Administrative Measures of Importing Audio-video Products

Time:2008-09-27   Source:

(No.17 of the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China

Now issue Administrative Measures of Importing Audio-video Products, which is implemented as of the day of promulgation.

Minister of Ministry of Culture: Sun Jiazheng

Director of General Administration of Customs: Qian Guanlin

April 30th, 1999

Chapter 1 General Rule

Article 1 Based on related regulations of the State, theAdministrative Measures of Importing Audio-video Products(hereinafter referred to as Measures) aim at strengthening management on import of audio-video products, promoting sound and orderly development of China’s audio-video market and enriching people’s cultural life.

Article 2 The audio-video products stated in the Measures refer to tapes, videotapes, discs, compact discs and laser video discs (please see Appendix 1 for commodity name and No.).

Article 3 The Measures can be applied to activities as follows by using importing audio-video products from foreign countries, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,MacaoandTaiwan:

(1)  For audio-video publishing houses to publish;

(2)  For sales;

(3)  For study and teaching reference;

(4)  For other special purposes.

Article 4 As required by the State Council, the Ministry of Culture has the responsibilities to manage the import of audio-video products in China, make plans for the import, approve the importing qualification of audio-video publishing houses and management organizations, examine the contents of imported audio-video products, and control and adjust the categories. Administration of the governments in provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, which are in charge of audio-video products, shall manage the import of audio-video products of the local region.

Article 5 The importing activities of audio-video products shall be carried out under the Constitution and related laws and regulations, with the purpose to serve for the people and socialism and to spread advanced ideology, morality, science technology and knowledge in favor of economic and social development.

Article 6 Chinese government prohibits the importing activities that violate others’ intellectual property rights and bans the importing of audio-video products with contents as follows:

(1)  Harming national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity;

(2)  HarmingChina’s reputation and dignity;

(3)  Instigating national split and breaching national solidarity;

(4)  Preaching obscenity, eroticism, superstition, violence and drug-taking, violate social ethic and harm the people’s physical and mental health;

(5)  Violating the norms governing international relations which perhaps affects normal relations with other countries;

(6)  Containing vulgar ideas and low artisitc level;

(7)  Including contents forbidden by laws and rules.

Article 7 The government implements licensing system on the import of audio-video products.

Chapter 2 Import Units

Article 8 According to the Measures the audio-video publishing houses and the operational units of audio-video products shall not be engaged in the import of audio-video products without the approval of the Ministry of Culture.

Article 9 The essential conditions for audio-video publishing houses to manage the publishing of imported audio-video products are as follows:

(1)  Accordant to the tenet for establishing publishing houses and its business scope;

(2)  With outstanding achievements in publishingChina’s homemade audio-video products;

(3)  With a registration capital of over RMB 2 million yuan.

In addition, audio-video publishing houses shall also follow the planning of the Ministry of Culture on the total amount, layout and structure of audio-video products publishing houses.

Article10 The essential conditions for audio-video products operational units to deal with the import and sale are as follows:

(1)  Accordant to the tenet for establishing the organization and its business scope;

(2)  With outstanding achievements in exporting or sellingChina’s homemade audio-video products;

(3)  With a registration capital of over RMB 5 million yuan.

In addition, they shall also follow the planning of the Ministry of Culture on the total amount, layout and structure of audio-video products operational units.

Article 11 The import of audio-video products, which are demanded by libraries, audio-video data banks, science and research institutes, higher educational institutes or any organization with special requirements at national, provincial, autonomous region or municipality level, shall be consigned to organizations with the qualification of importing audio-video products. .

Article 12 After the censoring of local government of the province, autonomous region or municipality, the units approved to import audio-video products shall apply for approval from the Ministry of Culture.

Chapter 3 Import Licensing

Article 13 The content censoring system is implemented to the import and distribution of audio-video products as follows:

(1)  Feature film (including living performance, opera and artistic film);

(2)  Documentary;

(3)  Picture movie (including cartoon);

(4)  Special Feature;

(5)  Music program (including MTV).

Article 14 The audio-video publishing houses shall declare the following documents and materials to the Ministry of Culture for importing audio-video products for publishing:

(1)  Application for importing audio-video products;

(2)  Copyright trade agreement confirmed and registered by copyright certification organization (both in Chinese and foreign language);

(3)  Sample tape of the program.

Article 15 The operational units of audio-video products shall declare the following documents and materials to the Ministry of Culture for importing audio-video products for direct distribution.

(1)  Application for importing audio-video products;

(2)  Import agreement;

(3)  Sample tape of the program.

Article 16 The applicant shall provide the original sample tape without altering the name and content of the program, with the exception of classical music and repeated importing.

With theBilling of Lading for Importing Audio-video Sample Tapemade by the Ministry of Culture (please see Appendix 2), the demo for importing examination shall go through importing procedures for temporary imported goods in customs after registered and sealed by the administrations in charge of audio-video products of the province, autonomous region or municipality.

Article 17 After receiving all the application documents and materials, the Ministry of Culture shall arrange expert committee to verify the content of audio-video products and make a decision on approval or disapproval of the import within 10 workdays and not over 20 workdays for special situation. The Ministry of Culture shall issue thePublishing License for Audio-video Products(please see format in Appendix 3) if it is approved, or give explanations if disapproved. The applicant can apply for re-examination if it defies the decision

Article20 Concerning audio-video products for study and teaching reference, the import agents are responsible for declaring the import agreement and catalogue to the Ministry of Culture and going through approval procedures.

