Export Control Law to come into force 1st December

During the 22nd Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (“NPC”) China’s new Export Control Law (“ECL”) was promogulated on the 17th of October 2020. The ECL will come into force on the 1st of December 2020.


This is the first time that there will be a consolidated export control law in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), prior to the ECL, export controls were established in a number of different administrative regulations originating from different administrative bodies depending on the products involved. Due to the new ECL, existing administrative regulations are expected to undergo revisions in the coming weeks.

The ECL consists of 49 articles, which establish the export control policies, control lists, control measures, and the legal liabilities to be placed on companies for non-compliance. Some of the articles of note establish the following conditions;

  • Criminal liability (rather than administrative liability) may apply in situations where prohibited or unlicensed items were exported.

  • Export control authorities will issue industry-specific guidelines to guide export operators in the establishment and improvement of their internal export control compliance systems and operational effectiveness.

  • The new ECL also stipulates that should any country or region abuse export control measures to endanger the national security and interests of the PRC, then the PRC may, based on actual conditions, take reciprocal measures against that country or region.

The ECL imposes export control measures over dual-use items, military items, nuclear items and “other goods, technologies, services and items relating to the maintenance of national security and interests”. This broad definition exceeds the scope typically found in export control regulations worldwide, and as the ECL itself does not prescribe the format, methodology, or scope through which the various State Export Control Authorities will ultimately be the defining bodies to specify the controlled items subject to export controls.

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