China Regulatory Brief: Directory of Relevant Regulatory Departments for Foreign NGOs in China, and the First Initiative to Promote Safe Production

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Directory of relevant regulatory departments of foreign NGOs in China published

China’s Ministry of Public Security has published a list of activity fields and a project catalogue for foreign NGOs operating in China, and a directory of their respective regulatory departments for 2017. Such departments listed will serve as intermediaries between the Ministry of Public Security and foreign NGOs. The Listdivides different fields and matches them with the relevant governmental departments. For example, the General Administration of Sports would be responsible for administering sport NGOs. However, some of the fields will be jointly regulated by multiple government departments, such as NGOs engaging in environmental protection. Before applying for registration of a representative office with the relevant provincial-level People’s Government, a foreign NGO must first obtain approval from the listed intermediary government departments.

Investment project catalogue restrictions released

The State Council has issued a catalogue of investment projects which will be subject to government approval, imposing further limitations on projects in industries involving serious production overcapacity such as steel, electrolytic aluminium, cement, flat glass, and ship-building. The catalogue has been revised three times since 2013, cancelling or delegating approval power for 17 items. No approval will be given to projects involving new coal mining or technological upgrading with added production capacity within a three year period starting from March 2016. The regulation follows an ongoing effort to reduce overcapacity issues in heavy industry sectors.

Supervision and inspection of FIE establishment and change filing reinforced

A notice regarding the supervision and inspection of filing of establishment or change of foreign invested enterprises has been issued by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). It requires that supervision and inspection be focused on whether filing procedures are completed correctly and accurately, that administrative sanction decisions made by filing institutions are observed, and that filing matters do not trigger national security review. The notice also stipulates that foreign investors’ lawful rights and interests are preserved, and that their normal course of business is not interfered by the supervision and inspection scheme.

China launches first initiative to promote safe production

The Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee and the State Council have release opinions regarding reform and development of ‘safe production’, the first of its kind since the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949. It upholds the principle that development should never be achieved at the price of human safety, and that a “veto by one vote” system will be implemented for major safety concerns. It also aims to bring offences that commonly bring about safety incidents into the scope of criminal law. Additionally, it abolishes the existing provision for work place safety remuneration fund.


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