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 34 In the operation of foreign trade, the following activities shall be prohibited:
1.Falsifying, modifying certificates of country of origin, falsifying, modifying or trading in certificates of country of origin and import and export licences, import and export quota certificates or other import and export documents;
2.Obtaining export rebate by deception;
3.Smuggling or trafficking;
4.Evading accreditation, inspection and quarantine required by laws and administrative rules; and
5.Committing acts that violate the provisions of other laws and administrative rules.

Article 35 In the operation of foreign trade, regulations on foreign exchange promulgated by the State shall be abided by.

Article 36 The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council may publish notifications to the public on activities that violate this Law and disrupt foreign trade order.

Chapter VII Foreign Trade Investigation

Article 37 To maintain the foreign trade order, the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council may, independently or in consultation with other relevant departments under the State Council, conduct investigations on the following matters:
1.Import and export of goods, import and export of technologies and international service trade''s impact on domestic industries and their competitiveness;
2.Relevant countries and regions'' trade barriers;
3.Matters that are necessary to be investigated to decide whether or not to adopt such foreign trade relief measures as anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguards in accordance with laws;
4.Acts that circumvent foreign trade relief measures;
5.Issues concerning state safety and interests in foreign trade;
6.Matters that are necessary to be investigated to implement Article 7, ii of Article 29, Article 30, 31, iii of Article 32 and iii of Article 33; and
7.Other matters that disrupt foreign trade order and are necessary to be investigated.

Article 38 The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council shall issue notifications to initiate foreign trade investigations.
The investigation may be conducted in the form of written questionnaire, hearing, on-the-spot investigation and entrusted investigation.
The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council shall present investigation report or render rulings and publish notifications according to the outcome of the investigations.

Article 39 The relevant workplaces and individuals shall cooperate and assist the foreign trade investigation.
The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council and other relevant departments under the State Council and their staff shall undertake to protect the state and commercial secrets that they are aware of or familiar with.

Chapter VIII Foreign Trade Relief

Article 40 The State may take corresponding foreign trade relief measures according to the outcome of foreign trade investigation.

Article 41 Should products originating from other countries or regions enter the Chinese market at price below-the-normal-value or dumping, which causes material injury or threat of such material injury to an established domestic industry or causes material barrier to the establishment of a domestic industry, the State may take anti-dumping measures to eliminate or mitigate such injury or the threat of injury or barrier.

Article 42 Should products originating from other countries or regions be exported to the market of the third country at price below-the-normal-value, which causes material injury or threat of such material injury to an established domestic industry or causes material barrier to the establishment of a domestic industry, upon the petition filed by a domestic industry, the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council may conduct consultation with the government of the third country and request it to take corresponding measures.

Article 43 Should the imported products directly or indirectly accept the exclusive subsidy in any form offered by the exporting countries or regions, which causes material injury or threat of such material injury to an established domestic industry or causes material barrier to the establishment of a domestic industry, the State may take anti-subsidy measures to eliminate or mitigate such injury or the threat of injury or barrier.

Article 44 Should the substantially increasing import cause material injury or threat of material injury to the domestic industry that produces like-products or directly competing products, the State may take necessary safeguard measures to eliminate or mitigate such injury or the threat of injury and provide necessary support to the industry.

Article 45 Should the increasing service provided by service providers from other countries or regions cause material injury or threat of such material injury to a domestic industry that provide the same service or directly competing service, the State may take relief measures to eliminate or mitigate such injury or the threat of injury.

Article 46 Should the import of a certain product increase substantially due to the restriction of import exercised by the third country, which causes material injury or threat of such material injury to an established domestic industry or causes material barrier to the establishment of a domestic industry, the State may take necessary relief measures to limit the import of the product.

Article 47 Should a country or region that has signed with the People's Republic of China or jointly entered into economic and trade treaties and agreements violate the provisions of the treaties or agreements and thus lead to losses or impairment of the interests that are enjoyed by the People's Republic of China in accordance with the treaties and agreements, or hamper the realization of the purposes set forth in the treaties or agreements, the People's Republic of China has the right to request the governments of the relevant countries or regions to take corresponding remedial measures and suspend or terminate the fulfillment of the relevant responsibilities in accordance with the relevant treaties or agreements.

Article 48 The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council shall conduct the bilateral or multilateral consultations, negotiations and dispute settlement in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws.

Article 49 The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council and other relevant departments under the State Council shall establish a pre-warning and response mechanism on the import and export of goods, import and export of technologies and international service trade to counter the unexpected and unusual situations and safeguard state economic safety.

Article 50 The State may take necessary anti-circumvention measures against the acts that circumvent the foreign trade relief measures provided for by this Law.

Chapter IX Promotion of Foreign Trade

Article 51 The State shall draw up the foreign trade development strategy, establish and perfect the foreign trade promotion mechanism.

Article 52 The State shall, in accordance with the need of foreign trade development, make efforts to set up and improve special financial institutions that are to serve foreign trade as well as establish development and risk funds for the trade.

Article 53 The State shall adopt various promotion measures to develop foreign trade including issuing of import and export credits, export credit insurance and setting up of export rebates.

