Alibaba.com Transaction Dispute Rules
Chapter 1 Overview
Article 1 These Rules are formulated in accordance with relevant provisions of the Alibaba.com International Platform’s General Provisions, Alibaba.com Transaction Services Agreement, and the Trade Assurance Services Rules to protect the rights and interests of the Buyer and the Seller with respect to online transactions on Alibaba.com.
Article 2 When a dispute arises between the Buyer and the Seller after they have conducted an online sale and purchase of products transaction through the Alibaba.com, if either party submits their disputes to Alibaba.com, the following Rules will apply.
Article 3 If the Buyer and the Seller otherwise agree upon the rules for handling the transaction disputes, Alibaba.com has the right to decide whether rules will be applied, except the rules contradicts the rules on Alibaba.com.
Article 4 Notices related to disputes sent by Alibaba.com to the Buyer and/or the Seller through the Alibaba.com system, official communication tools, e-mail, telephone, etc. constitute the basis for deciding the disputes.
Chapter 2 Definitions
Article 5 Alibaba.com International Platform refers to the website www.alibaba.com and mobile Apps.
Article 6 Online Transaction is as defined in the Alibaba.com Transaction Services Agreement.
Article 7 Purchase Contract: refers to the agreement between the Buyer and the Seller with respect to the purchase of products and services on Alibaba.com.
Article 8 Quality Problems means the material, craftsmanship, and/or quality of the products delivered by the Seller fails to meet the provisions of the Purchase Contract, or there is damage, functional failure, missing parts or other issues that may prevent their normal use.
Article 9 Inconsistent Description means that the product name, brand, model, color, specification, quantity, material, style, function, and/or other information with respect to the products delivered by the Seller are inconsistent with the descriptions on the products detail page, the provisions of Purchase Contract, or the communication records between the Seller and Buyer.
Article 10 Infringement means the products delivered by the Seller infringe upon the intellectual property rights of third parties.
Article 11 Customs Detention means the products are attached, confiscated, destroyed, or detained by the customs of the importing country due to reasons such as violation of restrictions imposed by the importing country, no customs clearance, declaration errors, products infringement and contraband control.
Article 12 Return of Products and Refund means Seller refunds the purchase price in whole to the Buyer after the Seller signs for receipt of the products returned by the Buyer.
Article 13 Partial Refund means the Seller refunds a portion of the purchase price to the Buyer after the Buyer signs for receipt of the products delivered by the Seller.
Article 14 Refund means the Seller refunds the purchase price to the Buyer in whole and the Seller negotiates with the Buyer to determine whether to return the products.
Article 15 Date of Shipment as defined in the Trade Assurance Services Rules.
Article 16 Force Majeure means circumstance or event that is unforeseeable, unavoidable, or insurmountable for the Buyer and the Seller when they enter into a contract, including but not limited to natural disasters (e.g. typhoons, heavy rain, hail, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, volcanic eruptions, landslides), anomalies (e.g. wars, armed conflicts, riots, uprising, fires, explosions, toxic spills, serious outbreaks), and government actions (e.g. regulation and control, expropriation, requisition).
Chapter 3 Acceptance
Article 17 Application for dispute resolution shall be made within the time limit prescribed by Alibaba.com, which cannot exceed 30 calendar days after the Date of Confirmed Receipt of the Products. If the order is closed by Alibaba.com, application shall be made within thirty days of receipt of the notice that the order has been closed. If there are special provisions, such provisions shall prevail.
Article 18 Alibaba.com has the right to extend the time limit or not to set a time limit for accepting application for dispute resolution if, in Alibaba.com’s reasonable opinion, there is a dispute involving suspected fraud (including but not limited to false shipment, serious quality deficiencies, a large quantity of inconsistent products, and other obvious malicious non-compliance or evasion of debts) or any other circumstances that Alibaba.com considers necessary.
