Laws and Regulations
Source: Ministry of Commerce Website, PRC
REGULATIONS OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA FOR CUSTOMS CHECK
Valid From: 1997.01.03
(Promulgated on January 3, 1997 by Decree No. 209 of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China)
- CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
- CHAPTER II MANAGEMENT OF RELEVANT MATERIALS
- CHAPTER III IMPLEMENTATION OF CUSTOMS CHECKS
- CHAPTER IV DISPOSAL OF RESULTS OF CUSTOMS CHECKS
- CHAPTER V LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
- CHAPTER VI SUPPLEMENTARY RULES
CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1 These Regulations are hereby formulated with a view of establishing and perfecting the Customs check system and strengthening Customs supervision and control so as to maintain a normal import and export order, protect the legitimate rights and interests of parties concerned, guarantee national tax revenue, and promote the development of foreign trade.
Article 2 For the purpose of theses Regulations, the term “Customs check” means the check made by the Customs within three years from the date when import and export goods are passed or within the Customs supervision and control period of bonded goods or imported goods with deducted or exempted duties of the account books, vouchers, Customs declaration documents and other relevant materials (hereinafter referred to as relevant materials) and the relevant import and export goods of the unit covered in the check to supervise and control the authenticity and legality of the import and export activities of the said Unit.
Article 3 The Customs shall carry out check on the following enterprises and units directly related to import and export activities:
(1) Enterprises and units engaged in foreign trade.
(2) Enterprises engaged in processing trade.
(3) Enterprises engaged in bonded business.
(4) Enterprises and units utilizing or handling imported goods with deducted duties or with duties exempted.
(5) Enterprises engaged in Customs declaration.
(6) Other enterprises and units engaged in businesses directly related to import and export activities set by the General Administration of Customs.
Article 4 When carrying out checks, the Customs and its staff shall be objective, impartial, practical and realistic, honest and clean; keep commercial secrets of the units under check, and refrain themselves from infringing upon the legitimate rights and interests of the units under check.
CHAPTER II MANAGEMENT OF RELEVANT MATERIALS
Article 5 Activities related to import and export businesses shall be authentically, correctly and completely recorded in and reflected by account books, vouchers, accounting reports and other accounting materials established and worked out by the enterprises and units directly related to import and export activities.
Article 6 The enterprises and units directly related to import and export activities shall keep the account books, vouchers, accounting reports and other accounting materials in accordance with the time limits prescribed in relevant laws and regulations for keeping them. The Customs declaration documents, and documents for import and export and other materials directly related to import and export businesses shall be kept for a period of three years as from the date when the import/export goods are released.
Article 7 If enterprises and units directly related to import and export activities have a perfect accounting system and their book keeping and business accounting can be carried out by computers, their accounting records stored in and printed from the computers shall be treated as accounting materials and printed out as written records for keeping in accordance with these Regulations.
Article 8 Enterprises and units directly related to import and export activities shall, according to Customs requirements, submit materials concerning the purchase, marketing, processing, utilizing, loss and inventory of import and export goods.
CHAPTER III IMPLEMENTATION OF CUSTOMS CHECKS
Article 9 The Customs shall set focal points of Customs checks and draw up annual plans for Customs checks according to the requirements of Customs supervision and control and the specific situation of import and export enterprises and units as well as import and export goods.
Article 10 When carrying checks, the Customs shall, three days before the start of the checks, notify the enterprises and units to be checked (hereinafter referred to as the units for check) in written form. Under special circumstances and with the approval of the Director General of the Customs, the Customs can carry out checks without prior notice.
Article 11 When the Customs implements checks, a check panel shall be formed. The check panel shall consist of two persons at least.
Article 12 When carrying out checks, Customs officers shall show their Customs Check Certificates.
The Customs Check Certificates shall be produced and issued by the General Administration of Customs in a unified way.
Customs officer(s) who have a direct link with the unit being checked shall not take part in the check of these units.
Article 14 The Customs can exercise the following power when carrying out checks:
(1) To consult and copy relevant material.
(2) To enter the production and operation areas and storage areas of the units being checked to inspect the production and operation situation and the goods related to import and export activities.
(3) To inquire into situations and matters related to import and export activities with the legal representative, the person in charge and other related personnel of the units being checked.
(4) To inquire about the deposit accounts in commercial banks or other financial institutions of the units being checked with the approval of the Director General of the Customs.
Article 15 Should the Customs discover during conduction of checks that the relevant materials are possibly transferred, concealed, distorted or scrapped by the units being checked, it can seal and keep the relevant materials temporarily with the approval of the Director General of the Customs. This measure shall by no means hamper the normal production and operation activities of the units being checked.
