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EU to force Chinese online vendors to play by its rules

New regulations tighten tax and compliance net for products imported into bloc

Companies involved in handling imports from non-European vendors on shopping platforms like AliExpress could now be legally liable if the products are defective. (Screenshot from AliExpress' website)

HAMBURG, Germany -- New EU e-commerce rules should make online retailers based in the bloc more competitive with Chinese rivals and bring in more tax revenue, but they are also likely to drive up prices for consumers.

One measure, which took effect at the beginning of the month, eliminates a loophole under which packages declared as gifts worth less than 22 euros ($26) were exempt from valued-added tax. Now all mailed imports will be taxed at 19%.

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