|Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China
(Adopted at the 7th Session of the Standing Committee of the 8thNational People's Congress and Promulgated on May 12, 1994)
Whole documentFOREIGN TRADE LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA(Adopted at the 7th Session of the Standing Committee of the 8thNational People's Congress and Promulgated on May 12, 1994)
Chapter I PrinciplesArticle 1
This Law is formulated with a view to developing the foreign trade,maintaining the foreign trade order and promoting a healthy development ofthe socialist market economy.
Foreign trade as mentioned in this Law shall cover the import andexport of goods, technologies and the international trade in services.
The authority responsible for foreign trade and economic relationsunder the State Council is in charge of the administration of the foreigntrade of the entire country pursuant to this Law.Article 4
The State shall apply the foreign trade system on a uniform basis andmaintain a fair and free foreign trade order in accordance with law.
The State encourages the development of its foreign trade, exercisesthe initiative of localities and safeguards the autonomy of businessoperation of the foreign trade dealers.Article 5
The People's Republic of China promotes and develops trade ties withother countries and regions on the principles of equality and mutualbenefit.Article 6
The People's Republic of China shall, under international treaties oragreements to which the People's Republic of China is a contracting partyor a participating party, grant the other contracting parties orparticipating parties, or on the principles of mutual advantage andreciprocity, grant the other party most-favored-nation treatment ornational treatment within the field of foreign trade.Article 7
In the event that any country or region applies discriminatoryprohibition, restriction or other like measures against the People'sRepublic of China in respect of trade, the People's Republic of China may,as the case may be, take counter-measures against the country or region inquestion.
Chapter II Foreign Trade DealersArticle 8
Foreign trade dealers as mentioned in this Law shall cover the legalentities and other organizations engaged in foreign trade dealings incompliance with the provisions of this Law.Article 9
A foreign trade dealer who intends to engage in the import and exportof goods and technologies shall fulfill the following requirements andacquire the permit from the authority responsible for foreign trade andeconomic relations under the State Council:
1. having its own name and corporate structure;
2. having definite scope of business in foreign trade;
3. having place of business, financial resources and professionalpersonnel essential to the foreign trade dealings which it intends toengage in;
4. having a required record of import and export which were effectedon its behalf or having necessary sources of goods for import or export;
5. other requirements provided in relevant laws and administrativeregulations.
The detailed rules for the implementation of the preceding paragraphare to be laid down by the State Council.
Enterprises with foreign investment shall be exempt from the permitrequirement provided in paragraph 1 with respect to their import ofnon-productive articles for their own use, import of equipments and rawmaterials and other articles necessary for their production as well as theexport of the products they produce under the relevant provisions of lawsand administrative regulations governing enterprises with foreigninvestment.Article 10
The establishment and operation of enterprises and organizationsengaged in international trade in services shall be in compliance with theprovisions of this Law and other relevant laws and administrativeregulations.Article 11
Foreign trade dealers shall enjoy full autonomy in their businessoperation and be responsible for their own profits and losses inaccordance with law.Article 12
In foreign trade activities foreign trade dealers should honor theircontracts, ensure the quality of the commodity and perfect the after-saleservices.Article 13
Any organization or individual without foreign trade operation permitmay entrust a foreign trade dealer located in China as its agent toconduct its foreign trade business within the business scope of thelatter.
The entrusted foreign trade dealer shall provide the principal withactual business information such as market situation, commodity prices andclient position. The agent and the principal shall conclude and sign anagency agreement, in which the rights and obligations of both partiesshould be specified.Article 14
Foreign trade dealers are obligated to provide documents andinformation in relation to their foreign trade dealings to the relevantauthorities pursuant to the regulations of the authority responsible forforeign trade and economic relations under the State Council. The relevantauthorities shall not disclose the business proprietary informationprovided by the dealers.
Chapter III Import and Export of Goods and TechnologiesArticle 15
The State allows free import and export of goods and technologiesexcept where laws or administrative regulations provided otherwise.Article 16
The State may impose restrictions on the import or export of goods andtechnologies in any of the following circumstances:
(1) where the import or export shall be restricted in order tosafeguard the national security or public interest;
(2) where the export shall be restricted on account of domesticshortage in supply or effective protection of exhaustible domesticresources;
(3) where the export shall be restricted due to the limited marketcapacity of the importing country or region;
(4) where the import shall be restricted in order to establish oraccelerate the establishment of a particular domestic industry;
(5) where the restriction on the import of agricultural, animalhusbandry or fishery products in any form is necessary;
(6) where the import shall be restricted in order to maintain theState's international financial status and the balance of internationalpayments.
