< Back to list

Alibaba.com Sourcing Transactions Dispute Rules

Updated as of Sep 17 , 2015

These Alibaba.com Sourcing Transactions Dispute Rules (“Dispute Rules”) describe the general principles how Alibaba.com handles disputes between Buyers and Sellers in sourcing transactions in the Alibaba.com Site. Alibaba.com aims to provide a fair and safe transaction platform for Buyers and Sellers.

These Dispute Rules provide for general principles for handling trade disputes in connection sourcing transactions in the Alibaba.com Site.  You agree that Alibaba.com will have the full power, right and discretion to handle and determine all matters concerning any disputes in sourcing transactions as Alibaba.com considers appropriate having regard to the general principles set forth in these Dispute Rules, the commonly accepted practices in cross-border trading, the supporting documents provided by Buyer and Seller as well as the circumstances of the individual dispute cases.

You have further agreed that these Dispute Rules are subject to and incorporates by reference the terms concerning sourcing transactions such as the Alibaba.com Transaction Services Agreement, the Alipay Services Agreement, the Alibaba.com Supplemental Services Agreement, the Sourcing Transactions General Rules and other website rules and policies of Alibaba.com concerning sourcing transactions as well as the terms concerning members of the Alibaba.com generally such as the Terms of Use, the Product Listing Policy and other website rules and policies of the Alibaba.com Site (all these agreements, website terms, rules and policies are collectively referred to as “Alibaba.com Service Terms”). If any matter is not provided for in these Dispute Rules but is provided for in the Alibaba.com Service Terms, the provisions of the Alibaba.com Service Terms shall prevail.  If there is a conflict between the provisions of these Dispute Rules and the provisions of the Alibaba.com Service Terms, the provisions of these Dispute Rules shall prevail. Capitalised terms not otherwise defined in these Rules shall have the meanings given to them in the Alibaba.com Terms of Use and  Alibaba.com Transaction Services Agreement .

These Dispute Rules do not apply to transactions concluded offline between sellers and buyers not using Alibaba.com’s transaction platform, Alibaba.com Supplemental Services and Alipay’s Services.

Alibaba.com may revise these Dispute Rules from time to time.  The revised version will be effective immediately upon posting.  

Alibaba.com encourages you to resolve your disputes in the sourcing transactions through amicable negotiations.

 

 

Section 1 -- Definitions

1.1      Unless otherwise defined in these Dispute Rules, the capitalized terms shall have the same meanings as used in the Alibaba.com Transaction Services Agreement  and the Alibaba.com Sourcing Transactions General Rules.

1.2      Sourcing transactions refer to the online transactions for cross-border trading of products under the Alibaba.com Sourcing Transactions General Rules and in which the products are delivered by the seller to the buyer by air or sea freight. 

1.3      References to INCOTERM mean INCOTERM 2010.

Section 2 -- Disputes Procedures

2.1      Complainant should submit your complaint or dispute to Alibaba.com through an online system for filing complaints (“Platform”) within the relevant prescribed time limits.  Otherwise, Alibaba.com shall have the right to refuse to accept any complaint or dispute. 

2.2      When a complainant submits a complaint, he shall file out a complaint submission form on the Platform and shall provide all the relevant supporting documents within 20 calendar days after submission of the complaint. If the complainant fails to provide the relevant supporting documents within the prescribed time period, Alibaba.com shall have the right to refuse to accept the complaint.

2.3      Alibaba.com will notify the respondent about the complaint via email or telephone when Alibaba.com agrees to accept the complaint.  Alibaba.com shall have the right to require the respondent to submit a counter notice and the relevant supporting documents within prescribed time limit.  If the respondent fails to submit a counter notice in time, or if the supporting documents for the counter notice are insufficient to substantiate the counter notice, Alibaba.com shall have the right to suspend the respondent’s accounts on the Alibaba.com Site. 

2.4      The supporting documents mentioned in the previous articles include: 

(a)        the Sales and Purchase Contract (“Contract”) as entered into between Buyer and Seller;

(b)        all associated records of communication;

(c)        evidence which shows that the products are different from those as agreed (such as the test report issued by a third party organization);

(d)       other evidences which support the complaint.

