Item under administrative license: Approval for establishment of duty-free shops
The specific activity that the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China approves the establishment of the Duty-free shops. Duty-free shops refer to the enterprises that have sale places and the supervised warehouses for storing the Duty-free goods in compliance with the customs supervision requirements and set up by business operators at the sites approved the State Council of the People’s Republic of China or its authorized authorities to sell the Duty-free goods only to specified buyers. They include port Duty-free shops, Duty-free shops for means of transport, downtown Duty-free shops in the city, Duty-free shops for diplomats, and Duty-free shops for ships.
Basis for establishment:
Article 32 of the Customs Law of the People’s Republic of China: Business of bonded goods storage, processing, assembly, exhibition, transportation and consignment and Duty-free shop management, should conform to the Customs supervision requirements, and be subject to the approval of the Customs and the registration formalities.
Basis for implementation:
1. Administrative Licensing Law of the People's Republic of China
2. Circular of the General Office of the State Council on Issues Concerning the Establishment of Duty-free Shops (Markets) (GBF (1993) Document No. 21)
3. Measures of the Customs of the People's Republic of China for Implementing the Administrative Licensing Law of the People's Republic of China (Decree of the General Administration of Customs No. 117)
4. Measures of General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China for Supervising and Administering Duty-free Shops and Duty-free Goods (Decree of the General Administration of Customs No. 132)
5. Other laws, administrative laws and regulations, regulations and normative documents
A. Qualifications for the business operators to apply for establishment of Duty-free shops
1. Independent legal person status;
2. Having the sale place and supervised warehouse for Duty-free goods that meet the supervision requirements of the Customs;
3. Having the computer management system in compliance with the supervision requirement of the Customs, and being able to provide the Customs with information on Duty-free goods in respects of output and input of warehouse and sales;
4. Having a certain business scale, and in the case of applying for the port duty-free shop, the annual entry and exit person-time of the port should not be less than 50,000;
5. Having the articles of association with complete contents, including the cooperation agreement, business mode, and legal representative, as well as the sound internal financial management system; and
6. Other conditions provided by law, administrative laws and regulations and Customs regulations.
B. Qualifications for establishment of a sale place for Duty-free goods
1. Conforming to the supervision requirements of the Customs; and
2. The sale place of a port Duty-free shop should be located within the separation zone of the port; that of a Duty-free shop for means of transport within the means of transport for international business, and the sales and delivery point of a downtown Duty-free shop within the departure separation zone of the port.
C. Qualifications for establishment of supervised warehouse for Duty-free goods
1. Having the safety separation facilities in compliance with the supervision requirements of the Customs;
2. Establishing special warehouse management system, preparing the monthly report of input, output and storage of Duty-free goods, and being staffed with professional warehouse keepers, and registering all of the aforesaid items with the Customs;
3. For storage of Duty-free goods of the Duty-free shops only; and
4. Other requirements provided by laws, administrative laws and regulations and Customs regulations.
Documents to be submitted upon application:
A. Upon the application for establishment of a Duty-free shop, the business operator should submit a written application (no specified format available currently) and materials to prove the compliance with the relevant qualifications to the General Administration of Customs;
B. After gaining the approval document from the General Administration of Customs, the business operator applies to the competent customs for acceptance and completion of relevant recordation formalities. Materials to be submitted are listed as follows:
1. Copy of the approval document of General Administration of Customs;
2. Copy of the original or duplicate of the Business License;
3. Copy of tax registration certificate;
4. Plane graph, area and location diagram of the sale place and the supervised warehouse for the Duty-free goods;
5. Special seal impression for business of the Duty-free shop; and
6. Copy of the ID card of the legal representative of the Duty-free shop.
The copy required to be submitted should be accompanied by the original for checking.
1. Applicants submit the written application to the General Administration of Customs, which will go through examination and approval procedures according to the Administrative Licensing Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Measures of the Customs of the People’s Republic of China for Implementing the Administrative License Law of the People’s Republic of China.
2. The approved Duty-free shops should apply to the competent customs for acceptance check one month before its opening for business. After passing the acceptance and going through the registration procedures, it can start the operation. The competent customs is responsible for supervising the Duty-free shops after being approved and established and its Duty-free goods according to the Measures of General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China for Supervising and Administering Duty-free Shops and Duty-free Goods.
3. In the case of failure to open for business within a year upon approval for establishment without just causes, or suspension of business for over one year, or change of business partners, the approved Duty-free shops should go through the relevant application procedures with the Customs all over again.
4. Where a Duty-free shop intends to change its name, or the location or area of the sale place or supervised warehouse for Duty-free goods, its business operator should submit to the General Administration of Customs for approval.
Time limit for handling: within 20 working days as of the acceptance of the application
Charging standard: no charge
Acceptance department: Supervision Department of the General Administration of Customs
Office address: No. 6, Jianguomennei Street, Beijing
In the case of any inconsistency between the content of this guideline and the current laws, administrative regulations, rules and normative documents of the Customs, the latter shall prevail.