Article 21 The operational units of audio-video products importing, if approved by the Ministry of Culture, are consigned to go through temporary import procedures for audio-video products for exhibitions or shows. Audio-video products used as samples or for propagandistic purpose shall go through temporary import procedures in line with the related regulations of the customs.

Audio-video products imported for exhibitions are forbidden to sell or present. It shall go through the procedures of Chapter 3 in case that selling or presenting is needed.

Article 22 Audio-video products entering or leaving the country refers to individual’s entry-exit carrying with or posting audio-video products not for business purpose. It shall be dealt with according to theAdministrative Rules of the Customs of People’s Republic of China on Individual’s Entry-Exit with or Posting Presswork and Audio-video Products.

Article 23 Audio-video products with contents of controlling system and equipment instruction software imported together with the machinery shall go through the import procedures according to related rules of the customs.

Chapter 4 Import Management

Article 24 Units or individuals without import qualification are forbidden to be engaged in audio-video products import business.

Article 25 It is forbidden to publish, copy, wholesale, retail, rent or show for making profit imported audio-video products without obtainingPublishing License for Audio-video Products.

Article 26 It is forbidden to copy, wholesale, retail, rent or show for commercial purposes audio-video products imported for research or teaching reference.

Article 27 The import trade agreement signed by import units with foreign counterparts shall comply to Chinese laws and regulations.

Article 28 Audio-video products approved to import for publishing are banned from direct sale in 3 months as of the date of import.

Article 29 Units and individuals are forbidden to transferPublishing License for Audio-video Products.

Article 30 Imported audio-video products for publishing shall be distinctly marked with license number and name of thePublishing License for Audio-video Productsin original language, on the products or its packing.

Article 31 Audio-video products publishing houses shall publish products strictly complying with the decision of the Ministry of Culture and is not allowed to change the name, add or delete contents without permission.

Article 32 It is necessary to use national standard language in the making and publishing of imported audio-video products.

Article 33 30days from the date audio-video products being published, the import unit shall send the sample tape to the Ministry of Culture to keep record. Haven’t implemented or decide to stop import business for some reasons within one year since the date of permission, the import unit shall report to the Ministry of Culture and explain it. The Ministry of Culture withdraws its ratification number of thePublishing License for Audio-video Products.

Article 34 The copy and machining of imported audio-video products, including coversheet and packing, shall be completed inland except those unable to produce inland.

Article 35 The Ministry of Culture shall publicize the catalogue of imported audio-video products regularly.

Chapter 5 Penalty Rules

Article 36 According to the seriousness of the following behaviors, administrations in charge of audio-video products at county level or above shall give the unit that violates the Measures such punishments as warning, charging it to stop publishing, copying, wholesaling, retailing, renting or showing, confiscating the illegal products and income, revokingBusiness License for Audio-video Products,and ordering a fine of 5 to 10 times of the illegal income:

(1)  To import audio-video products without import qualification;

(2)  To publish, copy, wholesale, retail, rent or show for profits the imported audio-video products withoutBusiness License for Audio-video Products;

(3)  To copy, wholesale, retail, rent or show for commercial purposes audio-video products imported for research or teaching reference;

(4)  To transferBusiness License for Audio-video Products.

Article 37 To those using false documents and materials to obtain theBusiness License for Audio-video Products, the Ministry of Culture shall charge it to provide true materials and order a fine of RMB 100 thousand to 300 thousand yuan. For the approved units, the Ministry of Culture shall revoke the approval certificate and suspend their import business for half to one year, or revoke their import qualification. To those causing other damages, related punishments shall be made.

Article 38 According to the seriousness of the following behaviors, the Ministry of Culture shall give punishments such as warning, fining 100 thousand to 300 thousand yuan, or suspending the party’s import business for half to one year for actions causing serious result or twice violation.

(1)  With no ratification number of theBusiness License for Audio-video Productsand program name in original language when publishing import audio-video products;

(2)  Not using national standard language and words;

(3)  Not send sample tape to Ministry of Culture to keep record.

Article 39 If the audio-video products publishing house alters program name or add or delete the content against the Ministry of Culture’s decision, according to the seriousness of the behavior, the Ministry of Culture shall give punishments such as warning, fining 100 thousand to 300 thousand yuan, ordering to stop import business for half or a year.

For adding or deleting approved contents which causing some contents against the laws, the Ministry of Culture or cultural administrations at county level or above shall give such punishments as warning, charging to stop publishing, copying, wholesaling, retailing, renting or showing, confiscating the illegal products and income, revoking theBusiness License for Audio-video Productsand ask a fine of 5~10 times of the income.

Article 40 Customs shall deal with actions against rules and regulations of the customs. Those who are against the Measures and causing crime shall be punished according to the laws.

Chapter 6 Supplementary Rules

Article 41 The Ministry of Culture reserves the right of interpretation to theAdministrative Measures of Importing Audio-video Products. Items in the range of customs’ responsibility are explained by the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic ofChina.

Article 42 The Measures shall come into force as of the day of promulgation. Conflicts between the Measures and regulations promulgated before, if any, it is subject to the Measures.