Article 19 Alibaba.com has the right to refuse to accept the following applications, and the Seller and the Buyer should resolve the dispute by themselves:
- An application for dispute resolution was not filed within the time limit;
- The Seller and the Buyer have reached a settlement agreement and the performance thereof has been completed, but either or both of the parties has/have changed their minds, thereby resulting in a dispute;
- The Buyer and the Seller collude in bad faith and use the Alibaba.com Sites to conduct false transactions or commit other illegal acts;
- After a Refund is processed, the Seller needs to retrieve the products, thereby resulting in a dispute;
- Either party claims for compensation that exceeds the amount of the transaction (including purchase price, inspection fees, shipping and bank charges), unless otherwise specified;
- Applications that Alibaba.com is unable to accept based on the evidence provided by both parties;
- Disputes not related to the Online Transaction (including, without limitation, the products violates the product posting rules of Alibaba.com and defamation by either the Seller or the Buyer); and
- Where these Rules have special provisions about other circumstances that will not be accepted, such provisions shall prevail.
Chapter 4 General Rules
Article 20 The Buyer and the Seller shall provide evidence for their respective claim or defense no later than three working days after making application for dispute resolution or receiving the notice of dispute resolution from Alibaba.com, and shall undertakes that the evidence provided is authentic, complete, relevant and legitimate. Alibaba.com has the right to obtain evidence on its own or from a third party as it deems necessary, and determine the liability of the parties and the disputes based on the reasonable man standards and international trade practices.
Article 21 If either party submits false, altered, or forged evidence, or fails to submit evidence that meets relevant requirements within the time limit set by Alibaba.com, Alibaba.com has the right to terminate the dispute resolution process or make a decision based on the evidence submitted.
Article 22 The correspondences between the Buyer and the Seller via the Alibaba.com’ official chat tool will serve as basis for dispute resolution, and correspondence between the parties through other means of communication (including but not limited to offline written contracts, telephone calls, e-mails, and third-party instant chat tools) will not be the basis for the dispute resolution, unless both the Buyer and the Seller agree that such correspondence are authentic and valid.
Article 23 Where correspondences between the Buyer and the Seller or the offline contract between the Seller and the Buyer contradict the terms in the Purchase Contract, unless otherwise agreed between the Seller and the Buyer, the terms agreed more recently shall prevail.
Article 24 Where the Buyer and the Seller agree on liquidated damages or compensation in the Purchase Contract or during the course of their communication, if either party claims for liquidated damages or compensation for actual losses after the other party defaults, Alibaba.com will support such claim. If such liquidated damages or compensation clause contradicts the rules of the Alibaba.com Sites, the clause which provides for a higher damages shall prevail.
Chapter 5 Shipment
Article 25 The Seller shall fulfill the obligation of shipping products in accordance with the shipment date, shipment method, and delivery information as stipulated in the Purchase Contract, and provide corresponding documents or certificates according to the Purchase Contract.
Article 26 Where the Seller fails to ship the products within the agreed shipment time, the Seller shall obtain consent from the Buyer before shipping the products. The Buyer and the Seller may reschedule the shipment date as agreed. If the Seller has not shipped the products at the time of receipt of the Refund application, the Seller shall liaise and negotiate with the Buyer, and arrange for shipment again upon mutual agreement, or ask Alibaba.com for a resolution.
Article 27 If the products are not delivered in accordance with Article 5 of these Rules, or the Buyer rejects the products, the purchase price shall be refunded. If the Seller needs to retrieve the products, it shall contact the carrier by itself to handle the return, and all the resulting expenses and risk of the products shall be borne by the Seller.
Article 28 In the event that the Seller ships the products in violation of the agreed shipment date and method, and that the Buyer applies for a Refund and/or return of products on the grounds of Seller’s breach of Article 5 of these Rules after the Buyer has signed or taken initiative to confirm receipt of products, under Article 5 of these Rules, the Buyer shall reach an agreement with the Seller. Otherwise, Alibaba.com shall not support such Refund or Returning of Products and Refund applications, except where the Seller takes improper measures to induce the Buyer to confirm receipt of products.
Article 29 Where the products are not delivered due to errors in the delivery information provided by the Buyer, the Seller shall use commercially reasonable efforts to cooperate with the Buyer to modify the delivery information or provide necessary assistance, and the additional costs so incurred shall be borne by the Buyer. If the Seller fails to ship the products on the agreed shipment date or the products cannot be delivered on the agreed date for the reasons attributable to the Buyer. Alibaba.com shall not support Buyer’s claim against the Seller for late shipment or delivery.
