1.The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress
Promulgation date: 30 June 2020
Implementation date: 1 July 2020
Document number: No.49 President Order
The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region consists of six chapters, i.e. General Principles, Duties, Bodies, Offenses and Penalties, Jurisdiction, Applicable Law and Procedure, Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Supplementary Provisions, including altogether 66 articles. This is an comprehensive law containing articles of substantive, procedural and organization laws.
This law mainly sets out: a. basic responsibilities of the Central People’s Government for national security affairs and constitutional duties of Hong Kong safeguarding national security; b. important legal principles of Hong Kong safeguarding national security; c. duties and action rules of national security related agencies of Hong Kong; d. elements of and legal responsibilities for five offenses harming national security that should be prevented, stopped and punished for, including secession, subversion, terrorist activities and collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security; e. jurisdiction, applicable law and procedure; and f. the legal name of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong and the circumstances and process in which the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong and relevant national authorities govern special criminal cases harming national security. (Source: Xinhua News)
2.Opinions (III) on Several Issues Connected with Legally and Appropriately Dealing with Enforcement Cases Involving Covid-19
Promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court
Document number: F.F. No.20
Promulgation date: 16 June 2020
The Opinions consists of nine sections and 19 articles, which are divided into four parts. The first part is about parties involved and evidence submitted in, time limit on bringing and duration of a litigation case and clarifies issues relating to delayed submission of identity and authorization documents due to Covid-19, extension of the period for evidence collection and submission, etc. The second part is about choice and application of law and states that in cases governed by Chinese law force majeure rules should apply according to the Opinions (I) of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Connected with Legally and Appropriately Dealing with Civil Cases Arising from the Covid-19 Pandemic. The third part is about the application of law to transportation contract and international business and maritime cases affected by the pandemic. The fourth part is about the green channel for parties involved in actions and cases involving people from Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan. For example, in international maritime and other cases relating to the pandemic, active action should be taken to provide the green channel and improve cross-region litigation services and online litigation procedures and operational instructions. (Source: Website of the Supreme People’s Court)
3.Ordinance on Regulation of Cosmetic Products
Promulgated by the State Council
Promulgation date: 29 June 2020
Implementation date: 1 January 2021
Document number: No.727 SC Order
The Ordinance consists of 6 chapters and 80 articles relating to manufacturing, operation, supervision and regulation of cosmetic products in four respects.
First, to take into action the reforms to “streamline administration, delegate powers and improve regulation and services” with the methods to improve the classification system for cosmetic products and ingredients, simplify registration and recordation processes, encourage and support studies and innovation of cosmetic products and optimize innovation policies and environment for businesses.
Second, to strictly adhere to quality and safety principles, clarify responsibilities of applicants for registration and recordation of cosmetic products, strengthen the quality and safety control throughout the manufacturing and operational processes and after the commercial launch, establish systems for reevaluation of the safety of cosmetic products and ingredients and recall of cosmetic products in question, and ensure the safety and quality of cosmetic products.
Third, to improve the regulatory measures, establish a risk monitoring and evaluation system for cosmetic products, standardize law enforcement measures and procedures, take additional regulatory measures such as discussion with responsible persons, emergency control, awards for reporting and joint disciplinary actions against dishonest persons, and take regulatory measures in a more scientific, effective and standardized way.
Four, to administer tougher punishment for illegal activities, use comprehensive ways of punishment including confiscation, fines, orders to stop production and business operation, suspension of permits, bans on entering particular markets and industries, impose fines on persons directly responsible for units seriously violating law, expel persons seriously violating law from the market, and maintain a good environment for people to develop legally. (Source: Website of the State Council)
4.Administrative Punishment Rules of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission
Promulgated by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission
Promulgation date: 23 June 2020
Implementation date: 1 August 2020
Document number: No. 8 Order 2020 of China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission
The Rules consists of 10 chapters and 104 articles incorporating administrative punishment procedures of banking and insurance sectors. Chapter One General Principles classifies administrative punishments in the banking and insurance sectors, establishes basic principles of administrative punishments including fairness, equality, openness, legal process, appropriate punishment principles, sets up an action policy for penalties in which “examination and trial stages are separate” and clarifies the circumstances where decisions to give reduced or less or more severe penalties can be made. Chapter two to four set out jurisdiction over penalty cases, case filing and investigation processes and procedures, types of evidence and requirements for collection of different types of evidence. Chapter five and six set out eligibility and materials for case transfer, case hearing norms and rules of the administrative penalty commission on examining and discussing cases. Chapters seven and eight are about advance notice and hearings of administrative penalties, review of statements and arguments given by parties involved, decision to administer and administration of penalties, etc. Chapter nine sets out legal responsibilities for wrongful administration of penalties. Chapter ten is supplementary provisions clarifying meanings of related words and phrases and the implementation date of the Rules. (Source: Website of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission)
5.The Law on Disciplinary Actions of Government Services for Public Servants of the People’s Republic of China
Promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National Congress
Promulgation date: 20 June 2020
Implementation date: 1 July 2020
Document number: No.46 President Order
The Law on Disciplinary Actions of Government Services is the first national law including a comprehensive set of disciplinary action rules for public servants. The disciplinary actions of government services are against public servants violating law. Public servants are the backbone of the Chinese socialism and play a specially important role in the national governance system. This law helps improve the overall supervision of public servants and impose tougher obligations on the communist party members and government officials.
Before the disciplinary actions of government services in the supervision law became known, disciplinary punishments for civil servants and staff of public services were called “disciplinary actions” based on the civil servant law, disciplinary action ordinances for civil servants in administrative authorities, personnel management ordinances for staff of public services, temporary regulations of disciplinary actions for staff of public services and other laws, administrative regulations and rules.
The disciplinary actions of the communist party cover all members of the party, but the “disciplinary actions” do not cover all public servants with public power. There are still persons who need to be but have not been included in the scope of supervision and disciplinary actions. The law of government services on disciplinary actions is intended to include all the persons in the law in the scope of disciplinary actions, make disciplinary actions of government services appropriate to disciplinary actions of the communist party and connect them with criminal penalties to make a strict law against job offenses in a way that can help cultivate a loyal, clean and responsible team of public servants early, carefully and promptly. (Source: Website of the National Congress)
6.Notice on Extension of the Implementation Period for the Provisional Business Social Insurance Premium Reduction and Exemption Policies
Promulgated by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, etc.
Promulgation date: 22 June 2020
Document number: R.S.B.F. No.49
The Notice mainly states that:
- The policy of exempting three employer’s social insurance contributions paid by medium and small businesses in provinces, autonomous regions, province-level cities and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps will be implemented until the end of December 2020. The policy of reducing half of three employer’s social insurance contributions paid by large businesses and other organizations (not including ones in Hubei Province and government departments and public services as stated below) will be implemented until the end of June 2020.
- Businesses that have serious problems in production and operation due to Covid-19 can delay payment of social insurance contributions with no need to pay default penalties until the end of December 2020.
- The lower limit on the base amount of employee’s social insurance contributions in 2020 can be the same as that for 2019. The upper limit on the base amount of employee’s contributions is subject to change as required by law.
- Business units with employees which participate in three social insurances as organizations are still subject to reduction and delayed payment policies for organizations.
Business units and people working in flexible ways that participate in basic retirement insurance for business employees as individuals can delay paying the insurance premium that they are really unable to pay. If they continue to pay the premium in 2021, they will be deemed to have paid the premium for all previous years. Monthly payments that are due at the end of 2020 can be made by the end of 2021. The base amount is decided by themselves between the upper and lower limits on the base amount of local individual contributions in 2021. (Source: MOHRSS)