After the Customs ascertains the facts of the matters concerned or obtains the evidence, it shall release the seal of the relevant materials immediately.
Article 16 Should the Customs discover while conducting checks that the import and export goods of the units being checked are suspicious of breaking the Customs Law and other relevant laws and regulations, it can seal and keep the relevant import and export goods.
Article 17 The units being checked shall cooperate with the Customs during its conduction of checks and provide necessary working conditions for the Customs.
Article 18 The units being checked shall accept Customs checks, make true reports to the Customs, and provide the relevant materials without refusal, delay or concealment.
In the case of book keeping by computers, the units being checked shall provide the Customs with software for book keeping, user’s guide and relevant materials.
Article 19 When the Customs consults or copies the relevant materials of the units being checked or enters their production and operation areas or storage areas to make inspections, the legal representative or the chief leader or their authorized representatives shall be present to check account books, open storage areas, move goods or untie packings at the request of the Customs.
Article 20 During Customs checks, enterprises and units that have financial contacts or other business relations with the units being checked shall faithfully report relevant matters of the units being checked to the Customs and provide the Customs with relevant materials and evidences.
Article 21 After conduction of checks, the Customs Check Panel shall submit a check report to the Customs. Comments of the units being checked shall be solicited before the check report is submitted to the Customs. The units being checked shall, within 7 days as from the date when it receives the check report, and hand over its comments in written form to the Customs.
Article 22 The Customs shall, within 30 days as from the date when it receives the check reports, make decisions on the checks and send these decisions to the units being checked.
CHAPTER IV DISPOSAL OF RESULTS OF CUSTOMS CHECKS
Article 23 If customs duties or other import taxes are discovered to be paid insufficiently or evaded, the Customs shall collect these duties or taxes according to stipulations in the Customs Law and other laws and regulations concerning taxation. Where the taxes are insufficiently paid or evaded due to infringement on stipulations on the part of the units being checked, the Customs shall impose taxes according to the Customs Law and other laws and regulations concerning taxation.
Units being checked that fail to pay taxes retrospectively within the period set by the Customs shall be subject to mandatory measures taken by the Customs according to the first clause of Article 37 of the Customs Law.
Article 24 The import and export goods sealed off or seized according to Article 16 of these Regulations shall be released immediately when suspicion of law infringement is ruled out through Customs checks. If these goods are proved to be illegal through Customs checks, the Customs shall deal with the units being checked according to the Customs Law and the Regulations for Imposing Administrative Penalties Under the Customs Law.
Article 25 Units being checked shall be sanctioned by the Customs in accordance with the Customs Law and the Regulations for Imposing Administrative Penalties Under the Customs Law should they be found during Customs checks to have broken Customs supervision and control rules.
Article 26 The units being checked that are discovered during Customs checks to have been engaged in smuggling and thereby committing crimes shall be subject to criminal prosecution pursuant to law. Smuggling cases that are not serious enough to become criminal shall be handled in accordance with the Customs Law and the Regulations for Imposing Administrative Penalties Under the Customs Law.
Article 27 The taxes that are levied or collected retrospectively, the smuggled goods and illegal revenues that are confiscated, and the fines that are imposed by the Customs during Customs checks shall be turned into the state coffers.
Article 28 Disputes concerning tax payment that may arise between the units being checked and the Customs shall be settled according to Article 46 of the Customs Law.
CHAPTER V LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Article 29 The units being checked out shall be fined by the Customs for a sum between 10,000 yuan and 30,000 yuan if they conduct one of the following acts and fail to make corrections with the prescribed time limits, or be deprived of qualification for Customs declaration if their cases are serious enough, with their chief leaders and other persons immediately involved being fined a sum between 1,000 and 5,000 yuan:
(1) Providing the Customs with false information or concealing important facts.
(2) Refusing or delaying supply of relevant materials.
(3) Transferring, concealing, distorting or scrapping the relevant materials.
Article 30 If the units being checked have not set up or worked out the relevant materials, the Customs shall order them to make up within prescribed time limits. Failure to obey shall lead to fines ranging 10,000 and 50,000 yuan. Units involved in serious cases shall also be deprived of Customs declaration qualifications, and their leaders and other persons directly responsible shall be subject to fines ranging between 1,000 and 5,000 yuan.
Article 31 Customs staff who neglect their duties, engage in malpractices or irregularities, abuse their power, or receive or extort properties from the units being checked during performance of duties and consequently commit criminal offenses shall be subject to criminal prosecutions pursuant to law. Those involved in cases not so serious as to be criminal shall be handled administratively.
CHAPTER VI SUPPLEMENTARY RULES
Article 32 These Regulations shall be implemented by the General Administration of Customs.
Article 33 These Regulations shall enter into force from the date of promulgation.