New rules cutting down on paperwork, speeding up registrations to begin Dec 1
China will roll out its reform of decoupling business licenses from operating permits on all 523 items concerning business operations subject to central government approval starting Dec 1 in pilot free trade zones nationwide.
The decision was made on Wednesday at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
"The reform of decoupling business licenses and operating permits is an important step in transforming government functions and improving the business environment. This ever-deepening reform in recent years has played a crucial role in energizing the market, unlocking creativity and tackling the downward economic pressure in a shifting external environment," Li said.
It was announced at the meeting that the decoupling will reduce permit requirements and simplify the review process. New measures will be introduced under all 523 items that are subject to central government approval.
Review requirements for 13 items, including record filing for foreign trade operators, will be abolished. Review requirements of eight other items, including the review of customs declaration enterprises, will be replaced by record filing.
For the remaining items, services will mainly be improved by cutting documentation requirements, providing faster online processing and abolishing on-site verification.
"Our market entry threshold is still quite high. Companies with business licenses that lack required permits cannot actually operate. This is why firms may already be set up but not yet actually running," Li said.
"This round of reform in the pilot free trade zones is only the first step. Going forward, we will pursue the reform at a faster pace and expand its coverage. The goal is to level the playing field and create a world-class, market-oriented business environment governed by a sound legal framework where all types of market actors are treated as equals. The delegation of government powers must help ensure fairness," Li added.
It was also decided at the meeting that the implementation of related administrative regulations and State Council decisions in the free trade zones will be temporarily adjusted.