(7) where, as the international treaties or agreements to which thePeople's Republic of China is a contracting party or a participating partyrequire, the import or export shall be restricted.Article 17
The State prohibits the import or export of any goods or technologiesin any of the following circumstances:
(1) where such goods or technologies will endanger national securityor public interest;
(2) where the import or export of such goods or technologies must beprohibited in order to protect human life or health;
(3) where such goods or technologies will disrupt the ecologicalenvironment;
(4) where the import or export of such goods or technologies shall beprohibited in accordance with the provisions of international treaties oragreements to which the People's Republic of China is a contracting partyor participating party.Article 18
The authority responsible for foreign trade and economic relationsunder the State Council shall, in collaboration with the relevantauthorities under the State Council and in accordance with the provisionsof Article 16 and Article 17 of this Law, formulate, adjust and publishthe list of goods and technologies whose import or export are subject torestrictions or prohibitions.
Upon the approval of the State Council the authority responsible forforeign trade and economic relations under the State Council may, withinthe framework of Article 16 and Article 17, independently or incollaboration with the relevant authorities under the State Councildetermine, on a temporary basis, to impose restriction or prohibition onthe import or export of particular goods or technologies not included inthe list mentioned in the preceding paragraph.Article 19
Goods whose import or export is restricted shall be subject to quotaand/or licensing control; technologies whose import or export isrestricted shall be subject to licensing control.
Import or export of any goods and technologies subject to quota and/orlicensing control will be effected only with the approval of theauthorities responsible for foreign trade and economic relations under theState Council or the joint approval of the foregoing authorities and otherauthorities concerned under the State Council in compliance with theprovisions of the State Council.Article 20
Import and export quotas of goods shall be distributed on the basis ofthe conditions including but not limited to the actual import or exportperformance and capability of the applicants in foreign trade dealings andon the basis of the principles of efficiency, impartiality, transparencyand fair competition by the authority responsible for foreign trade andeconomic relations under the State Council or the relevant authoritiesunder the State Council within their respective responsibilities.
The ways and means of the distribution of quotas are to be regulatedby the State Council.Article 21
Where the import or export of goods, articles such as culturalrelics, wildlife animals, plants and the products thereof are prohibitedor restricted by other laws or administrative regulations, the provisionsof the laws and regulations in question shall be observed.
Chapter IV International Trade in ServicesArticle 22
The State promotes the progressive development of the internationaltrade in services.Article 23
With respect to international trade in services, the People's Republicof China, pursuant to the commitments made in international treaties oragreements to which the People's Republic of China is a contracting partyor a participating party, grants the other contracting parties andparticipating parties market access and national treatment.Article 24
The State may restrict international trade in services on the basis ofany of the following considerations:
1. in order to safeguard the national security or public interest;
2. in order to protect the ecological environment;
3. in order to establish or accelerate the establishment of aparticular domestic service industry;
4. in order to maintain the State's balance of international payments;
5. other restrictions provided in relevant laws and administrativeregulations.Article 25
The State prohibits any international trade in services which:
1. may endanger national security or public interest;
2. is contrary to the international obligations undertaken by thePeople's Republic of China;
3. is prohibited by relevant laws and administrative regulations.Article 26
The authority responsible for foreign trade and economic relationsunder the State Council and the relevant authorities under the StateCouncil are responsible for the administration of international trade inservices in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws andadministrative regulations.
Chapter V Foreign Trade OrderArticle 27
In foreign trade activities, foreign trade dealers shall operate theirbusiness in accordance with law and abide by the principle of faircompetition and are prohibited from the following acts:
(1) forgery, distortion or trading of certificates of country oforigin and import or export licenses;
(2) infringement on the intellectual property rights protected by thelaws of the People's Republic of China;
(3) squeezing out competitors with undue conducts of competition;
(4) defrauding the State of the refunded tax on exports;
(5) other acts contrary to the provisions of laws and administrativeregulations.Article 28
In foreign trade activities, foreign trade dealers shall settle anduse foreign exchanges in accordance with relevant regulations of theState.Article 29
Where a product is imported in such increased quantities as to causeor threaten to cause serious injury to domestic producers of like ordirectly competitive products, the State may take necessary safeguardmeasures to remove or ease such injury or threat of injury.Article 30
Where a product is imported at less than normal value of the productand causes or threatens to cause material injury to an establisheddomestic industry concerned, or materially retards the establishment of aparticular domestic industry, the State may take necessary measures inorder to remove or ease such injury or threat of injury or retardation.Article 31
Where an imported product is subsidized in any form directly orindirectly by the country of export and causes or threatens to causematerial injury to an established domestic industry concerned ormaterially retards the establishment of a domestic industry, the State maytake necessary measures in order to remove or ease such injury or threatof injury or retardation.Article 32
In the events referred to in Article 29, Article 30 and Article 31,the authority or agency designated by the State Council shall conductinvestigations and make determinations in accordance with relevant lawsand administrative regulations.
