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Provisions of Hunan Province on Optimizing the Business Environment

Updated : Jun 29, 2022
Provisions of Hunan Province on Optimizing the Business Environment

Order No. 307 of the Hunan Provincial People’s Government, issued on November 26, 2021
 
Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 To continuously optimize the business environment, implement the “Three Hubs and Four New Missions” Strategy, promote high-quality development, and accelerate the building of a modern new Hunan, the Provisions are formulated in the light of the local conditions of Hunan province, and in accordance with the Regulation on Optimizing the Business Environment issued by the State Council and other laws and administrative regulations.

Article 2 For optimizing the business environment, the principles of marketization, rule of law, and internationalization shall be adhered to, the needs of market participants shall be centered around, the profound transformation of government functions shall be the core, and the “One-step Approval Process” shall be thoroughly implemented.

The service concept of “being responsive to requests and without making any unnecessary intervention” shall be put into practice.

Benchmarking the advanced international and domestic level, a first-class business environment will be created to achieve trade and investment facilitation, fair participation in market competition, high administrative efficiency, and advanced legal system.

All these efforts are made to create a stable, fair, transparent, and predictable sound environment for various market participants to invest and prosper business.

Article 3 The people's governments at all levels shall strengthen the organizational leadership of the work on optimizing the business environment, establish and improve the working mechanism for optimizing business environment; enhance the allocation of human resources and fiscal guarantee; improve policies and measures to optimize the business environment; promptly coordinate and resolve the significant issues in optimizing the business environment; and, take the results of work into the government performance evaluation. The main person in charge of the local government is the first person that is accountable for optimizing the business environment.

The development and reform department of the Hunan Provincial People’s Government is the competent department for optimizing the business environment within the province's administrative areas. It is responsible for organizing, coordinating, guiding, supervising, investigating, verifying, overseeing, and inspecting the work concerning optimizing the business environment.

In addition, local governments at the municipal or county level shall designate the departments responsible for the work related to optimizing the business environment.

Other relevant departments shall effectively conduct the work related to optimizing the business environment within their respective scopes of functions and duties.

Article 4 All regions and departments should learn from advanced experience and vigorously explore and innovate concrete measures to optimize the business environment.

The relevant entities and individuals who make mistakes or deviate in their exploratory work, but make and implement decisions in accordance with the relevant regulation of the State and the provisions of this province in a diligent and responsible attitude, without making any private gains may be exempted from or relieved of their liabilities according to the law.

The units and individuals that have made outstanding achievements in optimizing the business environment will be commended and rewarded in accordance with the relevant rules of the country and the province.

China (Hunan) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Xiangjiang New Area, national industrial parks, and other regions, should play a leading role in piloting various reform measures conducive to optimizing the business environment.

Article 5 Vigorous measures will be taken to connect with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, integrate into the Yangtze River Economic Belt development, and enhance exchanges and cooperation in optimizing the business environment with other provinces and municipalities.

The integration of the business environment in Changsha, Zhuzhou, and Xiangtan will be advanced. Critical breakthroughs in such areas as integrated administrative service, integrated property rights protection, joint market supervision, and public legal service will be made, to promote barrier-free communication and sharing of innovative resources, public services, talents and funds, information, and logistics.

Article 6 The development and reform department of the Hunan Provincial People’s Government should formulate the assessment indicators that are suitable for Hunan province together with relevant departments and in accordance with the national business environment assessment system; entrust third-party institutions to conduct evaluations of the business environment of all regions; propose lists of problems and suggestions for improvement; and, submit them to the provincial government for approval before notifying the regions participating in the assessment.  
 
The regions participating in the assessment should promptly adjust and improve the policies and measures to optimize the business environment based on the problems discovered in the evaluation.

The people’s governments at the municipal, prefectural or county level are not allowed to organize business environment assessments.
 
Article 7 The people’s governments at all levels and relevant departments should encourage, support, and guide the development of the non-public economy, and protect various market participants in equal use of public service resources, production factors, and equal applicable policies, and fair participation in market competition.  

