Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China (Revised in 2016)

Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China (Revised in 2016)
Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China (Revised in 2016)

Order of the President of the People's Republic of China No.57

November 7, 2016

(Passed on May 12, 1994 during the 7th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eighth National People's Congress, amended during the 8th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People's Congress on April 6, 2004 and revised according to the Decision on Revising Twelve Laws including the Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China made at the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Twelfth National People's Congress on November 7, 2016.)

Table of Contents
Chapter I General Provisions
Chapter II Foreign Trade Operator
Chapter III Import and Export of Goods and Technologies
Chapter IV International Service Trade
Chapter V Trade-related Intellectual Property Protection
Chapter VI Foreign Trade Order
Chapter VII Foreign Trade Investigation
Chapter VIII Foreign Trade Relief
Chapter IX Foreign Trade Promotion
Chapter X Legal Liabilities
Chapter XI Supplementary Provisions

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 This Law is promulgated with a view to expanding the opening-up, developing foreign trade, maintaining order in foreign trade activities and promoting a healthy development of the socialist market economy.

Article 2 This Law shall apply to foreign trade and trade-related intellectual property protection.
The term "foreign trade" in this Law shall refer to the import and export of goods and technologies and international service trade.

Article 3 The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council shall take charge of all foreign trade work in the whole country in accordance with this Law.

Article 4 The State shall adopt a unified foreign trade system, encourage foreign trade development and safeguard a fair and liberal foreign trade order.

Article 5 The People's Republic of China shall promote and develop trading relations with all other countries and regions, establish or participate in agreements of tariff unions, free trade agreements and other regional economic and trade agreements and participate in regional economic organizations under the principle of equality and mutual benefit.

Article 6 In foreign trade, the People's Republic of China shall, in accordance with the international treaties or agreements signed or entered into by it, grant other contracting parties and participants the most favor nation or national treatment, or grant the most favor nation or national treatment to the counterparts in accordance with the principle of mutual benefit and equality.

Article 7 The People's Republic of China shall have the right to adopt, in accordance with the actual circumstances, corresponding measures against any country or region to counter their discriminatory measures on the banning, restriction or other similar acts in trading with the People's Republic of China.

Chapter II Foreign Trade Operator

Article 8 The term " foreign trade operator" in this Law shall refer to a legal person or other organization or individual engaged in foreign trade activities that have gone through the industry and commerce registration or other business formalities in compliance with the provisions of this Law and other laws and administrative rules.

Article 9 A foreign trade operator engaged in import and export of goods or technologies shall make registration for record with the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council or institutions entrusted by it; but those that are exempted from registration for record by laws, administrative rules and rules of the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council shall be excluded. The detailed rules on the registration for record shall be stipulated by the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council. Customs shall not handle the declaration and clearance procedure for goods imported or exported by a foreign trade operator who fails to go through the registration for record in accordance with the rules.

Article 10 The operation of international service trade shall abide by the provisions of this Law and other relevant laws and administrative rules.
Organizations engaged in foreign labor service cooperation shall have corresponding qualifications, and specific measures shall be formulated by the State Council.

Article 11 The State may place the import and export of certain goods under the administration of state-trading regime. Import and export of goods subject to state-trading regime may only be handled by the authorized enterprises; but, the certain volume of goods subject to state-trading regime that is permitted by the State to be imported or exported by non-authorized enterprises shall be excluded from the administration of state-trading regime. Catalogues for the goods subject to state-trading regime and list of the authorized enterprises shall be drawn up, adjusted and published by the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council in consultation with other relevant departments under the State Council.
Goods subject to state-trading regime imported or exported without permission and in violation of this Article shall not be cleared by the Customs.

Article 12 A foreign trade operator may accept entrustment from others to conduct foreign trade within its business scope by acting as an agent.

Article 13 A foreign trade operator shall provide documents and materials related to its foreign trade activities to the relevant departments in accordance with the rules that are stipulated by the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council or other relevant departments under the State Council according to laws. The relevant departments shall undertake to protect the commercial secrets of the foreign trade operator.

Chapter III Import and Export of Goods and Technologies

Article 14 The State shall allow the free import and export of goods and technologies, except otherwise provided for by other laws and administrative rules.

Article 15 The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council may place certain goods of free import and export under the administration of automatic licensing regime and publish the catalogues in view of the need to monitor the import and export situation.
For importing and exporting of goods subject to automatic licensing regime, if consigners or consignees file applications for automatic licensing before the customs declaration, the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council or institutions entrusted by it shall approve the applications; the Customs shall not clear the goods without going through the formality of automatic licensing.
Contracts of importing or exporting technologies subject to automatic import and export shall be registered for record with the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council or the institutions entrusted by it.

Article 16 The State may restrict or ban the import or export of goods or technologies due to the following reasons:
1.Being necessary to restrict or ban the import or export because of national security, public interests or public ethics;
2.Being necessary to restrict or ban the import or export in view of protecting the health or safety of the people, life or health of animals and plants and the ecological environment;
3.Being necessary to restrict or ban the import or export in view of implementing the measures on import and export of gold or silver;
4.Being necessary to restrict or ban the export because of shortage of supplies at home or as important natural resources that are of danger of depletion;
5.Being necessary to restrict the export as the limited market in the importing countries or regions;
6.Being necessary to restrict the export due to the severe disruption in the export order;
7.Being necessary to restrict the import by the State to establish or accelerate to establish certain industries at home;
8.Agricultural, animal husbandry and fishery products in any form that are necessary to be restricted of importing by the State;
9.Being necessary to restrict the import by the State in view of maintaining the financial position of the country in the world or ensuring a balance of international payments;
10.Being necessary to restrict or ban the import or export due to other reasons in accordance with laws and administrative rules; and
11.Subject to restriction or ban of import and export by international treaties or agreements to which the People's Republic of China is a signatory or has entered. )>

Article 17 The State may take any necessary measures on the import and export of goods and technologies related to fissile and fusion matters or matters that may derive these matters and import and export of weapons and ammunitions and other materials for military use to protect the security of the State.
At wartime or to maintain world peace and security, the State may take any necessary measures concerning the import and export of goods and technologies.

Article 18 The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council shall, in consultation with other relevant departments under the State Council, draw up, revise and publish the catalogues of goods and technologies whose import or export are restricted or banned in accordance with the provisions of Article 16 and 17 of this Law.
The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council may, independently or in consultation with other relevant departments under the State Council, make decisions to provisionally restrict or ban the import or export of special goods or technologies that are not listed in the afore-mentioned catalogues within the provisions of Article 16 and 17 of this Law.

Article 19 The State implements quota or licence administration on goods whose import or export is restricted; and licence administration to technologies whose import or export is restricted.
Goods and technologies subject to quota or licence administration can be imported or exported only when it has been approved by the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council independently or in consultation with other relevant departments under the State Council in accordance with the provisions promulgated by the State Council.
The State may implement tariff quota administration on the import of certain goods.

Article 20 The import and export quotas shall be allocated by the departments in charge of foreign trade under the State Council or by other relevant departments under the State Council within their terms of reference in line with the principle of open, fair, just and efficiency.
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