2.5      Both parties must ensure that the documents submitted to Alibaba.com are true, correct and complete and are not misleading.  If any party to the dispute has made any changes, amendments, or forgeries to the supporting documents, Alibaba.com shall have the right to immediately make a determination against that party. 

2.6      Alibaba.com shall have the full right and discretion to accept or reject any supporting document.  Alibaba.com shall have the right to determine whether any supporting documents are sufficient to prove any issue in dispute and whether any party should be responsible.

2.7      When the parties fail to reach a settlement within the prescribed period, Alibaba.com shall have the right to make a determination in accordance with the provisions of the Dispute Rules.

2.8      In addition to the supporting documents submitted by Buyer and Seller, Alibaba.com may also refer to the general commercial practices for cross-border trading, including the INCOTERM 2010.  Alibaba.com shall also have the right to take into other considerations such as whether there is any dishonest behavior on the part of Seller or Buyer.

Section 3 -- General Principals

3.1      Buyer and Seller may not unilaterally change the terms and conditions of the Contract for the sourcing transaction. 

3.2      If one party claims that you are unable to perform your obligations under the Contract in time due to a force majeure event, you must provide the valid certification as Alibaba.com requires.

3.3      During the dispute procedures, if the parties fail to reach an agreement on whether the parties shall continue the performance of the Contract, Alibaba.com shall have the right to suspend or freeze the relevant transaction in question.

3.4      When a dispute arises between Buyer and Seller, both parties may negotiate to reach a refund agreement. During the step of refund negotiation, Buyer and Seller are free to communicate with each other to reach a refund agreement as they think is appropriate, and there are no restrictions on how the dispute may be resolved by Buyer and Seller. In a case where one party might be solely responsible, Buyer and Seller may still be able to reach an agreement where both of them agree to share the responsibility or risks or one of them agrees to waive his or her rights and interests. If Buyer and Seller agree that any part of the funds shall be paid to one of them, Alibaba.com will release the funds in accordance with the refund agreement as so agreed upon by Buyer and Seller.

3.5      You agree that Alibaba.com is not required to obtain professional advice in order to make any determination and may make the determinations in the dispute cases as an ordinary non-professional person.  You also agree that Alibaba.com is not required to take any step to verify whether any document received is true.

Section 4 -- Dispute Cases

4.1      This section only provides a selected types of dispute cases for references.  Alibaba.com shall have the full right and discretion to determine any dispute on a case-by-case basis.

4.2      Buyer and Seller shall fulfill your obligations to make the payments and deliver products as agreed.  If either party is in breach of the agreed obligations, the party in breach shall be responsible.  The party in breach shall be responsible to fulfill the obligations e.g., to make payments, deliver products, fix, exchange, return products, supply to make up the shortage in the product quantity, make refunds. Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties on the responsible party.

4.3      Products not received:

(a)        If the products are destroyed or damaged for reasons of force majeure, accidents, problems with the carriers, or other reasons that are not attributable to either party, then the allocation of the risks shall be decided based on the Contract between Buyer and Seller.  If the Contract did not specify the allocation of risks in the circumstances, then responsibilities and risks shall be allocated based on the provisions of the United Nations Convention on Contracts of International Sales of Goods and the International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS).

(b)        Buyer shall be responsible, and Alibaba.com shall have the right to refuse to accept the complaint and close the case accordingly, if the products are detained by the customs because Buyer does not possess the import qualification, or pay the customs duties, or does not specify the special documentation requirements at the time of purchase of special type of products.  If the products are detained by customs for issues in the shipping documents or other reasons attributable to Seller, e.g., Seller already has the knowledge and ought to have known about the documentation requirements, Seller shall be responsible.  Seller shall assist Buyer by all means.  If Seller refuses to provide such assistance, Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties on Seller. 

(c)        If the products are detained because they are restricted from being exported or illegal, under the laws of the exporting country, and if Buyer already has the knowledge and ought to have known that the products are so restricted or illegal, then both parties shall be responsible, Alibaba.com shall have the right to refuse to accept the complaint and close the case accordingly. If Buyer genuinely has no prior knowledge of such facts, then Seller shall be responsible.Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties on the responsible party.

(d)       If the products are detained because they are restricted from being imported or illegal, under the laws of the importing country, and if Seller already has the knowledge and ought to have known that the products are so restricted or illegal, then both parties shall be responsible, Alibaba.com shall have the right to refuse to accept the complaint and close the case accordingly. If Seller genuinely has no prior knowledge of such facts, then Buyer shall be responsible. Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties on the responsible party.

