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New laws, rules take effect today
By Cui Ning& Jiao Xiaoyang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-31 00:15

A government decree on how to decide the origin of goods in foreign trade becomes effective today, along with a host of other new rules that will have an effect on business and private life starting from the New Year.

The Regulation on the Origin of Import and Export Goods, promulgated by the State Council in September, will promote the healthy flow of imports and exports by strictly defining countries or regions of the origin of goods in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) standards.

The regulation is applicable to such aspects as most favoured nation status, anti-dumping and anti-subsidy, guarantee measures, management on marks of origin, limits on the number of nationalities, tariff quotas and other relevant measures for non-preferential trade. It is also applicable to definitions of such activities as governmental purchase and trade statistics.

"It is the country's first rule that strictly regulates the origin of import and export goods... It will help improve the country's export goods with a mark of origin," said Kang Yuyan, an official of the Department for Origin of General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, in a telephone interview with China Daily.

Kang said the administration is stipulating rules for better managing certificates of export goods with a mark of origin, in order to meet new demands of China's growing foreign trade and to further meet the standards of the WTO.

Kang said counterfeited certificates of goods from China have not been rare recent years.

For example, he said that more than 966 forged certificates, either from China or outside China, had been found in Poland over the past two years. This has badly influenced the country's export trade.

A legislative explanation of "credit card" in criminal law is also effective today. The explanation, recently approved by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, aims to curb the increasing number of offences involving bank cards.

The current law has a special clause for credit card crimes, but does not define what a credit card is, resulting in occurrences of inconsistent charges at times.

The new explanation brings almost all kinds of electronic bank cards into the credit card category, including debit cards and other kinds of cards that may not necessarily allow overdrafts.

On judicial aspects, an explanation of the Supreme People's Court on handling property in the enforcement of civil verdicts comes into force today.

Aside from detailed procedures on the disposal of property in enforcement jobs, the explanation highlighted that basic living necessities are free from seizure, freezes or sequestration.

In some technology-related regulations also effective from today, newly-developed computer software products and new species of plants will be included in the protection range of technological achievements.

The Ministry of Commerce also commenced three new directives today, including one on auction administration, one on supervision of the processed oil market, as well as a set of measures overseeing the issuance of import licences for auto products.

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