Article 30 Where the Buyer and the Seller do not expressly agree on the documents or certificates required by customs clearance for import of products, the Seller shall remind the Buyer to specify such required documents or certificates in the contract, otherwise the loss arising from failure to clear the products with customs due to the non-provision of such required documents or certificates shall be borne by the Seller, and if said documents or certificates are still not expressly stipulated after the Seller reminds the Buyer, such risk shall be borne by the Buyer.
Article 31 Where the Seller fails to ship the products on the agreed date of shipment or the products cannot be delivered on the agreed date due to an event of force majeure, and the Parties fail to agree on the continuous performance of the contract, the purchase price shall be refunded.
Article 32: If the Seller ships the products via China Post Air Parcels (large or small) and EMS as agreed with the Buyer, and the products have not been properly delivered within sixty days after the shipment, the purchase price shall be refunded to the Buyer, and the Seller shall contact the logistics company on its own to retrieve the products.
Chapter 6 Receipt of Products
Article 33 The Buyer shall accept the delivery of products in accordance with the Purchase Contract at the address, and in the manner as agreed upon with the Seller. The Buyer shall personally sign the receipt of products, or ask others to do so on his/her behalf, or instruct the carrier to place the products at the designated place. If the recipient entrusts another person to sign the receipt of products or instructs the carrier to place the products at a designated place, the Buyer shall be deemed to have signed the receipt of products by itself and the risk of the loss of the products shall be borne by the Buyer. If the Buyer claims that it has not signed receipt of products by itself, the Seller shall assume the burden of proof to prove the otherwise and if the Seller is able to establish the same with relevant evidence, the risk of the loss of the products shall be borne by the Buyer.
Article 34 The Buyer shall ensure that the delivery information provided to the Seller is true, accurate, and valid. If any the delivery information needs to be changed, consent shall be obtained from the Seller. If the products are received by others, lost, or damaged due to errors or omissions in the delivery information provided by the Buyer, the Buyer shall bear the losses.
Article 35 If the Buyer is in breach of the provisions relating to the receipt of products as stipulated in Chapter 6 of these Rules and the products are returned to the Seller as a result, the Buyer shall compensate the Seller for the actual losses, provided that the maximum amount shall not exceed the contract amount; if the products are received by others, damaged, or lost, the Buyer shall pay the Seller.
Article 36 Where, after the Purchase Contract takes effect, the Buyer terminates the contract or applies for Refund without cause, the Buyer shall compensate the Seller for the actual losses, provided that the maximum amount thereof does not exceed the contract amount.
Article 37 Where the Seller is responsible for shipping the products and ship the products through commercial express, the Buyer shall examine the appearance of the outer packaging of the products on the spot when the carrier delivers the products. If the products are damaged, the Buyer should reject the products after taking a photo as evidence; if the Buyer applies for Returning of Products and/or Refund due to damage to products after signing receipt of products, the Buyer shall provide the damage certificate issued by the carrier. If the Buyer and the Seller separately agree on the inspection period and/or the inspection method, such agreement shall prevail.
Article 38 Where the Seller is responsible for shipping the products and ship the products through commercial express, the Seller shall be responsible for the risk and expenses incurred by the return of products due to damage.
Chapter 7 Inspection of Products
Article 39 The Buyer may inspect whether the quality of the Seller's products is consistent with relevant provisions of the contract in accordance with agreed inspection standards, inspection institution, and inspection method. If the parties have not clearly agreed upon inspection in advance and cannot reach an agreement through negotiation, Alibaba.com may designate a third-party inspection institution to inspect the products in accordance with applicable industry standards, and the resulting inspection costs shall be borne by the liable party as determined by Alibaba.com.
Article 40 The parties agree to inspect products prior to shipment. If the products are found to have quality problem or their quality is inconsistent with the provisions of the Purchase Contract upon inspection, the Seller shall take remedial measures within the period agreed by both the Buyer and Seller or otherwise determined by Alibaba.com, otherwise, Alibaba.com shall support the Refund application by the Buyer. If the Buyer and the Seller otherwise reach an agreement through consultation, such agreement shall prevail.