Chapter VI Promotion of Foreign TradeArticle 33
The State shall establish and improve financial institutions forforeign trade and establish funds for foreign trade development and riskas the development of foreign trade requires.Article 34
The State may take import and export credit, export tax refund andother foreign trade promotion measures for the purpose of the developmentof foreign trade.Article 35
Foreign trade dealers may establish or join Chambers of Commerce forImporters and Exporters in accordance with law.
Chambers of Commerce for Importers and Exporters shall abide byrelevant laws and administrative regulations, coordinate and guide theforeign trade activities of their members under their Articles ofAssociation, provide advisory services, report to the relevant authoritiesof the Government the suggestions of their members with respect to foreigntrade promotion, and actively promote foreign trade.Article 36
The international trade promotion organization of China shall, inaccordance with its Articles of Association, engage in development offoreign trade relations, sponsor exhibitions, provide information andadvisory services and carry out other foreign trade promotive activities.Article 37
The State shall support and promote the development of foreign tradein national autonomous areas and economically under-developed areas.
Chapter VII Legal LiabilitiesArticle 38
Anyone who smuggles goods that are subject to import or exportprohibitions or restrictions, and hereby commits criminal offenses, shallbe subject to criminal prosecution pursuant to the Supplementary Decisionon the Punishment of Smuggling Crimes. Those offenses of smuggling whichdo not constitute crimes shall be subject to sanctions under theprovisions of the Customs Law. In addition, the authority responsible forforeign trade and economic relations under the State Council may withdrawthe foreign trade operation permit of the offender in question.Article 39
Anyone who commits forgery distortion of certificates of country oforigin or license for import or export shall be subject to criminalprosecution under Article 167 of the Criminal Law. Anyone who commitstrading of certificates of country of origin or license for import orexport or trading of forged or distorted certificates of country of originor license for import or export shall be subject to criminal prosecutionin the light of Article 167 of the Criminal Law.
Where the criminal offenses referred to in the preceding paragraph arecommitted by an entity, the entity in question shall be imposed fine whilethe persons in charge of the entity directly responsible for the offensesand other persons directly responsible for the offenses shall be subjectto criminal prosecutions in accordance with or in the light of Article 167of the Criminal Law. In addition, the authority responsible for foreigntrade and economic relations under the State Council may withdraw theforeign trade operation permit of the entity in question.
Anyone who knowingly uses forged or distorted import or export licensein importing or exporting goods shall be imposed sanctions in accordancewith the provisions of Article 38 of this Law.Article 40
Anyone who imports or exports technologies that are subject to importor export prohibitions or restrictions in violation of this Law andcommits criminal offenses, shall be subject to criminal prosecutions inthe light of the Supplementary Decision on the Punishment of SmugglingCrime.Article 41
Personnel serving in the State's foreign trade authorities who commitany neglect of duty, malpractice, irregularities or abuse of power, whichconstitute criminal offenses, shall be subject to criminal prosecutionspursuant to law; as to those offenses which do not constitute crimes,administrative sanctions shall apply.
Personnel serving in the State's foreign trade authorities who extortproperty from others with job convenience or illegally accept others'property and seek advantages for them in return and thus commit criminaloffenses shall be subject to criminal prosecutions in accordance with theSupplementary Decision on the Punishment of Embezzlement and BriberyCrimes; where such conducts do not constitute criminal offenses,administrative sanctions shall apply.
Chapter VIII Final ProvisionsArticle 42
The State applies flexible measures, provides favorable conditionsand conveniences to the trade between the towns on the frontier and thosetowns of neighboring countries on frontier as well as trade among borderresidents. Detailed rules are to be laid down by the State Council.Article 43
This Law shall not apply to the separate customs territories of thePeople's Republic of China.Article 44
This Law shall enter into force as of July 1, 1994.