The people’s governments at all levels and relevant departments should support sound development of private economy; publish the list of top 100 private enterprises in Hunan province; commend contributions to building a new Hunan; strengthen the construction of the provincial service institution for private enterprises; compile manuals of policies and measures supporting private enterprises; strengthen the deliberative and coordinating mechanism of the province for optimizing the business environment; and, improve the platforms for the commercialization and application of advances in science and technology and regional equity markets.

The people’s governments at all levels and relevant departments should encourage and promote foreign investment; construct and improve the foreign investment service system; put into effect pre-establishment national treatment and negative list system; advance trade and investment facilitation; and, protect legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors.

Article 8 A market participant shall abide by the law and regulations; observe social morality and business ethics; be honest and trustworthy; engage in fair competition; fulfill its statutory obligations in all aspects including safety, quality, energy conservation and carbon emission reduction, protection of the ecological environment, protection and economical and intensive use of land resources, protection of laborers’ rights and interests, and protection of consumers’ rights and interests; respect internationally accepted rules in international economic and trade activities; shoulder its social responsibilities; and, contribute to optimizing the business environment.


Chapter II Market Environment

Article 9 The people’s governments at all levels and relevant departments shall strictly implement a national unified system of negative lists for market access and shall not separately develop a negative list in the nature of market access.

Furthermore, the people’s governments at or above the county level shall investigate, identify, and clear up various obvious and hidden barriers, and unblock feedback channels and mechanisms for handling and responding to market participants’ comments on market access barriers.

Article 10 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall optimize enterprise startup services, advance the normalization and standardization of enterprise startup, and realize “one place, one-time notification, all-in-one window service, one category of application forms, one-time information collection, all-in-one website service, and one-time delivery”.

Promoting integration of enterprise startup service items into one service, including establishment and registration, business seals, invoice application (including tax-control facilities), insurance registration, payment registration of enterprise housing provident fund, and appointment for bank account opening. And the whole process can be handled online and finished at one time.  
 
The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall implement the measures including “separating permits from the business license”, and explore integrating multiple permits involved in one industry access into a comprehensive industry permit, so as to facilitate enterprises in conducting related business activities after obtaining a business license.

Article 11 The people’s governments at or above the county level shall complete the policy system for government financing guarantee support, improve the risk compensation and insurance premium subsidies mechanism, and provide various credit enhancement services for the financing of private enterprises, and small and medium-sized enterprises; promote bank-enterprise financing connection, bank-guarantee institution risk sharing, and bank-tax authority information sharing; and, encourage financing institutions to support private enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises to apply for guaranteed financing against chattels and rights such as the assignment of receivables, production equipment, products, vehicles, ships, and intellectual property.  

Financial institutions shall increase credit extensions to private enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises in accordance with the specifications of the state, reasonably build up the support of medium and long-term loans and credit loans, and ensure better access to loans; shall not raise financing costs in a disguised form such as converting loans into deposits, linking deposits with loans, changing interest into fees, and tying other financial products to loans when issuing loans; shall not require enterprises to pay related fees when introducing external data, information or ratings for the credit assessment.

The people’s governments at or above the county level should encourage venture capital investment and angel investment to support innovation-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises by equity investment and other means.
In the areas where conditions permit, relevant fees arising from going public, listing, and issuing bonds, among others, may be covered by subsidies.

Article 12 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall strengthen vocational education and training; deepen school-enterprise cooperation; advance industry-education integration; promote labor supply-demand matching; improve support living services for the workers and staff members in industrial parks; and, help firms navigate employment challenges.   

The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall strengthen talent services and provide policy support and service guarantee in the following aspects, including residence and household registration, housing purchase and renting, social security and medical insurance, education for their children, employment of their spouses, project incubation, financial support, recruitment and promotions of professional rank and title.

The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments should provide convenience for overseas talents in multi-entry visa application and customs clearance and carry out “One-step Approval Process” for the government affairs service items, including application for stay or residence and identity authentication of foreign professionals and students returning from overseas.

Article 13 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments should encourage and support market participants to promote innovation in product development, technology, business model, and management, implement favorable tax policy for scientific and technological innovations, and improve enterprises’ capacities of independent innovation and scientific and technological achievement transformation; develop professional maker spaces and incubators for scientific and technical enterprises, and strengthen small and medium-sized scientific and technical enterprises; and, support enterprises to establish various technological innovation platforms and alliances, and enhance collaborative innovation of the upstream, midstream and downstream of the industrial chain and the large, medium, and small-sized enterprises.

