Database

Browse Database
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since 2000

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Domain name (DNS) registration requeriments
Internet Content Provider (ICP) Licence
All domestic and foreign websites are required to apply for an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license to operate their website in China. This obligation applies both to domestic and foreign businesses. Without an ICP number, a website can be shut down by the hosting provider with no notice. Local establishment is also required.
Coverage Horizontal
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Reported in August 2013

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
De minimis rule
According to China's de minimis rule shipments with a duty and VAT liability of less than 5 SDR / RMB 50 / 8 USD will be exempted from taxes and duties collected by the customs.
Coverage Horizontal
Trading restrictions

CHINA

WTO dispute from 2012

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
De facto monopoly on e-payment services (EPSI in RMB for China Union Pay (CUP)
In 2012, there has been a WTO dispute about China’s rules governing access to its domestic electronic-payments market which do not provide equal treatment to foreign credit-card and debit-card issuers. China said at the time it would assess the decision, but it has been slow to change its market-access rules in response.

Currently, China UnionPay Co. has a near monopoly on processing and clearing yuan-denominated payments made via bank cards and credit cards. The state-controlled firm has close ties to China’s central bank. China’s central bank has at times moved against the upstarts in ways that seem to benefit UnionPay. For example, in 2014 it ordered the suspension of online payments using QR codes and virtual credit cards in smartphone-payment systems, two payment methods being pioneered domestically by Alibaba and Tencent.
Coverage Payment services
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since March 2016

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
Administrative Regulations for Online Publishing Services (“Online Publishing Regulations”)
Strict guidelines for what can be published online and how the publisher should conduct business in China came into force in March 2016. According to the rules, a “Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperative ventures, and foreign business units shall not engage in online publishing services".

Moreover, any publisher of online content, including “texts, pictures, maps, games, animations, audios, and videos” will be required to store their “necessary technical equipment, related servers and storage devices” in China.

Any “online publication service units” needs to get prior approval from the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) if they want to cooperate on a project with any foreign company, joint venture, or individual.
Coverage "Online Publishing Services"
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Reported in September 2015

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
Postal Law
It is reported that the administrative licensing for express delivery services is non-transparent and burdensome. The operation permit for express delivery, which is required under the Postal Law and other regulations, is reported as a serious bottleneck which prevents competition. For example, since companies are required to apply to each city where there is a postal administration department, they need to go through at least 350 review and approval processes if they want to operate at the national level.

This represents a barrier for e-retailing companies which rely on a limited set of actors to deliver their products and are prevented from providing their own delivery services.
Coverage Express delivery services
Source
  • Logistics Working Group: Position Paper. Available to download at http://www.europeanchamber.com.cn/en/publications-archive/374/Logistics_Position_Paper_2015_2016
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since 1999

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Encryption
Regulation on Commercial Encryption Codes by the Office of State Commercial Cryptography Administration (OSCCA)
Imported and exported encryption products must be certified by the Office of State Commercial Cryptography Administration (OSCCA). The use of encryption products without OSCCA certification is prohibited, regardless of public, commercial or individual nature of use.

However, it is reported that, in practice, only Chinese or Chinese-owned companies are eligible for OSCCA certification to sell, produce and carry out R&D for encryption technology in China, as well as to gain product licensing. Foreign or foreign-owned companies, even if they are incorporated in China, are excluded.

In 2007, OSCCA started to consider products such as Trusted Platform Module (used in computers) or smartcards (used in banking, insurance, health, transport, etc.) as core encryption products. As a result, such products could no longer be produced or sold by foreign or foreign-invested companies.
Coverage Encryption products
Trading restrictions

CHINA

In 2012

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Encryption
ZUC Encryption
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), in concert with the State Encryption Management Bureau, informally announced in early 2012 that only domestically developed encryption algorithms, such as ZUC, would be allowed for use in the network equipment (mobile base stations) and mobile devices comprising 4G TD-LTE networks in China. In addition, an industry analysis published by MIIT suggests that burdensome and invasive testing procedures threatening companies’ sensitive intellectual property could be required.

Although a globally accepted standard (3GPP) already exists, ZUC is de facto often required in order to enter the Chinese market, along with invasive testing requirements (source code review). These requirements are potentially violating bilateral commitments with the US and a commitment that China made to its trading partners in 2000 stating that China would permit the use of foreign encryption standards in IT and telecommunication hardware and software for commercial use and that it would only impose strict “Chinese-only” encryption requirements on specialized IT products whose “core function” is encryption.
Coverage 4G telecommunication equipment (LTE)
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since 2009 (unpublished requirement)

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Encryption
WAPI Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) standard
A locally developed encryption standard (WAPI) is required to be used in all wireless equipment despite existing international standard IEEE 802.11i.
Coverage Wi-Fi enabled devices
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since 1999

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Product screening and testing requeriments
OSCCA Regulation on Commercial Encryption
Imported and exported encryption products must be certified by the Office of State Commercial Cryptography Administration (OSCCA). The use of encryption products without OSCCA certification is prohibited, regardless of public, commercial or individual nature of use.