Article 54 The State shall establish foreign trade public information service system to provide information to foreign trade operators and other social mass people.

Article 55 The State shall take measures to encourage foreign trade operators to explore the international market, take such measures as overseas investment, undertaking of overseas projects and overseas labor collaboration to develop foreign trade.

Article 56 Foreign trade operators may establish or enter into the relevant associations and chambers of commerce in accordance with laws.
The relevant associations and chambers of commerce shall abide by laws and administrative rules, provide the members with services related to production, marketing, information and training according to the articles of association, perform the function of coordination and self-discipline, file petitions for foreign trade relief measures in accordance with laws, safeguard the interests of their members and industry, convey to the relevant government departments proposals on promoting foreign trade and carry out foreign trade promotion activities.

Article 57 Chinese organizations for the promotion of international trade shall according to their articles of association, develop contacts with overseas businesses, hold exhibitions, provide information and consultancy services and engage in other foreign trade promotion activities.

Article 58 The State shall support and promote the small and medium-sized enterprises to develop foreign trade.

Article 59 The State shall make special efforts to promote the foreign trade in ethnic autonomous regions and economically less developed areas.

Chapter X Legal Liabilities

Article 60 For import and export of goods subject to state-trading regime without permission in violation of Article 11 of this Law, the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council or other relevant departments under the State Council may impose a fine of CNY50,000 or less; for a serious case, the application for import and export of goods subject to state-trading regime filed by the law-breaker shall not be accepted within three years as of the date when the administrative punishment enters into effect or his right to conduct the import and export of other goods subject to state-trading regime shall be revoked.

Article 61 Import and export of goods that are banned from import or export or import and export of goods that are restricted for import and export without permission shall be handled and punished by the Customs in accordance with the provisions of laws and administrative rules; if crime is constituted, the criminal liabilities shall be ascertained.
Import and export of technologies that are banned from import or export or import and export of technologies that are restricted for import and export without permission shall be handled and punished in accordance with the provisions of laws and administrative rules; if the act is not provided for by laws and regulations, the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council shall order the act to be rectified, confiscate the illegal gains and impose a fine of more than one time but no more than five times of the amount of the illegal gains, if there is no illegal gains achieved or the illegal gains is less than CNY10,000 , the fine shall be between CNY10,000 and CNY50,000 ; if crime is constituted, the criminal liabilities shall be ascertained.
The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council or other relevant departments under the State Council may refuse to accept the application filed by the law-breaker for import and export quota or licence within three years as of date when the administrative punishment provided for by the above two paragraphs enters into force or when the criminal punishments enter into force, or forbid the law-breaker from operation of import and export of goods and technologies for more than one year but less than three years.

Article 62 Undertaking of banned international service trade, or undertaking of restricted international service trade without permission shall be punished in accordance with the relevant laws and administrative rules, the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council shall order the act to be rectified, the illegal gains shall be confiscated and a fine of more than one time but no more than five times of the amount of the illegal gains shall be imposed, if there is no illegal gains achieved or the illegal gains is less than CNY10,000 , the fine shall be between CNY10,000 and CNY50,000 ; if crime is constituted, the criminal liabilities shall be ascertained.
The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council may forbid the law-breaker from operation of the relevant international service trade for more than one year but less than three years as of the date when the administrative punishment provided for by the above paragraph enters into force or when the criminal punishment enters into force.

Article 63 Acts in violation of Article 34 of this Law shall be punished in accordance with the relevant laws and administrative rules; if crime is constituted, the criminal liabilities shall be ascertained.
The department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council may forbid the law-breaker from operation of the relevant foreign trade for more than one year but less than three years as of the date when the administrative punishment provided for by the above paragraph enters into force or when the criminal punishment enters into force.

Article 64 In accordance with Article 61 to 63 of this law, the Customs shall not handle the declaration and clearance procedure for the goods imported or exported by foreign trade operators who are forbidden from operation of foreign trade in accordance with the forbidding decision made by the department in charge of foreign trade under the State Council, foreign exchange administrations or banks designated to deal with foreign exchange shall not handle the relevant foreign exchange settlement and purchase for them.

Article 65 If the staff of the departments in charge of foreign trade are found committing dereliction of duty, resorting to deception for personal gains or abusing their powers, if crime is constituted, the criminal liability shall be ascertained; otherwise, administrative punishments shall be meted out.
If the staff of the departments in charge of foreign trade are found taking advantage of his/her position to extort belongings from others or seek interests for others after accepting benefits, if crime is constituted, the criminal liability shall be ascertained; otherwise, administrative punishments shall be meted out.

Article 66 Foreign trade operators who hold dissents to the administrative decisions conducted by the departments in charge of foreign trade in accordance with this Law may apply for administrative review or file administrative litigation to the People's Count in accordance with laws.

Chapter XI Supplementary Provisions

Article 67 If laws and administrative rules have other provisions on the foreign trade administration on goods for military use, fission and fusion matters or matters that may derive these matters and import and export administration on cultural products, these provisions shall prevail.

Article 68 The State shall adopt flexible measures and grant preferential treatment and facilities to promote trade between towns of China and neighboring countries and trade among border residents in markets within each other's territories.
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