Article 14 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall reorganize, and release and update a list of policies benefiting enterprises; specify all factors including implementing departments, policy basis, policy duration, conditions for application, application materials, processing procedures, time limits for processing, consulting methods, implementation forms, and oversight ways; and, voluntarily and precisely share policy updates and give advice to enterprises.

Information sharing among government departments, big data analysis, and other means are encouraged to ensure that qualified enterprises directly enjoy beneficial policies without making any application. For policies benefiting enterprises that require enterprises to apply, application conditions shall be reasonably established, and the application procedures shall be simplified.

Article 15 A list-based management system on enterprise-related charges shall be strictly implemented. No entity shall establish arbitrarily charging items, raise charging rates, or expand charging scope.

Extorting support, compelling donation, or any form of contribution shall be prohibited. It is forbidden and in violation of provisions to force a market participant to pay for commercial insurance. 

The substitution of financial institution letters of guarantee and guarantee insurances for cash in paying enterprise-related security deposits is promoted. Restrictions shall not be imposed on enterprises making independent choice of the way of paying security deposits in accordance with the relevant provisions.

The security deposits shall be refunded within the prescribed time limit according to prescribed procedures after guaranteeing items have been handled or guaranteeing reasons have ceased.
 
Article 16 Industry associations and chambers of commerce are encouraged to establish complete standards for industry self-regulation and professional code of ethics to regulate the conduct of their membership.

Unless otherwise provided by any of the laws and regulations, no industry association or chamber of commerce shall compel a market participant to join or withdraw from it and to participate in an appraisal, compliance, training, evaluation, or any other activity and charge fees.

No industry association or chamber of commerce shall continue to implement canceled administrative licenses directly or in disguise.

Article 17 Utility enterprises or public institutions providing public utilities such as water supply, electric supply, gas supply, drainage and sewage treatment, communication, radio and television should co-locate at a government affairs service hall; optimize the procedure for applying for a connection; and, disclose service standards, fee rates, processing time limits, and other information.

The interconnection between government service platforms and self-built operation systems of utility enterprises or public institutions is promoted to achieve data sharing and joint processing.
 
Utility enterprises and public institutions shall not commit any of the following actions:

(1) Create, in violation of provisions, directly or in disguise, processing links, application materials, and preconditions in relation to application for a connection;

(2) Charge fees in violation of provisions for engineering construction, access to the connection, examination and acceptance and opening, facility maintenance, alternative supply, and any other link; or,

(3) Force, directly or in disguise, a market participant to receive designated services regarding construction and equipment procurement. 

Article 18 Online bid tendering, bid opening, and remote bid evaluation are promoted to gradually achieve the entire process of electronic bidding.

A market participant shall be treated lawfully and equally in bid tendering and government procurement. Any of the following circumstances shall not occur:

(1) Set any unnecessary conditions concerning qualification and eligibility, properties, and scales beyond procurement or tender purpose;    

(2) Require bidders to register and establish subsidiaries, branches, branch offices in the local area, or possess a certain area of office accommodation and pay social insurance in the local area;

(3) Use the performance and awards from a specific administrative area or a specific industry as bidding conditions, conditions for scoring points, or conditions for successful bids for projects that must be tendered in accordance with the law; and,

(4) Set other unreasonable conditions to exclude or restrict potential suppliers or bidders.

Article 19 The people's governments at all levels and relevant departments shall honor policy undertakings make to market participants and the contracts concluded with the market participants in accordance with law, and comply with the following provisions:

(1) Formulate and implement preferential policies on investment promotion under the statutory authority;

(2) Strengthen government contract management, keep up with contract performance, and take timely measures to prevent and respond to contract risks;

(3) Do not breach or repudiate any contract by reason of adjustment of an administrative division, government reshuffle, institutional or functional adjustment, and replacement of related responsible persons;

(4) Any change in a policy undertaking or contract entailed by the state interest or public interest shall be made in accordance with the statutory authority and procedures, with fair, reasonable, and timely compensation made for any loss caused thereby to the market participant; and,

(5) Do not default on the payments of goods, projects, and services owed to market participants.
 
