China Regulatory Brief: Amendments to Inbound Investment Laws and Ban of Foreign Investment into Postal Services
Opinions sought for revision of inbound investment laws
The National People’s Congress Standing Committee made the decision to revise four laws regarding inbound investment, including the Foreign Invested Enterprise Law. The amendment permits foreign invested enterprises that do not require special management measures for assessment to complete establishment formalities by means of filing without the need of approval. This can be done by submitting the filing information and materials online via a filing, which will be processed within three working days, with filing results announced on the filing system. Filing of the change of the foreign invested enterprises is to be submitted within 30 days after the change, and the filing process is no longer a pre-condition for business registration of the enterprise. The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has solicited opinions about the amendments, and the revised laws will come into effect October 1, 2016.
China postal services closed to foreign investment and overseas postal service providers
China’s State Post Bureau has issued an announcement which prohibits foreign investors and overseas postal service providers from operating within the country. The announcement not only bans all foreign entities’ involvement in production and operation venues, transport, and storage capacities for the purpose of postal services, but also stipulates that no individuals are to publish advertisements for any postal related service on behalf of foreign investors and overseas postal service providers either.
Amendment to the schedule of tariff concessions approved
On September 3, 2016, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee approved an amendment to the Schedule of Tariff Concessions Relating to Entry of China into the WTO. The amendment provides that China will gradually cut and eventually eliminate tariffs on 201 imported IT products originating from WTO member countries, including semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment, audio-visual products, medical equipment, instruments, and apparatus. Import tariffs are expected to be reduced to zero for most products in three to five years, and within seven years for other products.
Pilot scheme for unified work permit system for foreign workers to be implemented
The State Council and the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) have made the decision to launch a pilot program for foreign work permits. Currently there are two types of work permits for foreign workers: the Foreign Employment License and the License for Foreign Experts Working in China, which will be consolidated into one unified license. The pilot program will be implemented in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanghai, Anhui, Shandong, Sichuan, and Ningxia, from October 2016 to March 2017. The unified work permit will be fully implemented in all regions of China with effect from April 1, 2017.
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