On September 6, 2014, the Ministry of Commerce promulgated the newly amended Measures for the Administration of Offshore Investment (hereinafter, the "Measures"), which came into effect on October 6, 2014, when the Measures for the Administration of Offshore Investment promulgated by the Ministry of Commerce in 2009 became void.
The greatest changes reflected in the Measures lie in the streamlined administrative review procedures. The Measures no longer use the amount of external investment as a standard, which was previously required to be submitted to the Ministry of Commerce or provincial commerce authorities for approval. Instead, an administrative mode "underpinned primarily by recordation filing and supplemented by administrative approval" is adopted. The Ministry of Commerce and provincial commerce authorities administer via recordation filing and administrative approval separately, depending on different circumstances of offshore investment by enterprises. Administrative approval is required only when an enterprise's offshore investment involves sensitive countries, regions or sectors. An enterprise's offshore investment under other circumstances only requires recordation filing. Countries for which administrative approval is required are those countries without diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China or countries sanctioned by the United Nations. If necessary, the Ministry of Commerce may separately announce the list of other countries and regions subject to administrative approval. The sectors for which administrative approval is required refer to sectors that export products and technologies restricted by the People's Republic of China and affecting the interest of over one country (region).
In addition, the Measures also further reduce the time period for granting the approval to enterprises seeking offshore investment and require the Ministry of Commerce and provincial commerce authorities to enhance their operating efficiency. For offshore investment requiring recordation filing, an enterprise may complete the recordation within three working days if true and complete materials in legally compliant formats are submitted.