China: China Simplifies Cross-Border Funds Transfers Made As Part Of Intellectual Property Transactions

Last Updated: 23 October 2013
Article by Geoffrey Lin

Synopsis: Historically, to complete a foreign exchange payment at a Chinese bank as part of a technology or intellectual property agreement, various registrations (with local Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM"), the Patent Office or Trademark Office) were required. Obtaining those registrations was time consuming, often delayed payments, and at times precluded the completion of such payments because registrations could not be obtained.

New rules released in China streamline or eliminate the need to obtain prior registrations to complete such foreign exchange payments. This is welcome news and a significant boost to effective technology transfers in China as payments from local payors should now be able to be made to foreign payees (e.g., foreign licensors) without extra layers of bureaucracy. These changes are a boon to licensors licensing into China and for completing inter-company arrangements such as technology development cost sharing arrangements.

Discussion: On July 24, 2013, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange ("SAFE") released the Guidelines on Foreign Exchange Administration of Trade in Services 《服务贸易外汇管理指引》 (the "Guidelines") and its implementation rules, the Rules for the Implementation of the Guidelines on Foreign Exchange Administration of Trade in Services 《服务贸易外汇管理指引实施细则》, (the "Implementation Rules", and together with the Guidelines, the "New Rules"), which came into effect on September 1, 2013.

The New Rules simplify the documentation requirements for China onshore payors to convert Renminbi into foreign exchange for cross-border payments for trade-in services, including payments for cross-border royalties, transfers, and service fees involving:

  • patents;
  • copyrights (including software);
  • trademarks;
  • know-how, and;
  • technical services;

In most cases, under the New Rules, obtaining certificates showing completion of the registration or recordation of intellectual property licenses and transfer agreements and technical services agreements (the "Registration Certificates") with various Chinese authorities (such as the Patent Office, the Trademark Office, and the Ministry of Commerce is no longer required in order for China onshore payors to convert Renminbi into foreign exchange at remitting China banks to make cross-border royalty, transfer, or service fee payments under such agreements. Parties are still called to complete certain such registrations or recordations under other Chinese regulations, however, obtaining such Registration Certificates is no longer required or a pre-requisite for banking purposes.

Prior to the New Rules, the need to obtain Registration Certificates often meant that, in practice, foreign licensors, transferors, and technical service providers would have to structure agreements or make amendments to agreements in order to satisfy the strict requirements of the Chinese authorities which process the Registration Certificates. Moreover, attempting to satisfy or explain to authorities how an agreement was in compliance with the requirements (which vary by the specific and local authority reviewing the application) often resulted in the foreign party not being able to receive fee payments from their Chinese licensees, transferees, or technical service recipients for several months to over a year while the registration or recordation application was being approved (or in some cases not being able to receive payment at all because the requirements could not be met).

Under the New Rules:

  • For payments equal to or under USD50,000, China onshore payors no longer need to submit any documentation for verification by the remitting bank. A Registration Certificate is no longer required. However, the remitting bank can still require a Chinese payor to provide documentation showing the nature of the transaction for verification if the nature of the foreign exchange payment is unclear.
  • For payments above USD50,000, China onshore payors must provide: 1) a copy of the intellectual property license, transfer, or technical service agreement, 2) an invoice, and 3) a tax recordation form obtained from the State Administration of Tax (the "Tax Recordation Form"). Chinese onshore payors must pay applicable taxes prior to or soon after applying for the Tax Recordation Form. A Registration Certificate is no longer required. Note, that for cross-border payments relating to technology (patents, copyrights, know-how, or technical services) imports and exports that fall under one of the restricted categories for technology import or export as determined by MOFCOM, a Registration Certificate must still be obtained and presented to a the bank prior to completing the cross-border payment.
  • No tax recordation is required for payments equal to or under USD50,000 and there is no limit on the frequency of payments a China onshore payor can make. However, the New Rules prohibit and penalize evasion of applicable rules by "intentionally splitting payments." For example, the following scheme would be prohibited: payment of a USD60,000 obligation through splitting that obligation into separate payments of USD10,000 made on six consecutive days in order to avoid the tax recordation requirement.

Chinese banks and foreign banks operating in China have quickly taken steps to implement the reduced documentation requirements to make cross-border payments for trade-in services, including payments for cross-border intellectual property royalty, transfer, and technical service fees. However, as the New Rules have only recently come into effect, implementation of the New Rules by banks and Chinese authorities may vary by locality and local banks and Chinese authorities should be consulted regarding current local practice. Nonetheless, the new cross-border payment and tax recordation procedures can be expected to make it easier for foreign intellectual property owners to receive license, transfer and service fee payments from Chinese business partners more quickly and to eliminate some of the uncertainty regarding receiving payments from licensees, transferees, or technical service recipients.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.