James C. Christie met with USDA/FAS Administrator Isley and a group of FAS officials and cooperators in Hong Kong earlier this month. Topics during this discussion included tariffs, non-governmental organization (NGO) registration, and doing business in China.
Later in September, James then traveled to Shanghai and Beijing to further efforts towards an NGO registration for one of BCI’s clients. It is a cumbersome process that can take months and requires active management thereafter. “While I don’t believe agricultural and food marketing efforts are the primary target of the law,” James said, “The Chinese government is actively pursuing registration of all foreign NGOs operating in China.”
The Foreign NGO Law came into effect in China in January 2017. It mandates that foreign NGOs must register with China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) or its provincial level equivalent before conducting activities within mainland China. If a foreign NGO wishes to carry out single activities in the market, it can file for a temporary activity permit, but even this process can be difficult and time consuming. In both cases, foreign NGOs must coordinate with a domestic Chinese organization in addition to the MPS.
According to the law, foreign NGOs are permitted to work in economics, education, science, culture, health, sports, environmental protection, poverty, and disaster relief but “must not endanger China’s national unity, security, or ethnic unity; and must not harm China’s national interests, societal public interest,” or engage in or fund for-profit, political, or religious activities.
Please contact Bryant Christie Inc. for more information.