Laws and Policies

China tightens parcel delivery rules to boost green practices and customer rights

Updated: Jan 7, 2024 By Luo Wangshu Print
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Workers sort packages at a sorting center of an express delivery company at the e-commerce industrial park in Hongze district in Huai'an, Jiangsu province. [Photo by YIN CHAO/FOR CHINA DAILY]

China's booming parcel delivery sector will face stricter regulations aimed at promoting environmental sustainability and protecting consumer rights, according to an amendment released by the Ministry of Transport on Friday. The new rules, taking effect on March 1, replace a 2013 regulation and reflect the industry's explosive growth in recent years.

"The amendment will provide better protection for customers' legal rights," the ministry explained, citing a ban on companies leaving packages at stations or lockers without prior notification. Additionally, the regulation establishes a comprehensive framework to guide the sector towards "greener development."

China has become the world's largest parcel delivery market, handling over 120 billion packages in 2022 alone, a staggering tenfold increase since 2013. This rapid expansion has brought challenges, including mountains of plastic and paper waste. The new regulation encourages companies to adopt environmentally friendly packaging materials.

"China's express delivery business is a prominent calling card for the country," said Bian Zuodong, deputy head of the State Post Bureau's market inspection department. However, he acknowledged the need to address the industry's environmental footprint and evolving customer needs.

The updated regulation comprises nine chapters and 57 clauses, drafted after consultations with various stakeholders, including ministries, industry associations, and delivery companies.

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