Article 20 Local government agencies should improve the facilitation of enterprise deregistration; strengthen the joint processing of tax affairs, social insurance, finance, and market supervision; and, improve the online service zone for enterprise deregistration.  

Where an enterprise has no creditor's rights or debts or has settled creditor's rights or debts; or liquidation expenses, employees' wages, social insurance premiums, statutory compensation, and tax payable (overdue fees and fines) do not occur or have been settled; and, all the investors undertake to assume legal liability for the veracity of the aforesaid situation in writing, the enterprise may withdraw from the market according to law after undergoing simple deregistration procedures.

Article 21 The people's governments at or above the county level should in collaboration with the people's courts as needed, establish and improve a coordination mechanism for enterprise bankruptcy work and coordinate the resolution of such issues as starting a bankruptcy proceeding, making settlement arrangements for the employees, handling tax-related items, disposing of assets, repairing credit, and reorganizing bankrupt enterprises.

The people's governments at or above the county level will support a bankruptcy administrator to carry out bankrupt liquidation and reorganization. When the bankruptcy administrator enquires about the information on registration materials, contribution of social insurance premiums, bank account deposit status, real estate, vehicles, and intellectual properties of the bankrupt enterprise in accordance with the law, relevant departments and financial institutions shall cooperate.


Chapter III Government Services

Article 22 The administrative management service department of the provincial people’s government and relevant departments prepare and disclose a unified catalogue of government service items and service guidelines in accordance with the requirements for reducing links, materials, time limits, and fees; uniformly specify the processing conditions, procedures, time limits, and materials of the same item at provincial, city, county, township, and village levels; advance the nondiscriminatory acceptance of the same item by the same standards in the whole province; and, promote province-wide and cross-province availability of government services.

The service guidelines' handling situations and required materials shall not contain "other", "related", or other equivocal and catch-all requirements. Relevant departments shall not require applicants to provide application materials other than those specified in the guidelines.

Except as otherwise provided by laws, administrative rules, and regulations, applicants shall not be required to provide any information which can be checked and verified on an e-government service platform.  
 
Article 23 The people's governments at all levels and relevant departments should expand the application scope of “One-step Approval Process” in government affairs service items. For items included in the “One-step Approval Process”, the principle of “one-time notification, one category of application forms, one-time joint processing, and one-time delivery” is carried out through optimizing processing procedures, simplifying materials, achieving online and offline integration, and strengthening departmental coordination.

Article 24 With the exception of cases involving confidentiality and security, the people's governments at or above the county level should process government affairs service items in the administrative area at a comprehensive government affairs service hall in a unified manner.

The government affairs service items implemented by vertical administrative departments of the central government are encouraged to be integrated at the local comprehensive government affairs service hall.

Government affairs service halls should, in accordance with the work model of “comprehensive acceptance by the front desk, categorized examination and approval by the background, and issuance of permits by comprehensive windows”, implement “all-in-one window” to integrate services; strengthen standardization administration; improve such service rules as one-time notification, first-inquired person in charge, receipt vouchers, and time-limited processing; and, improve such service modes as appointment, assistance in handling, agency services, and staggered and extended services.
 
Administrative agencies that have settled in the government affairs service hall shall grant corresponding power of administrative approval to service windows, and strengthen service personnel allocation and professional training.

Article 25 Government affairs services will be promoted to be processed on an “all-in-one website”.

The government affairs management service department of the provincial people’s government and the administration for the construction of the provincial integrated online government affairs service platform will take the initiative to promote the people’s government at all levels and departments to achieve connection and data sharing between various government affairs service systems and the provincial integrated online government affairs service platform, to avoid second-time data entry and multi-system processing.

The power of data use will be delegated to cities and counties by classification, region, and authority, to satisfy the processing needs of grassroots-level government affairs service items.

Construction of both the mobile and self-service platforms will be promoted to improve online and self-service processing efficiency. Service measures for special groups including the senior will be improved.

An applicant is entitled to choose government affairs service channels, and shall not be denied of adopting offline processing method in the name of the fact that the online processing channel has opened.

Article 26 The people's governments at or above the county level shall delegate power of administrative approval in accordance with the law.

Administrative agencies that have delegated power of approval items should strengthen technical support, professional guidance, and supervision and inspection for the undertaking authority.