Article 41 If the Buyer and the Seller agree to inspect the products after they are shipped to the destination or after the Buyer receives them, the Buyer shall inspect the products within the agreed time limit. If the products are found to have quality problems or their quality is inconsistent with the standards agreed in the Purchase Contract, Alibaba.com shall support the Returning of Products and Refund or Partial Refund application, and the expenses resulting from such returning of products shall be borne by the Seller, and if the Buyer and the Seller otherwise reach an agreement, such agreement shall prevail.
Article 42 Where a sampling inspection is agreed by both the Buyer and the Seller, the specific sampling inspection ratio shall be in accordance with the Purchase Contract or the agreement reached by the parties. If said ratio has not been agreed upon, Alibaba.com has the right to determine the sampling inspection ratio pursuant to the Quality Inspection Standards for Trade Assurance Service, and if a product fails to pass the sampling inspection, such entire batch of products shall be deemed as substandard.
Chapter 8 Returning and Replacement of Products
Article 43 After the Buyer and the Seller reach an agreement for the returning or replacement of products, the returning address shall be the same as the sender’s address. If the returning address or returning method needs to be changed, consent shall be obtained from the Buyer, otherwise the risk of products not being delivered after they are returned shall be borne by the Seller. If the Buyer has practical difficulties in applying for the returning of products, Alibaba.com may require the Seller to go through the procedures for returning products on its own, and the Buyer shall provide necessary assistance.
Article 44 If the Buyer and the Seller have reached an agreement offline for returning or replacement of products, the Buyer shall handover the returned products to the carrier within the agreed time limit. If the deadline for returning is not expressly prescribed, such products shall be handover to the carrier no later than 15 days as from the next day of the date on which the agreement for returning of products is reached. If the prescribed time limit expires, the Buyer shall be deemed to have accepted the products, and in such a case, Alibaba.com shall support payment to the Seller.
Article 45 After the Buyer handovers the returned products to the carrier, when the products have been returned to the customs of the exporting country, the Seller needs to cooperate with customs clearance and be liable for costs resulting from customs clearance, otherwise the risk of loss of the products shall be borne by the Seller, and in such a case, Alibaba.com shall support the refund of purchase price to the Buyer.
Article 46 Where the parties reach an agreement on returning or replacement of products or Alibaba.com orders the Buyer to return the products, if the Buyer cannot properly complete the returning of products for reasons attributable to the Seller, the risk of the products being not returned to the Sellers shall be borne by the Seller, and in such a case, Alibaba.com shall support the Refund application by the Buyer. Where the Seller has not received the returned products or the Seller refuses to sign receipt of products returned for the reasons attributable to the Buyer, Alibaba.com shall support payment to the Seller.
Chapter 9 Customs Detention and Freight
Article 47 If the Buyer applies for a refund of the products which are detained by customs, the Buyer shall submit a valid certificate for the detention of the products within the time limit set by Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com will determine allocation of liabilities for detention of products according to the customs detention certificate and the provisions of the contract between the parties, and require the liable party to take remedial measures within a certain time limit.
Article 48 If the products cannot pass customs clearance smoothly due to reason attributable to the Buyer, and the Buyer fails to take remedial measures within the time limit set by Alibaba.com, Alibaba.com shall support payment to the Seller, and the risk of the products not being able to be delivered to the Buyer shall be borne by the Buyer; If remedial measures are not taken within the prescribed time limit for the reasons attributable to the Seller, Alibaba.com shall support Refund to the Buyer, and the risk of the products not being able to returned to the Seller shall be borne by the Seller.
Article 49 Fines, warehousing fees, shipping costs for returning products, and other losses resulting from detention of products by the customs shall be borne by the liable party as determined by Alibaba.com, and if said losses are otherwise agreed upon by the Parties, such agreement shall prevail.
Article 50 Any dispute arising between the Seller and the Buyer in respect of freight fees shall first be resolved according to the provisions of the contract between the parties. If the freight fees are not prescribed or clearly prescribed in the contract, Alibaba.com will determine the allocation of liabilities according to the principle of “either party who is at fault is liable”, and if both parties are not at fault or the liability cannot be determined, the freight shall be equally shared by both parties.
