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Circular of the Ministry of Commerce and the State Environmental Protection Administration of China on Enhancing the Environmental Monitoring over Export Enterprises
Promulgation Date:2007-10-08  Promulgation Number: Shang Zong Fa [2007] No. 392  Promulgation Department:Ministry of Commerce, State Environmental Protection Administration of China
Circular of the Ministry of Commerce and the State Environmental Protection Administration of China on Enhancing the Environmental Monitoring over Export Enterprises Shang Zong Fa [2007] No. 392 The commerce departments and the environmental protection bureaus (departments) of all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government and cities specifically designated in the state plan, as well as Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps: For the purpose of carrying out the requirements of the State Council for the work on saving energy and reducing emission, play the leading role of various kinds of export enterprises regarding environmental protection, restrict severely the export of "high-pollution, high-energy-consuming and resource-dependent" products, accelerate changing foreign trade growth mode, and advancing balanced trade, the related issues about promoting export enterprises to improve their awareness to strengthen environmental protection level are hereby notified as follows: 1. Completely comprehending the significance of enhancing environmental monitoring over export enterprises. In general, a lot of export enterprises can carry out state environmental protection laws and regulations, and attach great importance to the environmental protection. While there are some enterprises that unlawfully discharge pollutants, discharge pollutants violating standards or overall volume, or unlawfully use environmental resources so as to decrease export costs. Firstly, the said phenomenon improves the pressure on resources and environment, as a result, the pollution their products caused is left at home but their products are exported abroad; secondly, in view of the said phenomenon, the price of export products is unable to accurately mirror social costs, elevate trade friction, accelerates the irrational development in the trade surplus and ruins the image of Chinese products. To enhance the environmental monitoring over export enterprises and make such enterprises strictly comply with state environmental protection laws and regulations will not only be the demands for obtaining the goals of energy saving and emission reduction and comprehensively building an environmentally-friendly society, but also the requirements of protecting state environmental interests and promoting the change of trade growth mode. In light of carrying out the scientific concept of growth and establishing a harmonious society, the commerce departments and the environmental protection departments at various levels shall fully comprehend the significance and urgency of enhancing environmental monitoring over export enterprises, effectively improve the intensify of the work, work together with each other closely, and realize practical results. 2. Improving the intensity of environmental monitoring over export enterprises The environmental protection departments at various levels shall practically strengthen the environmental monitoring over pollutant discharging enterprises that export goods, particularly, over the "high-polluting, high-energy-consuming and resource-dependent" enterprises. First, the environmental protection departments shall implement a special environmental law complying with examination to the aforesaid type of enterprises in light of the actualities, and put punishments in accordance with legal provisions upon discovering any environmental violation in the examination; secondly, they shall enhance daily environmental monitoring over the aforesaid type of enterprises, and improve the frequency of daily examination and checking according to the regulatory demands for main pollution sources, and guarantee that the discharge of pollutants always meeting the standards; thirdly, they shall enhance the administration of environmental cases regarding export enterprises, set up an environmental law compliance files administration database of export enterprises on the basis of making clear the number of enterprises, varieties and quantities of export products, key pollutants as produced, pollution discharge conditions and punishments against environmental violations, and implement a dynamic administration of punishments against and rectifications of environmental violations. 3. Enhancing the environmental protection compliance inspection of the enterprises at the export administration link According to the laws, regulations and rules on environmental protection, a local environmental protection department shall impose administrative punishments against the administrative violations as investigated and verified, and announce such punishments, and demand the enterprises to make correction or correct their unlawful acts at the same time within the prescribed time. A local environmental protection department shall issue a circular on a regular basis about the conditions regarding the aforesaid enterprises that commit unlawful or wrongful acts to the local commerce department, offer corresponding written punishment decisions, and present the conditions to the State Environmental Protection Administration of China via the provincial environmental protection department. The State Environmental Protection Administration of China shall present the conditions to the Ministry of Commerce upon collection thereof. The Ministry of Commerce will spread the list of the enterprises that commit unlawful or wrongful acts and the corresponding written punishment decisions to the local commerce departments, and grant them to stop receiving the export business applications filed by the aforesaid enterprises in accordance with the written punishment decisions made by the environmental protection departments, and such applications cover: applications for export quotas and licenses, examination and approval of processing trade contracts or projects, release of the certificates on processing trade situation and productivity, national and regional export commodity fairs and expos booths, etc. The local commerce department shall present the conditions about export business applications filed by the aforesaid enterprises to the Ministry of