The electronic administrative efficiency supervision system of the provincial integrated online government affairs service platform will be adopted to carry out real-time monitoring, early warning of corrections, and efficiency assessment of the whole process of various government affairs services.

A government affairs service evaluation system is improved to support enterprises and individuals in judging whether the service is up to scratch.

A mechanism for verification, supervision, rectification, and feedback of negative comments and complaints is established.

The results of evaluation are analyzed in a comprehensive way and applied in a more effective way, and the supervision and assessment mechanism is enhanced, so as to improve the quality of government affairs services.

Article 27 Electronic licenses, electronic seals, and enterprise electronic archives in compliance with provisions have the same legal effect as paper ones, be recognized and shared among departments and across regions, and serve as the legal basis or proofs for a market participant to apply for government affairs service items or obtain related qualifications.

Except as otherwise provided by laws, administrative rules and regulations, and department regulations, electronic licenses issued by the people’s government at all levels and relevant departments shall be collected in real time and transferred into the electronic license database.

Where the organization responsible for handling the service may obtain the electronic license required for business processing through the electronic license database when an applicant applies for relevant matters, the organization shall not refuse to process or require the applicant to provide the paper license, except for the situation where the original license shall be revoked pursuant to the law.

Article 28 The provincial departments of housing and urban-rural development, natural resources, transportation, water conservancy and energy shall continue to take the lead in promoting the reform of the approval system for engineering construction projects in their respective sectors. 

Service guidelines, application forms, lists of application materials, and approval procedures, etc. shall be standardized according to the nature of the projects, the scale of investment, the risk level, and others.

The provincial engineering construction project approval and management system will be improved and comprehensively utilized, so that administrative licensing, filing, technical review, municipal public services, and other items involved at all stages including project approval, land use, planning, construction, acceptance inspection, and accessibility of municipal public facilities can be processed on an “all-in-one website”.

Industrial parks, development zones, and other areas with relevant conditions should explore and reform “the land list and the notification and commitment system”.

Prior to land allocation or transfer, a unified list of requirements for construction land will be compiled based on regional general surveys or regional assessments.

After an enterprise obtains the construction land, the notification and commitment system may be applied to approval items that are subject to regional assessments and meet the applicable conditions.

The reform of the planning and approval system for construction projects will be advanced. A list of items for review will be compiled.

Efforts will be made to explore the separation of technical review and administrative approval.

The province should have clear and unified lists of projects that can be processed through the notification and commitment system and that can be exempted from review in the process of applying for a construction project planning license.

Article 29 The regional assessment results will be widely applied, and should be shared among new construction projects in industrial parks at or above the provincial level.

No separate assessment requirements shall be renewed for market participants in the assessed regions. The expense of regional assessment shall not be borne by a market participant.

Technical standards and rules of surveying and mapping will be standardized, and the system of the surveying and mapping results will be established for sharing at all stages including project approval, land use, planning, construction, acceptance inspection, and real property registration so as to avoid repetitive surveying and mapping.

The online, contactless, and cost-free review of construction drawings will be implemented, and the application of building information modeling technology in the review of construction drawings will be promoted.

Article 30 Real property registration agencies shall, in accordance with relevant regulations issued by the state, strengthen cooperation with the departments of housing and urban-rural development, agriculture and rural affairs, forestry, taxation, and finance, among others, and implement “all-in-one window” and multi-track processing of real property transactions, tax payments, and registration.

Relevant departments shall also shorten the whole process time limit for the construction projects from acceptance inspection to real estate first-time registration, and transfer registration, and gradually enable purchasers of newly-built commercial housing to apply for real estate ownership certificates upon the delivery of the housing.

The qualified regions shall achieve the joint handling of water, electricity, gas, maintenance funds, and other matters involved in real estate transfer registration.

Article 31 The people’s governments at the provincial, municipal and prefectural levels and their relevant departments shall review and regulate intermediary services for administrative approval, implement a standardized list-based management system, and make dynamic adjustments.

Where technical services that shall be provided by intermediaries under the authorization of administrative agencies in accordance with the regulations for administrative approval are included in the procedures and overall timing plan of administrative approval, administrative agencies shall authorize intermediaries to provide technical services, and bear service expenses on its own, instead of transferring them to a market participant.

