On January 7, 2015, the State Administration of Taxation (hereinafter, the "SAT") issued an announcement to promulgate the Administrative Measures for the Categorization of Enterprises Qualified for Export Tax Refund (Exemption) (hereinafter, the "Announcement"), which came into force on March 1, 2015.

The Announcement first specifically provides that the Administrative Measures for the Categorization of Enterprises Qualified for Export Tax Refund (Exemption) apply to export enterprises and other entities which have followed the formalities for recognizing export tax refund (exemption), categorizes the Export Enterprises under Category I, Category II, Category III and Category IV, and provides for the specific determination standards for such categories.

In addition, the Announcement specifically adopts different application measures according to the regulatory categories of the Export Enterprises. For the Export Enterprises under Category I with complete electronic information relating to export tax refund (exemption), a formal application may be filed after passing pre-examination and only application materials and electronic data are required at the time of tax refund application with the original certificates and vouchers maintained by the enterprises for reference. For the Export Enterprises under Category II, Category III and Category IV, the original certificates and vouchers, application materials and electronic data in application for tax refund (exemption) must be provided on the condition that they should have complete "documentation and information." For the Export Enterprises under Category IV, foreign exchange certificates must be provided when applying for export tax refund (exemption). Meanwhile, differential administrative provisions are made in the regulatory measures.

Finally, the Announcement specifically provides that if the Export Enterprises under Category I which have completed export tax refund (exemption) are found to have potential tax fraud issues by state tax agencies through their early warning assessment, verification shall be conducted pursuant to applicable requirements and any issue so identified shall be dealt with pursuant to applicable requirements. If the Export Enterprises under Category I, Category II, Category III and Category IV are found to have potential tax fraud issues in their application for export tax refund (exemption), relevant suspicious issues shall be clarified pursuant to applicable requirements before export tax refund (exemption) may be processed. If the export tax refund (exemption) has been processed, preservation measures may be taken pursuant to applicable requirements.

In addition, the Announcement also stipulates the working procedure and assessment outcome for assessing the regulatory classes of the Export Procedures.