FOREIGN TRADE LAW
OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

(Adopted at the Seventh Session of the Standing Committee of the
Eight National People's Congress on May 12,1994)

  CHAPTER ONE GENERAL PROVISIONS

   Article 1 The law has been formulated with a view to developing foreign trade, maintaining order in foreign trade activities and promoting a healthy development of the socialist market economy.

  Article 2 The term "foreign trade" used in this law refers to the import and export of goods and technologies and international service trade.

  Article 3 The department in charge of foreign economic cooperation and trade under the State Council takes charge of all foreign trade work in the whole country according to this law.

  Article 4 The State adopts a unified foreign trade system and exercises a fair and free trade order.

  The State shall encourage every effort in trade development, help to bring the initiative of the localities into play, and safeguard the autonomy of trade operators in trade operation.

  Article 5 The People's Republic of China shall promote and develop trading relations with all other countries and regions on the principle of equality and mutual benefit.

  Article 6 The People's Republic of China shall, in accordance with international treaties or agreements that she has signed or entered into, grant the counterparts which have signed or entered into such treaties or agreements the most favour nation or national treatment of China.

  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 banning, restrict or other acts on Chinese goods.

  CHAPTER TWO FOREIGN TRADE OPERATOR

  Article 8 The term "foreign trade operator" used in this law refers to a legal person or organization engaging in foreign trade activities in compliance with the provisions of this law.

  Article 9 A foreign trade operator engaging in the import and export of goods or technologies shall meet the following requirements and get the license from the department in charge of foreign economic cooperation and trade under the State Council:

  1. It shall have its own name and organizational setup;

  2. It shall have a clearly defined scope of foreign trade operations;

  3. It shall have the site, funds and professional personnel necessary for carrying out foreign trade activities;

  4. The import and export operations handled by its agencies have reached the prescribed merit or it shall have the necessary sources of goods for import or export; and

  5. It shall have other conditions as required by other laws or administrative decrees.

  The detailed rules for the implementation of the preceding provisions shall be formulated by the State Council.

  Foreign-funded enterprises (FEEs) shall be exempted from licenses referred to above when importing non-productive goods for their own use or equipment, raw and other materials needed in their own production and in exporting their products according to the provisions of the laws governing FEE and relevant administrative decrees.

  Article 10 The start-up and business operations of enterprises and organizations engaging in international service trade shall follow the provisions of this and other relevant laws and administrative decrees.

  Article 11 Foreign trade operators shall operate independently according to law and be responsible for their own profits or losses.

  Article 12 In carrying out foreign trade activities, the operators shall abide by contracts, ensure the quality of commodities and improve after-sale services.

  Article 13 An organization or an individual that does not acquire a license for carrying out foreign trade activities may entrust a foreign trade operator as agent to handle the ad hoc trade operations within the ad hoc scope of business.

  A foreign trade operator acting as an agent shall provide appropriate information to the trustor such as market prices and conditions of clients. The trustor and the trustee shall sign a contract, which shall stipulate the rights and obligations of both sides.

  Article 14 A foreign trade operator shall provide documents and materials related to its foreign trade activities to departments concerned according to the provisions promulgated by the department in charge of foreign economic cooperation and trade under the State Council and the department concerned shall undertake to protect the commercial secrets of the foreign trade operator.

  CHAPTER THREE IMPORT AND EXPORT OF GOODS AND TECHNOLOGIES

  Article 15 The State shall allow the free import and export of goods and technologies, except otherwise provided for by other laws and administrative decrees.

  Article 16 The State may restrict the import or export of the goods or technologies that are of:

  1. being necessary of restriction in import and export because of involving national security and public interest;

  2. being necessary of restriction of export because of a short of supply at home or being important domestic resources that are of danger of being exhausted;

  3. under restriction of import by import countries or regions due to a limited market;

  4. necessary of restriction of import by the State to protect the smooth or accelerated development of certain industries at home;

  5. agricultural, animal husbandry and fishery products in any form that are necessary to be restricted of importing by the State;

  6. being necessary of restriction of import by the State in view to maintain a certain financial position of the nation in the world or to ensure a balance of international payments of the country; and

  7. subject to restriction of import and export by international treaties or agreements to which the People's Republic of China is a signatory or has entered.

  Article 17 The State shall ban the import or export of goods or technologies that are of:

  1. jeopardy to national security or public interest;

  2. necessary to ban their import in view to protect the life or health of the people;

  3. danger to ecological environment; and

  4. banning import by the provisions of international treaties or agreements to which the People's Republic of China is a signatory or has entered.

  Article 18 The department in charge of foreign economic cooperation and trade under the State Council shall, together with other relevant departments under the State Council, draw up, revise and publish the catalogues of goods and technologies whose import or export are restricted or banned in accordance with the provisions of Articles 16 and 17 of this law.

  The department in charge of foreign economic cooperation and trade under the State Council may, independently or together with other relevant departments under the State Council, take prompt decisions to restrict or ban the import or export of special goods or technologies not listed in the catalogue mentioned in the Articles 16 and 17 of this law.

  Article 19 Goods whose import or export is restricted shall be subject to quota or license management; technologies whose import or export is restricted shall be subject to license management.

  Goods and technologies subject to quota or license management can be imported or exported only when it has been approved by the department in charge of foreign economic cooperation and trade independently or jointly with other relevant departments under the State Council according to the provisions promulgated by the State Council.

  Article 20 The import and export quotas shall be allocated by the department in charge of foreign economic cooperation and trade under the State Council or by relevant departments under the State Council within their terms of reference in line with the import and export performances and capabilities of applicants and on the basis of the principles of efficiency, fairness, openness and fair competition.

  The specific methods of quota allocation shall be worked out by the State Council.

  Article 21 For goods and article, including culture relics, wild animals and plants and their products whose import or export is banned or restricted according to other laws and administrative decrees, the provisions of other laws and administrative decrees shall apply.

 

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