(e)        If the products are detained because the products infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party, and if Buyer already has the knowledge and ought to have known about such facts, then both parties shall be responsible, Alibaba.com shall have the right to refuse to accept the complaint and close the case accordingly. Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties on both parties. If Buyer genuinely has no knowledge of the fact that the products infringe the intellectual property rights of a third party, then Seller shall be responsible and Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties on Seller.

4.4      Products not as described:

(a)        If the quantity of the products that Buyer has received is less than the quantity ordered by Buyer in the Contract, Seller shall be responsible. When both parties reach a settlement either for refund of the purchase price or return of the products, Seller shall be responsible and bears the cost incurred either by the refund or the return of the products.

(b)        If the quality of the products that Buyer has received doesn’t match with the quality standards ordered by Buyer in the Contract, or the products are different in terms of function, then Seller shall be responsible unless Buyer has prior knowledge or has agreed in advance.

(c)        If the products are inferior substituting up-to-standards products, fake, doped, adulterated, used products substituting new products, or etc., then Seller shall be responsible. If Buyer has prior knowledge of such defects, Alibaba.com shall have the right to refuse to accept the complaint and close the case accordingly.

(d)       If the products are counterfeits, inferiors, products that infringe the intellectual property rights of any third parties, Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties on Seller, even if Buyer has prior knowledge or has agreed on such defects in advance.

(e)        If the products are materially different from the Contract as agreed, Seller shall be responsible, Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties on Seller.

(f)        If the products received are not as agreed in terms of specification, size, color, or package, Seller shall be responsible.

4.5       If Seller fabricates the origin of manufacture, or forges or uses without authorization the company name and address of another party, marks for quality certification such as certification marks, famous brand marks, quarantine certificate, quality and quarantine inspection reports, verification reports, etc, Seller shall be responsible.  Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties on Seller.

4.6      When both parties reach a settlement on the return of the products, Buyer shall return the products to the address designated or confirmed by Seller.  The cost incurred by the return of the products shall be borne by the responsible party, except as agreed otherwise by both parties. Buyer shall bear all risks, and any loss, cost or damages of any kind incurred as a result of the risks, if Buyer return the products to the wrong address, including but not limited to the damage, destruction and loss of the products and the expenses of transportation, store and custody.

Section 5 -- Other provisions

5.1      During the dispute procedures, Alibaba.com shall have the right to refuse the remitance of the purchase price to Seller until the parties reach a settlement.

(a)        The purchase price will be remitted to Buyer when the Contract is canceled due to the fault of Seller.

(b)        The purchase price, after the deduction of the Alipay Services fee or fees relating to Alibaba.com Supplemental Services, liquidated damages (if any) and other compensation (if any), the remainder (if any) will be remitted to Buyer when the Contract is canceled due to the fault of Buyer.

(c)        The purchase price, after the deduction of the Alipay Services fee or fees relating to Alibaba.com Supplemental Services, the remainder will be remitted to Buyer when the Contract is canceled due to the breach of the Product Listing Policy.

5.2      If a party is found to be responsible in accordance with these Dispute Rules, or have breached the Alibaba.com Service Terms, Alibaba.com shall have the right to impose penalties against the responsible party.  The penalties may include:

(a)        Announce the breach or complaint records on the Alibaba.com Site;

(b)        Suspend the use of the Alipay Service and/or Alibaba.com Supplemental Services for the prescribed period determined by Alibaba.com;

(c)        Suspend the use of the transaction functionalities of your account on the Alibaba.com Site without any refund.

(d)       Permanently terminate the use of the transaction functionalities of your account on the the Alibaba.com Site without any refund.

5.3      If the dispute is not resolved through amicable negotiation within the prescribed time period according to these Dispute Rules, or if you are dissatisfied with Alibaba.com’s determination, you must apply to the Hong Kong Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”) for arbitration and notify Alibaba.com of such application within 20 calendar days after Alibaba.com’s determination.  If each of Buyer and Seller in the dispute does not notify Alibaba.com of your application for arbitration within the above 20 calendar days, each of Buyer and Seller shall be deemed to have agreed that Alibaba.com’s determination shall be final and binding on you.

 

icburule011226212175