China: Maritime Legal Update – October 2013

Last Updated: 23 May 2014
Article by Shanghai Kai-Rong Law Firm

1. General Administration of Customs Releases Announcement on Issues Concerning Customs Implementation of the Catalogue of Advantageous Industries for Foreign Investment in Central and Western Regions (Revised in 2013)

The Catalogue of Advantageous Industries for Foreign Investment in Central and Western Regions (Revised in 2013) (the "Catalogue") came into effect on June 10, 2013. In respect of relevant issues concerning customs implementation, the General Administration of Customs released the Announcement on Issues Concerning Customs Implementation of the Catalogue of Advantageous Industries for Foreign Investment in Central and Western Regions (Revised in 2013) (the "Announcement").

According to the Announcement, foreign investment projects, including capital increase projects, which will be approved on and after June 10, 2013. Pursuant to relevant provisions of the Circular of the State Council on Adjusting the Tax Policy of Imported Equipments (Guo Fa [1997] No. 37) and the Announcement of the General Administration of Customs No. 103 of 2008 and other relevant provisions, self-use equipment imported under relevant projects and the technical and supporting spare and accessory parts imported together with the said equipment under the contracts are to be exempted from customs duties, but the import value-added tax should be still levied in accordance with regulation.

(Source: www.customs.gov.cn)

2. General Office of the Ministry of Transport Releases Several Opinions on Promoting Transformation, Upgrading and Healthy Development of Shipping Industry

On August 26, 2013, the General Office of the Ministry of Transport released the Several Opinions on Promoting the Transformation, Upgrading and Healthy Development of Shipping Industry (the "Opinions"), putting forward 20 articles in five aspects which includes shipping capacity control, transformation and upgrading, market regulation, reduction of burden of enterprises, and improvement on service level, aiming at actively coping with the stern fact of the shipping industry and promoting the healthy development of the domestic shipping industry.

According to the Opinions, efforts shall be made to reduce the stock of shipping capacity and optimize fleet structure. The policies for advance scrapping and updating used shipping vessels and single-hulled tankers will be adjusted and extended until December 31, 2015 to encourage the advance scrapping of used ocean or coastal shipping vessels. Efforts shall be made to promote the standardization of inland ships, guiding the accelerated elimination, updating and transformation of used inland shipping vessels, arranging the central finance and local finance to provide certain funds for subsidy during the period of 2013 to 2015. The vessel age-based compulsory vessel scrapping system shall be strictly implemented to the extent that the vessels attaining the scrapped vessel age will be withdrawn from the shipping market on schedule.

(Source: www.moc.gov.cn)

3. The Ministry of Transport Issues the Decision on the Revision of the Implementing Rules of the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on International Maritime Transportation

On August 29, 2013, the Ministry of Transport ("MOT") issued the Decision on the Revision of the Implementing Rules of the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on International Maritime Transportation (the "Decision"), which came into force from the date of release.

According to the Decision, "the international ship agency operator" mentioned in Paragraph 1 of Article 21 will be deleted, and Article 30 shall be revised into "where an operator of international liner services entrusts an agent with the businesses including accepting space-booking, issuing bill of lading and collecting freight on its behalf, the agent entrusted shall be a duly incorporated international ship agency operator". In addition, the revisions to Article 7, 9 and 49 etc are also covered in the Decision.

(Source: www.moc.gov.cn)

4. The Ministry of Transport Issues the Decision on the Revision of the Implementing Measures of Civil Liability Insurance for Vessel-induced Oil Pollution Damage of the People's Republic of China

On August 31, 2013, the Ministry of Transport ("MOT") issued the Decision on the Revision of the Implementing Measures of Civil Liability Insurance for Vessel-induced Oil Pollution Damage of the People's Republic of China (the "Decision"), which came into force from the date of release.

According to the Decision, Chapter III "Insurers Undertaking Civil Liability Insurance for Vessel-induced Oil Pollution Damage" shall be deleted and the following contents shall be added as Article 8: Owner of a Chinese vessel shall purchase a policy covering civil liability insurance for vessel-induced oil pollution damage from a commercial insurance company duly incorporated in the territory of China or a mutual insurance company duly incorporated or having its representative offices or agencies in the territory of China, or otherwise, the owner shall provide other financial guaranties, such as letter of guarantee or letter of credit issued by any of the insurance companies above or a bank based in China. The owner of a Chinese vessel shall purchase a policy covering civil liability insurance for vessel-induced oil pollution damage or obtain its financial guaranties from an insurer with sufficient compensation capability, and such insurer shall present the owner of the Chinese vessel relevant documents as an evidence for his capability of compensating the losses. In addition, a revision to Article 20 is also covered in the Decision.

5. The Ministry of Transport Issues the Decision on the Revision of the Administrative Provisions on Crew Members Service of the People's Republic of China

On August 31, 2013, the Ministry of Transport ("MOT") issued the Decision on the Revision of the Administrative Provisions on Crew Members Service of the People's Republic of China (the "Decision"), effective as of the date of its issuance.

According to the Decision, "crew members service" mentioned in Article 9, 10 and 28 shall be revised into "seagoing vessel crew members service"; and the "License for Crew Members Service Agency" mentioned in any article in the Administrative Provisions on Crew Members Service of the People's Republic of China shall be revised as "License for Seagoing Ship Crew Members Service Agency". In addition, revisions to Article 6, 11 and 29 are also covered in the Decision.

(Source: www.moc.gov.cn)

6. The Ministry of Transport Issues the Decision on the Revision of the Administrative Provisions of the Prevention and Control of Marine Environmental Pollution by Vessels and Their Operations of People's Republic of China

On August 31, 2013, the Ministry of Transport ("MOT") issued the Decision on the Revision of the Administrative Provisions of the Prevention and Control of Marine Environmental Pollution by Vessels and Their Operations of People's Republic of China (the "Decision"), came in to force the date of its issuance.

According to the Decision, Paragraph 1 of Article 44 shall be deleted.

(Source: www.moc.gov.cn)

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