However, it is reported that, in practice, only Chinese or Chinese-owned companies are eligible for OSCCA certification to sell, produce and carry out R&D for encryption technology in China, as well as to gain product licensing. Foreign or foreign-owned companies, even if based in China, are excluded.

In 2007, OSCCA started to consider products such as Trusted Platform Module (used in computers) or smartcards (used in banking, insurance, health, transport, etc.) as core encryption products. As a result, such products could no longer be produced or sold by foreign or foreign-invested companies.
Coverage All encryption products
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since 2009

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Product screening and testing requeriments
Revised Management Regulations for Compulsory Product Certification
Since 2009, Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ) bureaus have greater authority to conduct on-site investigations and increase penalties for non-compliance. The new provision were reported in the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade Committee in June 2008.

The regulations add more categories of non-compliance and refine and expand penalties. They also penalize companies that counterfeit or sells CCC marks or use canceled or expired certification documents. The revised regulations also raise fines for some violations—the fine for companies that are certified but do not apply CCC labels to their products has doubled to ¥20,000 ($2,928). The new provisions specify a five-year validity period for CCC certification and require a company to apply for an extension within 90 days of expiration.
Coverage ICT products
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since August 2003

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Product screening and testing requeriments
China Compulsory Certification
China’s current certification requirements for telecommunications equipment are reported to conflict with its WTO obligations of limiting imported products to no more than one conformity assessment scheme and requiring the same mark for all products (Article 13.4(a) of China’s WTO Accession).

China has three different licensing regimes: the Radio Type Approval (RTA), the Network Access License (NAL) and the China Compulsory Certification (CCC). Therefore, for a given piece of equipment, it can cost between USD 30,000-35,000 to test for all three licenses (RTA, NAL, and CCC). The CCC mark is used for both Chinese and foreign products. Moreover, all testing for the CCC mark must be conducted in China and US exporters are often required to submit their products to Chinese laboratories for additional tests.

The CCC certificate and permission of printing the CCC mark must be renewed annually as part of a follow-up certification. Part of the follow-up certification is also a one-day factory audit.

China is also reported as having limitations on foreign invested conformity assessment bodies in country.
Coverage Several products including electrical/electronic products and more recently ICT products
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Accessed in January 2016

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Product safety certification (EMC/EMI, radio transmission)
China Compulsory Certification (CCC) requirement
Companies have expressed concerns about duplication of safety certification requirements, particularly for radio and telecommunications equipment, medical equipment, and automobiles, which result in increased costs and slow down of product introduction in the market.

Twelve categories of ICT products and nine categories of telecommunication equipment are subject to compulsory EMC and safety regulation. Whether EMC, safety only or both tests are required depends on the certification guidelines for a particular product. Suppliers' declaration of conformity is not sufficient, while certification by a third party and/or certification by a government agency is not accepted unless the third party meets the requirements prescribed in Articles 10 and 11 of the Regulations of People's Republic of China on Certification and Accreditation.

Moreover, China retains the right to reconfirm sample machines or conduct tests on inconsistent items.
Coverage Twelve categories of ICT products and nine categories of telecommunication equipment
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since August 2003

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Telecom network and base standards
China Compulsory Certification (CCC) requirement
U.S. companies report that China is applying the China Compulsory Certification (CCC) mark requirement inconsistently and that many Chinese produced goods continue to be sold without the mark.
Coverage Several sectors such as automobiles, electrical/electronic products, machinery, ceramics and more recently ICT products
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Reported in 2012

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Telecom network and base standards
Lack of foreign participation in standard-setting
It is reported that most of the standards are drafted by the Chinese government alone, without foreign or public input. Even if foreign companies are allowed to sit in on the drafting process, they do not have a vote when the technical committees actually vote on a draft standard.

China is also increasingly developing and mandating national algorithms for its encryption technology that differ from global standards. These standards are developed in technical committees that are closed to foreign participation.

The Chinese government has also supported the development of mandated domestic radio frequency identification (RFID) standards, without international participation or consensus, despite the fact that global standards for RFID already exist.
Coverage Horizontal
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Reported in July 2016

Chapter Quantitative Trade Restrictions  |  Sub-chapter Export restrictions
Export restrictions
China imposes a set of export restrictions, including export duties and export quotas, on selected raw materials: graphite, cobalt, copper, lead, chromium, magnesia, talcum, tantalum, tin, antimony and indium. Some of these raw materials (e.g. graphite, copper, tin, and indium) are used to produce smartphones and batteries. The export restrictions limit access to these products for companies outside China.

In July 2016 the EU launched a case at the WTO against China’s restrictions on export of these raw materials. Previously, the EU had already won two WTO cases in 2012 and 2014 on similar measures concerning different rare earths which were also key inputs for a multitude of products including advanced electronics.
Coverage Selected raw materials such as graphite, cobalt, copper, lead, chromium, magnesia, talcum, tantalum, tin, antimony and indium