Overseas NGO without the Approval of the Registration Authority Cannot Implement Activities at Will in China

Release time:2017-06-01 12:25
In April 28, 2016, the 20th Meeting of the 12th National People's Congress standing committee passed <NGO arrangement law>, the law rules that overseas Non-Government Organizations should being registered before they implement activities in China. The law is applicable from January 1, 2017.   

China safeguards and supports the activities of non-governmental organizations in accordance with the law in China. The relevant departments of the people's government at all levels shall provide facilities and services necessary for the activities carried out by overseas non - governmental organizations in accordance with the law in China. The Ministry of Public Security and the provincial public security organ and other government departments will draw up lists of activities, activity field and relative organs to provide guidance for the overseas non-governmental organizations. The registration authority shall publish the procedures of filing and procedures for applying for the establishment of representative offices through a unified website. Registration to set up representative offices, overseas non-governmental organizations shall register and set up representative offices in accordance with the law when they carry out activities in China.


The Ministry of Public Security and the provincial public security organ are the registration authority. Relevant departments of the State Council and relevant organs of the provincial governments are the superior administration unit the competent business units in charge of activities carried out by non-governmental organizations outside China within the territory of China.

A prerequisite for the establishment of representative bodies of foreign NGOs
1. Was lawfully established outside of China;
2. Can independently bear civil liability;
3. Has objectives and an operational scope beneficial to the development of the public interest causes;
4. Has continuously carried out substantive activities outside of mainland China for two or more years;
5. Other conditions required by laws and administrative regulations.


Foreign NGOs applying to establish a representative office require the consent of a professional supervisory unit. The Ministry of Public Security, the provincial public security organ and other relevant departments will made public the list of professional supervisory.

Foreign NGOs shall apply to register the establishment of a representative office with the registration management organs within 30 days of obtaining the consent of the professional supervisory unit.

Applications to register a representative office shall submit the following documents and materials to the registration management organs:
1. The written application;
3. Relevant materials of identity certificate, resume and proof of no criminal record for the proposed chief representative;
4. Materials showing the proposed residence for the representative office;
5. Materials showing the sources of funds;
6. Approval documents of the professional supervisory unit;
7. Other materials and documents required by law or administrative rules.


Registration authority could organized experts to evaluate the applications as necessary when it review the applications of overseas NGOs.

Registration authority shall make a decision to authorize or not authorize of receiving an application within 60 days. Temporary activities need to be filed and shall cooperate with the Chinese partner.

Where an unrepresented representative office needs to carry out temporary activities within the territory of China, it shall file the case in accordance with the law.

The Chinese partner shall go through the examination and approval procedure in accordance with the national requirements and file with the registration authority at the place where it is located 15 days before the temporary activities.

The materials and documents of temporary activities that shall be provided to file for the record
1. Supporting documents and materials to prove that the foreign NGO was lawfully established outside of China;
2. The written agreement between the foreign NGO and Chinese partner unit;
3. supporting materials to declare name and purpose of project, the region for the project and the duration of the project, etc.
4. Proof of funding sources and the bank account of the Chinese partner unit;
5. The consent documents for the Chinese partner unit from the professional supervisory unit;
6. Other documents and materials provided by law or administrative regulations.

In case of disaster relief and rescue emergency, the time to file with the registration authority is not subject to the time limit.

If the duration of the project which is certainly need to extend the time limit, is less than one year, the project should be file with the registration authority again.

Activity funding and management of bank account

Foreign NGOs' representative offices using their registration certificate to get an organization number and tax registration, have an official seal made and establish an account at a bank within China, and give copies of tax registration certificate, form of their seal and bank account number to the registration management organs for recording.

Foreign NGOs that have established representative offices shall use funds from the bank account recorded with the registration management organs within China .

Foreign NGOs carrying out temporary activities shall use their Chinese partner unit's bank account to manage and use funds in China , with independent tallying and using funds only as they are allocated.

Foreign NGOs must not use any other model to receive and spend funds within China other than in bank accounts provided for in the preceding two paragraphs.

Foreign NGOs shall use funds in accordance with the registered scope of operations for their representative office or their agreement with a Chinese partner unit.

The chief representative of representative offices and employment
Foreign NGOs' representative offices hiring personnel in China , shall conform to laws and regulations. And foreign NGOs' representative offices shall report personnel information to the professional supervisory unit and registration management organs.

Foreign NGOs' representative offices and foreign NGOs carrying out temporary activities must not develop membership in China except where the State Council approved. Foreign NGOs' representative offices shall establish a chief representative, and could establish 1-3 representatives as business requires.