With these Guidelines, together with the Detailed Rules of Implementation of the Guidelines for Foreign Exchange Administration of Trade in Services ("Implementation Rules"), jointly referred to as the New Rules, China is taking a step forward to facilitate trade investment and develop the foreign-related economic sector.

The Guidelines officially declare no SAFE restrictions on international payments under service trade.

Under the New Rules, international payments under service trade will no longer require SAFE approval of the amount; instead, financial institutions engaging in foreign exchange business will take full responsibility for reviewing the authenticity of the transaction documents and their compliance with foreign exchange receipts and payments under SAFE regulations when processing foreign exchange receipts and payments under service trade.

The documents the financial institutions must examine under the New Rules include (1) transactions’ contracts or agreements; (2) invoices, payment notices, and settlement lists specifying the transactions’ subject, parties, amount and other issues; and (3) related documents proving the authenticity and legality of the transactions, if necessary.

Under the New Rules, the financial institutions will implement different review policies, depending on whether the payments under service trade exceed USD 50,000. In principle, if the nature of the funds is clear, a financial institution is not required to review transaction documents when handling a single business of foreign exchange receipts and payments under service trade of up to USD 50,000.

Date of issue: July 18, 2013. Effective date: September 1, 2013.