Commerce via the provincial commerce department. In accordance with the Articles 34 and 63 of the Foreign Trade Law, the Ministry of Commerce may forbid the aforesaid enterprises to perform foreign trade for more than one year but less than three years, and spread the written punishment decisions to the local commerce departments, and based thereon, the local commerce departments shall stop the acceptance of export business applications filed by the aforesaid enterprises within the corresponding terms. If an enterprise on which the environmental protection department imposes administrative punishments has corrected its unlawful or wrongful act and is discovered to be qualified upon check and acceptance of the environmental protection department, the environmental protection department shall timely issue a circular about it to the commerce department. Once such a circular is received, the commerce department shall resume the acceptance of export business applications filed by the enterprise that has not been forbidden from foreign trade. In case an applicant exports products by foreign trade agency, the local commerce department shall check the document testifying on the source of export goods (the invoice issued by production enterprises) when receiving the export business application, and in case the goods exported by the applicant under foreign trade agency are produced by the aforesaid enterprises violating the environmental protection laws, the local commerce department shall also stop receiving related applications in accordance with the aforesaid methods. In case an export quota and license issuing organ at various level finds when releasing export quotas or licenses that an application enterprise (the invoice that is released by the production enterprise shall be checked in the case of the export through foreign trade agency) is an enterprise in violation of the environmental protection laws, it shall not give the certificate, and shall present the related conditions to the local commerce department. 4. Carrying out the pilot system of enterprise environmental supervisors Since the metallurgical, chemical, cement, textile and light industries, etc. have a lot of trade surplus, are in fast development and whose environmental problems are outstanding, therefore the pilot system of enterprise environmental supervisors may be propelled first in these industries. An enterprise shall establish an environmental management organization and appoint special persons to be the environmental supervisors for examining and setting down its environmental operation indicators, present reports to the local commerce department and the local environmental protection department, be ready for receiving examination and spot check at any time, regularly publicize its environmental operational conditions to the public, and receive the supervision by public opinions. 5. Enhancing the publicity and training on laws, regulations and policies for environmental protection of export enterprises The local commerce department and the local environmental protection department at any level shall fully implement publicity and education of the laws and regulations on environmental protection, extensively encourage the initiatives of the general public to participate in environmental monitoring, and bring into play the important roles of trade associations, chambers of commerce and other intermediary organizations in the regulation of enterprise environmental acts; arrange export enterprises that have conspicuous performance in respect of environmental protection to exchange their experiences, improve the intensity of media publicity, timely publicize many enterprises that have conspicuous performance in the aspect of environmental protection, expose a number of enterprises that unlawfully discharge pollutants and lead to serious pollution; jointly define an environmental protection training scheme for export enterprises, regularly arrange special environmental law-abiding trainings to local export enterprises and their persons in charge, effectively enhance the law-abiding awareness of export enterprises, and continually increase their capability to accomplish the obligation of environmental protection. 6. Enhancing the departmental cooperation The commerce departments and the environmental protection departments at two levels of province (municipality) and prefecture (city) shall set up a joint working panel, appoint a special organization to settle the problems in the related work, and set up an information sharing mechanism between them. A commerce department shall voluntarily ask the opinions of the environmental protection department, and the environmental protection department shall give a reply within two weeks when a commerce department is checking the export business applications filed by the enterprises in an industry that will lead to significant influence on environmental protection. The environmental protection department shall regularly present the conditions about investigation and handling of unlawful and wrongful acts to the commerce department as the basis for the latter to check the business applications filed by the enterprises (the enterprises need not offer the environmental protection compliance certificates to the commerce department). The environmental protection department shall send the related case files to the commerce department, if the environmental protection department considers it necessary to impose punishments by comprehensive means. And the commerce department shall timely settle it in accordance with the related provisions, and give a reply the handling results to the environmental protection department within two weeks. In accordance with their actualities, the commerce departments and the environmental protection departments of all the regions shall work together with each other closely, lose no time setting down the working plans for the joint working panel and the implementation plans, and present them to the Ministry of Commerce and the State Environmental Protection Administration of China prior to the end of October 2007. Contact persons: The Comprehensive Department under the Ministry of Commerce: Chen Guanglong Tel: 65197260 The Environmental Monitoring Department under the State Environmental Protection Administration of China: Yan Jingjun Tel: 66556449 Ministry of Commerce State Environmental Protection Administration of China October 8, 2007
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