The key change is the elimination of registration requirements for the importation of goods in the free category. A contract to import technology is effective when legally entered into; formerly, all technology import contracts were effective only when approved or registered by Moftec or its branches. Registration is done both online (with China International Electronic Commerce Network, http://info.ec.com.cn) and with Moftec (or its branches) by applying with a copy of the contract and documents providing evidence of the legal status of the parties. A registration certification will then be issued within three working days.
The Technology Import and Export Contract Registration Management Rules issued by Moftec and effective January 1, 2002, provide further detail on the registration process. According to the rules, Moftec handles registration of technology import contracts for ‘major projects’ involving state financing, foreign loans or those that require State Council approval. For other contracts, registration is done at the provincial level or lower, if provincial-level Moftec has delegated its authority. The rules also list the main items to be included in a technology.