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Chinese e-commerce firms fudge invoice prices to evade duties: Report

After trying to avoid Indian duties by sending goods as ‘gifts’, Chinese e-commerce firms are now trying to do so by undervaluing products on their invoices, the Economic Times reported. An unnamed senior excise official in Mumbai told the newspaper that the price printed on the invoice can sometimes be half the price displayed on the company’s website. The report said companies such as AliExpress, Club Factory and Shein were evading duties using the Courier Bill of Entry, or CBE-13, which allows the import of goods valued at up to Rs 1 lakh. By using the gifting route, Chinese companies had earlier sought to exploit an exemption on the import of gift items worth up to Rs 5,000. But in January, the government said it was considering removing this exemption or limiting the benefit to a single consignor to prevent firms from misusing it, PTI reported. It was also considering a limit on the number of such consignments to four per person per year. Swadeshi Jagran Manch’s campaign against Chinese e-commerce firms In February the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking that the government create barriers for Chinese companies operating in India. Chinese companies should also not be allowed to log Indian user data, SJM said, because China had refused to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist after an attack by Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammad killed more than 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama, Kashmir. The SJM said that Chinese companies were profiting from Indian customers and…

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