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Customs crackdown pushes Shein to go off temporarily


Almost ten days after it faced seizure from Mumbai Customs department, Chinese e-commerce firm Shein appears to partially shut down its operations due to customs clearance issue for import on products.

Customers who tried ordering from the portal did get out of stock message for most of the products. While the ones who managed to order got a message that there is no certain release date for the product due to customs clearance issue resulting in the cancellation of the order, said an ET report.

Shein’s web portal and mobile app are still operational. It has displayed a message reading “We are upgrading our systems for newer experience, with fresh looks and exciting offers. Request you to hold back for some time while watch this space for more!”.

However, Shein has not made any official announcement in regard to the closing down of its operation. Entrackr queries to Shein did not elicit a response till the publication of this report.

Last month, Mumbai custom department had seized about 500 parcels of Chinese lifestyle e-tailer and sealed its warehouse in the city.

The action followed after the Indian govt found more than a dozen firms paying much lower customs duties and routing orders through duty-free gifts and samples.

As per customs official, Chinese e-tailers have continuously been reportedly getting goods in the guise of gifts. They are shipping goods ordered by Indians to many cities claiming them as gifts.

As per an estimate around 150K-200K orders were placed every day through Chinese e-commerce platforms in India which escaped any form of taxes.

At present, the govt exempts items valued up to Rs 5,000 from all taxes to allow NRIs to send gifts to families.

In December last year, the Mumbai customs department had noticed multiple consignments of goods in the guise of gifts. It also found address used in most cases as fictitious.

Following the incident, the govt had stopped the import of goods through Mumbai. It is also mulling to impose a similar clampdown on ports in Chennai and Kolkatta.

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