The revised Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited and Restricted from Export, the Revised Catalogue) went into effect on November 1, 2008. The Revised Catalogue, which replaces the previous one issued in 2001, is designed to further regulate the export of technologies and guide the export activities of enterprises. The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the PRC jointly issued the Revised Catalogue on September 16, 2008.

Unlike its 2001 predecessor that had 45 categories, the Revised Catalogue regroups the technologies prohibited or restricted from export into a total of 85 categories in accordance with the standardized industry classification and codes for national economic activities as issued by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2002.

Under the PRC’s Foreign Trade Law and the relevant regulations and measures issued under it, China recognizes three categories of technology for the purpose of export: prohibited, restricted and permitted. The Revised Catalogue specifies the grounds for the prohibition and restriction of technologies. These reasons include national security and public interest concerns, protection of the life or health of people, animals, and plants, compliance with Chinese laws, and regulations, and governing international treaties and agreements.

Like the 2001 catalogue, the Revised Catalogue prohibits or restricts the export of technologies that are uniquely available in China and hold deep cultural significance. For instance, it prohibits the export of technologies regarding the making of Xuan paper, the manufacturing of certain tea-leaf drying equipment, the formula and manufacturing of fire crackers and fireworks, and the preparation of certain Chinese medicinal components. With respect to alcoholic beverages, the Revised Catalogue restricts technologies used in refining the taste of Mao Tai, Yellow Wine, and Sichuan Baijiu, a variety of distilled alcohol produced in Sichuan Province.

There are national security reasons behind the Revised Catalogue’s prohibition of the export of certain technologies. For instance, the government prohibits the export of imaging products and related technologies of large-scale topographic maps, the export of global positioning system (GPS) technologies that transmit China’s geodetic data, and information security technologies involving national secrets.

Some prohibitions and restrictions listed in the Revised Catalogue manifest the government’s intent to protect China’s natural resources. Examples of prohibited or restricted items include seeds and breeding technologies of certain varieties of plants and animals, such as silkworm eggs and the breeding technologies of giant pandas. The Revised Catalogue also prohibits or restricts the export of certain raw materials that are used in Chinese medicine, as well as technologies for producing or growing such materials.

Overall, the Revised Catalogue lists technologies under 150 codes, among which 33 are prohibited from export and 117 are restricted from export. Under each code, the Revised Catalogue lists the specific technologies and the key control points.

Under PRC law, exporters must obtain export licenses for restricted technologies from the government before they may lawfully export those technologies. Technologies that are neither prohibited nor restricted may be freely exported.