Chapter 10 Quality Problems, Inconsistent Descriptions, and Infringement
Article 51 Where the Buyer claims that the quality problem and inconsistency in description of the products delivered are identifiable with naked eyes, the Buyer shall first provide photos, videos, or other evidence approved by Alibaba.com to prove it. The Seller shall then provide evidence and reasonable explanations establishing that the products do not have quality problems or Inconsistent Descriptions or the reasons for such issues are not attributable to the Seller. If the Seller fails to submit the valid evidence within the specified time limit, Alibaba.com shall determine that the products have quality problems or Inconsistent Descriptions.
Article 52 Where the Buyer claims that the quality problems of the delivered products are not identifiable with naked eyes, the Buyer shall provide a testing report or identification certificate issued by a qualified institution as required by Alibaba.com. Where the Buyer and the Seller agree in advance in the contract that the test results obtained by the third-party testing agency shall be treated as the basis for determining quality, Alibaba.com will determine the quality in accordance with the test results.
Article 53 If the Buyer claims that the products delivered infringe upon the rights of others, the Seller shall provide evidence proving the legal source or effective authorization of the products. If the Seller is able to discharge its burden of proof, the Buyer shall submit evidence for its claim. If the Buyer is unable to provide such evidence, Alibaba.com shall determine that the products do not infringe upon the rights of others.
Article 54 Where the evidence provided by the Seller and the Buyer cannot establish whether the products have quality problems or infringe upon the rights of others, Alibaba.com has the right to designate a qualified third-party testing or appraisal agency to conduct testing and appraisal, and the results of the said testing or appraisal shall be treated as the basis for identification.
Article 55 Where the products delivered by the Seller have quality problems, Inconsistent Descriptions, or infringement issue, Alibaba.com shall support Returning of Products and Refund to the Buyer. If the products cannot be returned due to its nature, the objective conditions, or the restrictions under local laws and regulations, Alibaba.com shall support Refund, and the Seller shall contact the Buyer on its own in order to handle products.
Article 56 Where part of the products delivered by the Seller have quality problems, Inconsistent Descriptions, or minor defects or flaws that do not affect the main functions of the products, Alibaba.com shall support Partial Refund.
Article 57 Where the Seller and the Buyer have agreed on the testing and appraisal costs in respect of quality problem and infringement issue of the products in the Purchase Contract, such agreement shall prevail. If the testing and appraisal agency has not been agreed upon by the Parties or if Alibaba.com has designated a testing or appraisal agency, Alibaba.com has the right to determine the proportion in sharing the relevant expenses so incurred according to the degree of liability.
Chapter 11 Termination
Article 58 Alibaba.com has the right to terminate the dispute resolution process when one of the following circumstances occurs during the dispute resolution process:
- The dispute does not fall within the scope of acceptance stipulated in these Rules and exceeds the period of acceptance specified in these Rules;
- The party applying for dispute resolution requests for withdrawal of the application;
- The arbitration institution that has jurisdiction over the dispute involved has rendered an award;
- Both the Buyer and the Seller agree to resolve the dispute through consultation;
- Either party notifies Alibaba.com that the dispute has been submitted to an arbitration institution of competent jurisdiction for arbitration or both parties have agreed to submit the dispute to other trade dispute settlement institution for settlement;
- In case of a dispute arising from a transaction in which the Buyer has chosen credit card or e-checking as payment method, the Buyer applies to the card issuer for chargebacks for the transaction in dispute while applying to Alibaba.com for dispute resolution；
- Either party violate other rules of Alibaba.com;
- Either party submits evidences that are not authentic or are forged or altered or otherwise violate applicable laws and regulation.
Chapter 12 Supplementary Provisions
Article 59 If there are particular provisions governing dispute resolution in the official activity rules or other specific types of trading rules of the Alibaba.com International Platform, such provisions shall apply.
Article 60 The transactions that have not been processed after these Rules take effect or are modified shall be governed by such effective or modified rules.
Article 61 Alibaba.com will from time to time amend these Rules, and the content of said amendments will take effect upon expiration of the public announcement.
Article 62 In the event of any inconsistency between the English and Chinese versions of these Rules, the Chinese version shall prevail.