The National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) recently announced the liberalisation of price regulation on 15 professional services by relinquishing the guided tariffs for those services and allowing their fees to be determined by service quality, costs, and supply and demand.

The professional services affected by this relaxation of price regulation are: patent agency, customs clearance service, voluntary product certification, quality (environmental) system certification, aviation and hazardous weather reporting, coal exploration and mining, commissioned gold and silver jewelry testing, review of applications for funding under Scientific Research Foundation for Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, foreign-related adoption services, Red Cross first-aid training, real estate consulting, as well as preliminary work consulting, survey and design, tender agency, and project management of construction projects other than those invested or commissioned by the government.

Since the beginning of this year, NDRC has relaxed price control on some other goods and services, including telecom tariffs, Zhunchi Railway freight rates, and charges for low-priced drugs included in the national medical insurance directory, medical services of non-public hospitals, as well as those for seed, mulberry cocoon, and small industrial salt. Additionally, the administration of real estate agency fees has been decentralised to allow local authorities to opt for price mechanism that they think would best accommodate respective market conditions.

The liberalisation of price control reflects NDRC's efforts to implement the Decision on Some Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening of Economic Reforms  adopted at the 3rd plenary session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China by incorporating market force as a decisive factor in allocation of resources.