Administrative agencies and their staff shall not use their powers to designate intermediaries to provide services, nor shall they restrict the number of intermediaries through quota management.

For intermediary service projects using fiscal funds, the entrusting party shall select intermediaries from online “intermediary supermarkets”, except that public bidding or government procurement is required to choose intermediaries in accordance with laws, regulations and rules.

The competent industry department shall strengthen supervision over intermediaries.

Article 32 When certification materials are required by administrative agencies or organizations authorized by laws and regulations to manage public affairs in the application for administrative service items, the notification and commitment system for certification items shall be implemented for the convenience and benefit of the people. However, the notification and commitment system shall not be applicable to certification items that may cause relatively large risks, high costs in error correction, and irreversible losses.

The applicant will make a commitment that the requirements for licensing have been met when applying for an enterprise-related business licensing item, and the notification and commitment system can be implemented for activities that fail to meet the requirements can be corrected and risks can be effectively prevented through interim and ex post supervision.

If an applicant has a seriously bad credit record or has made a false commitment, the notification and commitment system shall not be applied before the applicant’s credit is restored.

If a commitment is identified untrue, administrative agencies shall terminate the processing procedures according to law, order the applicant to make corrections within a specified time limit, cancel the administrative decision or impose an administrative penalty by operation of law, and include into the credit record.
 
Article 33 Cross-border trade facilitation will be promoted. The expansion of the functions of the “all-in-one window” for international trade from port customs clearance enforcement to port logistics and trade services as an entire chain, will be advanced. The “advance declaration and customs clearance” of import and export goods will be advanced.

The customs clearance model of “two-step declaration” for imports, and the model of port operations and logistics organization will be optimized. Port logistics documents will go paperless, and the whole-process electronization will be enhanced.
 
The system of publicizing the list of charging items at ports will be implemented. Fee collection entities should make public their charging items, scope of charging, fee rates, and pricing methods through the “all-in-one window” for international trade, so as to achieve online public disclosure and online inquiry for fee rates of port, shipping agency, tidy goods, etc.

Compliance costs occurred in various links of imports and exports will be reduced by means of market guidance and industry norms.
 
Article 34 Tax agencies shall continuously optimize tax services, promote the combined declaration and payment of relevant taxes and fees, make full use of existing and sharing information resources, simplify taxation materials and procedures, shorten the time of tax-processing, develop contactless tax and fee payment services, promote the use of electronic invoices, and remind market participants of tax payment and risk.

Article 35 The “12345” hotline of government service set up by the people’s governments at or above the county level should provide round-the-clock manual service, and improve the working mechanism that involves “one unified hotline, collection of demands, classification-based handling, unified coordination, joint efforts by departments, limited handling time, and evaluation and assessment”.

The “12345” hotline of government service at all levels shall arrange “special seats” of servicing for enterprises and optimizing business environment to intensively accept and separately process relevant claims from enterprises.


Chapter Ⅳ Regulation and Enforcement Actions
 
Article 36 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall, in accordance with the law, compile a list of regulatory items; clarify regulatory boundaries; specify regulators, supervises, regulatory measures, designating basis and handling methods, among others; incorporate above items into the province’s online regulatory platform for unified management. The list of regulatory items shall be dynamically adjusted and disclosed to the public.

Article 37 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall implement a credit-based regulatory system covering different levels and categories, adopt differentiated regulatory measures for market participants based on their credit status and risk level, optimize the frequency of inspections for market participants with good credit records and low risk, and increase the frequency of inspections for those with records of violating law, bad credit and high risk.

Article 38 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments should exercise accommodative and prudential regulations on new technologies, new industries, new business forms, and new models, and explore new regulatory mechanisms such as “triggered regulation” to provide them with a relaxed environment for development while setting a regulatory bottom line.

In case that regulatory measures need to be taken according to law, relevant legal procedures should be followed, regulatory methods should be adapted to the characteristics of regulatory items, and the regulatory intensity should match the existing risks.

Article 39 Except for special industries and critical areas as stipulated by the state, an administrative inspection conducted through the random selection of both inspectors and inspection targets and the prompt release of results shall be implemented in the field of market regulation.

