On February 29, 2012, the Ministry of Commerce, State Administration for Industry and Commerce ("SAIC"), Ministry of Finance, State Administration of Taxation, State Administration of Foreign Exchange and the National Bureau of Statistics jointly issued the Notice on Carrying out the 2012 Joint Annual Inspection for Foreign Invested Enterprises ("FIEs"). The annual inspection, which will be conducted during the period from 1 March, 2012 to 30 June, 2012, is a routine requirement for FIEs established in China. The purpose of the annual inspection is to ensure FIEs have been conducting business in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. FIEs are required to complete an annual inspection report formulated by SAIC and submit requested documents for review. Upon completion of the inspection, SAIC or its local counterpart will affix a seal of annual inspection on the business license of the FIE. Penalties will be imposed on FIEs who fail to go through the annual inspection process, submit false information or who do not operated in compliance with applicable laws rules or regulations or operate illegally.

The full Chinese text of the notice is available here.

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