

Wider import efforts

Beijing has stated that it will take proactive steps to move towards realising increased imports. It is also expected to offer planning to international brands to enhance their growth and business opportunities in China.

The finance ministry published a comprehensive list of products affected and their new lowered tax rates on 31st May 2018. This followed a statement indicating the Ministry’s broader approach.

At the general meeting on the 30th May, Keqiang added: “Reducing the import tariffs on consumer goods for daily use is an established and independent choice for China.”

“Under the current situation where the international situation is complicated and trade protectionism is rising, we have actively expanded imports to show that China has expanded further.”

Implementation date approaches

From 1st July 2018, the average tariff rate on a total of 1,449 products imported from most favoured nations will be reduced by more than half, the finance ministry said in a statement. This will see the average duty fall to 6.9% from 15.7%.

This announcement came after the State Council, China’s cabinet, revealed that it would cut import tariffs on a variety of consumer items including cosmetics and drugs on 30th May 2018

While previous reductions have been announced and implemented, the latest cut, which will come into force on 1st July, will be broader than previous changes to import tariffs and are set to affect a vast selection of industries.

The import tariff reductions are set to be wide-ranging, impacting clothing and footwear, kitchen supplies fitness products, washing machines and refrigerators, and processed foods. Tariffs on drugs including penicillin, cephalosporin and insulin will no longer be in place, dropping from the previous figure of 6% to 0.

Rate reduction

Emphasising it “open determination and confidence”, the Prime Minister said that “this will not only benefit China but also the world”.

While "China, as the largest developing country in the world, is still in the initial stage of socialism and there is still a long way to go to achieve modernisation”,​ the Prime Minister then went on to emphasise that this path will open it up to drive reform.


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