A unified provincial catalogue of items subject to random inspection in this field shall be compiled.

 An annual work plan for joint reviews by relevant departments shall be formulated to avoid overlapping or duplicate checks by different departments.

Except for the circumstances that are not suitable for disclosure according to law, the relevant departments should make public the results of random inspection and examination within 20 working days after the completion of random inspection.

Full coverage of key supervision shall be achieved on food and drug safety, safe production, and other special industries and critical areas directly affecting public security and people’s lives and health according to law, the number of vital regulatory items shall be limited, and crucial regulatory procedures shall be standardized.
 
Article 40 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall, in reliance on the provincial online regulatory system, strengthen the collection, sharing, correlation, and integration of regulatory information, implement off-site regulation characterized by remote monitoring, mobile regulation, early warning, and prevention and control, and reduce on-site inspection.

Article 41 An administrative law enforcement agency shall conduct administrative law enforcement in strict accordance with the law. It shall not interfere with the normal production and operation activities of market participants, extort or accept money and goods, or seek illegitimate benefits.

When conducting an on-site inspection, an administrative law enforcement agency shall not require the persons in charge of enterprises to accompany it if unnecessary.

The people’s governments at or above the county level shall strengthen supervision and inspection on enterprise-related administrative law enforcement actions; regularly assess and examine the performance of administrative law enforcement; review the administrative law enforcement case files; and, standardize implementation of enterprise-related administrative law enforcement.

Article 42 Relevant departments of the provincial people’s government shall, in accordance with the relevant provisions issued by the state, establish their own administrative law enforcement discretion benchmarks for administrative punishment and license; reasonably determine the scope, type, and extent of discretion; and, regulate the exercise of discretion in administrative law enforcement actions, so as to prevent arbitrary law enforcement. The benchmarks shall be disclosed to the public and be adjusted timely in accordance with the revision of laws, regulations, and rules.

When relevant departments of the provincial people’s government establish their own administrative punishment discretion benchmarks, the relevant departments shall specify the standards of giving no administrative punishments on trivial illegal acts and lighter or mitigated administrative punishments on general enterprise-related violations of law.

In addition, a list of items to specify the circumstances under which the administrative penalty may be lightened, mitigated or exempted shall be drawn up to provide clear guidelines for the administrative law enforcement agencies at lower levels when conducting administrative law enforcement action.

Article 43 The people’s governments at all levels and their departments shall neither require market participants in relevant industries and sectors or relevant regions of general shutdown, nor illegally take the measure of stopping the supply of public services such as water supply, power supply, gas supply, and network service, against the market participants.


Chapter V Legal Safeguard

Article 44 When an administrative normative document, policy, or measure relating to the rights and obligations of market participants is formulated, legality review shall be conducted.

Fair competition review shall be conducted in the course of formulating rules, normative documents, other policy documents, and case-by-case specific measures related to the market participants in economic activities, such as market access and exit, industry development, investment promotion, bidding and tendering, government procurement, standards of operations, and qualification standards, among others, to prevent excluding or restricting market competition.

Where a market participant believes that the above regulations, documents, particular policies, or standards have obstructed fair market competition, the market participant may be entitled to reporting to the formulating authorities, their superior authorities, or the market regulation administration of the people’s government at the same level or above.

Where the report is handled in written form and with a relevant factual basis, the aforementioned authority, or administration, shall handle the report promptly, and provide feedback results.
 
Article 45 The operating autonomy, property rights, and other legitimate rights and interests of market participants and the personal and property safety of enterprise operators shall be protected in accordance with the law.

The seizure, freezing, and detainment on the property of a market participant or the personal property of a business operator beyond the statutory authority, prescribed scope, sum, and time limits shall be strictly prohibited. Electronic seizure and other modern scientific and technological approaches are encouraged to minimize the adverse impact on normal production and operation activities of a market participant involved in the case.

The public security authorities and other relevant departments shall safeguard the construction, production, and operation order of market participants in accordance with the law, and promptly investigate and punish illegal acts such as soliciting projects in a forced way, maliciously stopping people from working, forcing to buy and sell, and causing a nuisance and disturbance.

