China Regulatory Brief: Export Services Exemptions & China-Iceland FTA
Export Services to Receive Zero Tax Rate and Tax Exemptions
On May 15, the General Office of the State Council released the “Opinions on Supporting the Steady Growth of Foreign Trade (Guo Ban Fa  No. 19).” The Opinions stated that to further expand the scope of value-added tax (VAT) reform, foreign trade enterprises who provide export-related services such as technology transfer services and trademark transfer services for domestic SMEs will be either exempt from VAT and CT or eligible for a zero VAT rate. For zero-rated goods, input VAT shall be refundable. The Opinions also encouraged imports of high-tech equipment and spare parts for the digitization and smart technology industries.
China-Iceland FTA to Enter into Effect on July 1
On May 20, government officials from China and Iceland jointly announced that the “China-Iceland Free Trade Agreement (FTA)” signed last year in Beijing will come into effect on July 1. The agreement, the first FTA signed between China and a European country, is expected to guide the future development of economic ties between China and Europe. It includes provisions on the bilateral trade of goods and services, investment, and other channels of cooperation.
Revised Provisions on Foreign Investment in International Maritime Transportation
The Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently released the “Decision on Revising the Provisions on the Administration of Foreign Investment in International Maritime Transportation (‘Decision’).” According to the Decision, provincial-level commercial departments, rather than MOFCOM, shall be responsible for the approval of establishing foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) and the issuance of “FIE Approval Certificates.” The Decision came into effect on April 23, 2014.
Fees Exempted for Origin of Goods Certificates
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) jointly released the “Circular on Issues Concerning the Exemption of Fees for Origin of Goods Certificates (CaiZong  No. 24)” in a move towards promoting the growth of exports and relieving the burden of foreign trade companies. According to the Circular, an exemption shall be applied to fees relating to Origin of Exported Goods Certificates issued by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and its local counterparts. The exemption period began on May 1, 2014 and will last until December 31, 2014.
Beijing Subway Included in Social Investment Projects
On May 21, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced that RMB 27 billion of social investment has been allocated for the construction and operation of line 16 of the Beijing metro. The NDRC recently released a list of 80 encouraged social investment projects including transportation infrastructure, new-generation information infrastructure, clean energy projects, and modern coal chemical and petrochemical industry bases.
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In this issue of China Briefing, we provide an overview of the licensing schemes for industrial products; food production, distribution and catering services; and advertising. We also introduce two important types of certification in China: the CCC and the China Energy Label (CEL). This issue will provide you with an understanding of the requirements for selling your products or services in China.