On 14 July 2008, China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) imposed registration requirements on foreign debts of enterprises incurred under international trade in goods. “Enterprise foreign debts under international trade in goods” are defined by SAFE in this instance as payments received in advance for exports and deferred payments for imports.

From 14 July 2008, enterprises which receive advance payments — whether or not having signed an agreement in their export contracts regarding payments received in advance — should apply for registration of these payments within 15 working days from the date of signing such contract or receiving such payment. Enterprises should also apply to register for the withdrawal of payments received in advance within 15 working days from the date of receiving such payments. Enterprises which actually receive advance payments with no corresponding contract provisions shall register for withdrawal of received advance payments concurrently with the registration for receipt of such payments.

From 1 October 2008, enterprises (i) making deferred payments or (ii) entering into export contracts containing deferred payment clauses are to apply for registration of the deferred payment within 15 working days (i) of signing of such contract or (ii) from the 90th day after receiving the declaration of imported goods issued by customs. Enterprises should apply to register for cancellation of the deferred payment within 15 working days after payment is completed.

For more information please visit http://www.safe.gov.cn/model_safe/laws/law_detail.jsp?ID=80402000000000000,37&id=4