On June 11, 2009, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the PRC (MIIT) issued a circular to strengthen the administration of software enterprise certification and software product registration. The purpose of the Circular is to facilitate government authorities’ orderly certification of software enterprises and software in accordance with two sets of previously issued administrative measures.
The first set, entitled the Provisional Certification Standards and Administrative Measures for Software Enterprises was issued by MIIT on October 16, 2006. The second set, the revised Administrative Measures for Software Products, took effect on April 10, 2009. Both sets of measures aim to implement a policy outline set forth by the State Council on June 24, 2000 (the Industry Policy) to promote the development of the software and integrated circuit industries by clarifying requirements for software enterprise certification and software product registration. Software enterprises and products that are duly certified or registered under the Software Enterprise Measures and the Software Product Measures may enjoy various preferential policies, including preferential treatment with respect to taxation, export and financing.
The Circular states that competent local authorities and certification bodies must strictly comply with the Software Enterprises Measures and Software Product Measures in verifying software enterprises and registering software products. Under the Software Product Measures, software products are subject to registrations and filings with competent government authorities, and no software product may be operated or sold in China without valid registration and filings. The Circular emphasizes that software product registrations must conform to the Software Product Measures. Further, the Circular provides that before a software product completes registration with the relevant government authority, it must go through a seven-day public announcement period. The announcements and results are published at http://www.chinasoftware.com.cn, a website maintained by MIIT for certification and registration of software enterprises and products.
In addition, according to the Circular, registration applications for imported software products (including localized imported software products) are reviewed by the China Software Industry Institute. The Circular clarifies that an imported software product may obtain a software product registration number and certificate after MIIT publishes an announcement regarding the product’s application and the product passes through the public announcement period without receiving any objections or criticisms.