Article 46 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall strengthen protection of intellectual property rights for market participants; establish a punitive damages system for infringement; improve mechanisms for unified coordination of intellectual property administrative law enforcement at provincial, municipal, and county levels, cross-regional law enforcement cooperation, and case guidance on intellectual property rights protection through administrative means; promote the cohesive mechanism in between administrative and judicial protection; explore the implementation of administrative adjudication of patent infringement disputes; and, push forward judicial confirmation of administrative mediation agreements for intellectual property disputes.

The people’s governments at the provincial, municipal, and prefectural level and their relevant departments shall establish and improve the intellectual property rights public service system, the assistance mechanism for enforcement of intellectual property rights, and the early warning and analysis mechanism for intellectual property rights; promote the establishment of a comprehensive intellectual property service work mechanism in major industrial parks and zones; and, provide one-stop services for intellectual property rights agency, information and consultation, rights and interests protection, and other affairs.

Article 47 The building of a public legal service system is advanced, the content, form, and supply mode of general legal services are innovated, the public legal service resources such as lawyers, notaries, judicial appraisal, mediation and arbitration are integrated, and the quality and level of public legal services are improved with the means of public legal service centers and public legal service hotlines.

The construction of legal advisers’ team for administrative agencies and government lawyers is strengthened.

In addition, lawyers are encouraged to innovate the legal service model; help market participants effectively prevent legal risks through professional legal services; and, resolve various disputes in a timely and efficient manner.
 
The enterprise-related notary services are optimized, the list-based system for proof materials of high-frequency notary matters is carried out, the system of notification at one time is implemented, the implementation of the system of notification and commitment is explored, and the notary proof materials is regulated and streamlined.

Furthermore, under the premise of strict procedures, the notary agencies are advocated to shorten time limits.

For notarization matters with simple legal relationships, clear facts, and sufficient supporting materials, the notarization is issued on the same day.

Article 48 The competent departments for optimizing the business environment of the people’s governments at or above the county level shall establish a social supervisor system for optimizing the business environment and engage industry associations, chambers of commerce, enterprises and business operators as supervisors to supervise the business environment.

The people’s governments at all levels and their relevant departments shall accept the supervision and address the verified problems promptly.

Article 49 The competent departments for optimizing the business environment of the people’s governments at or above the county level may supervise the optimization of the business environment by the following means:

(1) Carry out supervision and inspection, and open and unannounced visits as planned;

(2) Learn about the situation from relevant entities and individuals, and collect and retrieve evidence;

(3) Hold regulatory talks with the persons in charge of relevant entities;
 
(4) Put forward suggestions to competent authorities; and,

(5) Other supervision means as stipulated under laws, regulations, and rules.

Article 50 The competent departments for optimizing the business environment of the people’s governments at or above the county level shall establish a system to accept complaints of and violation reports about impairing the business environment; implement a whole-process management mechanism of setting up a file for problems, recording problems processing, and writing off when cases are closed; give timely feedback on the results of the handling; and, accept evaluations by those who made complaints or tip-offs on handling procedures and results.

Article 51 A joint mechanism is established integrating optimizing the business environment with disciplinary inspection and supervision, auditing, and supervision, to share clues to the problems that impair the business environment.

When the competent departments for optimizing business environment of the people’s governments at or above the county level receive or discover problem clues impairing the business environment, a preliminary investigation shall be conducted.

After preliminary investigation, those administrative agencies or public officials involved in discipline and law violations shall be transferred to disciplinary inspection and supervision authorities.

Article 52 The people’s governments at all levels, their departments, and any of their working staff that fail to perform their duties in accordance with the Provisions, or infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of any enterprise; and utility enterprises or public institutions, industry associations, chambers of commerce, and intermediaries in violation of the Provisions or impairing the business environment, shall be held accountable in accordance with the laws and regulations.


Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions
 
Article 53 The Provisions come into force as of January 1, 2022.

“Three Hubs”: a hub of advanced manufacturing industry of national importance, a hub of technological innovation with core competitiveness, and a hub of reform and opening up in inland regions.

“Four New Missions”: to break new ground in promoting high-quality development, make progress in building a new development paradigm, demonstrate a renewed sense of responsibility in promoting the rise of central China and the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and play Hunan’s part in the adherence and development of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
2019 Zhangjiajie Bureau of Culture, Tourism, Broadcasting and Sports