When a consumer pays for a product on a cross-border e-commerce platform from a cross-border e-commerce enterprise (hereinafter referred to as "merchant"), for legal or compliance reasons of the country or region where the user locates, the merchant might need to declare the payment at customs before the product is shipped. Thus, such merchants need to obtain the capability of customs declaration, so as to avoid the failure in customs clearance of shipped products and the risk of leading to product-related disputes between consumers and merchants.
Currently, only for payments that are processed by the AlipayCN wallet and for products that are to be exported to mainland China, customs declarations are required. According to the requirements of China Customs (hereinafter referred to as "the Customs") , four electronic documents need to be provided for customs declaration. The table below lists the document details and who needs to provide these documents.
Contains the buyer's information, the order ID, the payment ID, the logistics ID, the goods information, and so on.
Contains the payer's information, the order ID, the payment amount, the payment ID, and so on.
Contains the shipping ID, the order ID, the goods information, the consignee's information, and so on.
Contains the order ID, the payment ID, the logistics ID, the buyer's information, the goods information, and so on.
For more information about the technical specifications of these documents, refer to Announcement No. 179 of the General Administration of Customs.
Thus, to help Acquiring Service Partners (ACQP) and their merchants transfer the payment information to AlipayCN, Alipay+ provides the following two APIs:
- declare: This API is used by the ACQP to initiate a declaration request to Alipay+. Alipay+ then forwards the declaration request to AlipayCN.
- inquiryDeclarationRequests: This API is used by the ACQP to inquire about the check results of declared payments at the Customs.
This topic introduces the overall workflow of the customs declaration and guides you through how to use Alipay+ APIs to execute operations in the workflow.
Before you begin
Before declaring the payment at the Customs, ensure the following preparations are made:
- Select a customs district from the following ones:
- General Administration of Customs
- Henan Bonded Logistics Center
- Ningbo Customs District
- Shanghai Customs
Since 2017, the Customs performs the policy of a unified customs declaration solution where the entities only need to send their information to one customs district in most cases. For more information, see Customs district, customs code, and AlipayCN registration ID.
- If the customs district you want to select is not included in the list above, for example, Hangzhou Customs District, Guangzhou Customs District, or Tianjin Customs District, it is recommended to uniformly declare to the General Administration of Customs.
- When initiating a declaration request via the declare API, the ACQP needs to specify the value of the customsCode parameter as the customs district. For customs districts and their corresponding customs code, see Customs district, customs code, and AlipayCN registration ID.
- Ensure that all the relevant entities, including the cross-border e-commerce platform, the merchant, the payment enterprise (AlipayCN), and the logistics enterprise, are registered with the corresponding customs district. Refer to Decree No. 253 of the General Administration of Customs for details.
For AlipayCN registration information, see Customs district, customs code, and AlipayCN registration ID.
- Ensure that the cross-border e-commerce merchant provides a back-end interface for the customs to irregularly obtain goods and payment information. Refer to Announcement No. 179 of the General Administration of Customs for details.
The following figure illustrates the customs declaration flow:
Figure 1. Customs declaration flow
The Customs declaration flow consists of the following step:
- The consumer places an order on the merchant's website or app and pays with the AlipayCN wallet. (Step 1)
- The merchant sends the following electronic documents to the Customs by taking different actions:
- Order information: The merchant directly sends the order information to the Customs. (Step 2.1)
- Payment information:
- The merchant initiates a declaration request to the ACQP. (Step 2.2.1)
- The ACQP initiates a declaration request to Alipay+ by calling the declare API. (Step 2.2.2)
- Alipay+ encapsulates the payment information and forwards it to AlipayCN. AlipayCN then sends the payment information to the Customs. (Step 2.2.3)
- Logistics information:
- The merchant initiates a declaration request to the logistics enterprise. (Step 2.3.1)
- The logistics enterprise sends the logistic information to the Customs. (Step 2.3.2)
- After sending the three documents above to the Customs, the merchant sends the import list to the Customs. (Step 3)
- The Customs logically compares the order information, the payment information, and the logistics information with the import list, and decides whether the declaration succeeds. For more information, see Customs check logic. (Step 4)
To track the status of declared payments, the ACQP can regularly call the inquireDeclarationRequests API and forward the response from Alipay+ to the merchant.
- The Customs completes the customs clearance. (Step 5)
- The logistics enterprise delivers the goods to the consumer. (Step 6)
The following diagram shows the interaction between the ACQP, Alipay+, and AlipayCN when using Alipay+ APIs:
Figure 2. API interaction
The interaction consists of the following parts:
1.1 The ACQP calls the declare API to initiate a declaration request to Alipay+.
1.2 Alipay+ initiates a declaration request to AlipayCN.
1.3 AlipayCN returns the processing result to Alipay+.
1.4 Alipay+ returns the processing result to the ACQP in the response body of the declare API.
2.1 The ACQP calls the inquireDeclarationRequests API to inquire about the status of declared payments from Alipay+.
2.2 Alipay+ inquires about the status of declared payments from AlipayCN.
2.3 AlipayCN returns the status of declared payments to Alipay+.
2.4 Alipay+ returns the status of declared payments to the ACQP in the response body of the inquireDeclarationRequests API.
For more information about how to implement these two APIs, read the following topics: