(No 35 , The Department of Treasury of the Ministry of Finance)
All central budget units, finance departments of all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government and cities with independent planning status, and the Finance Bureau of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:
To foster a unified and open system of government procurement market with orderly competition and improve the fair competition in government procurement activities, this circular is hereby enacted to promote the implementation of equal treatment to domestic and foreign-invested enterprises in China when it comes to government procurement activities.
1. Ensure equal participation of domestic and foreign-invested enterprises in government procurement activities
Products (including services, the same below) produced by domestic and foreign-invested enterprises within the territory of China are equally treated in government procurement. Budget units at all levels should strictly implement the Government Procurement Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China and other relevant laws and regulations, and should not differentiate between the products produced by domestic and foreign-invested enterprises within the territory of China, except for the procurement involving national security and state secrets. All products produced within the territory of China are entitled to having equal access to government procurement activities, regardless of their suppliers being domestic enterprises or foreign-invested enterprises.
2. Implement requirements concerning equal treatment to domestic and foreign-invested enterprises in government procurement activities
Budget units at all levels shall apply equal and non-discriminatory treatment to both domestic and foreign-invested enterprises in China when releasing government procurement information, ascertaining and evaluating the qualifications of suppliers and establishing evaluation criteria. To ensure fair competition between domestic and foreign-invested enterprises, no limitations shall be imposed to suppliers in terms of their ownership, organizational structure, shareholding structure, the nationality of investors, product brands and other unreasonable conditions in the process of government procurement activities.
3. Equally safeguard legitimate rights and interests of domestic and foreign-funded enterprises
Domestic and foreign-invested enterprises can file challenges and complaints in accordance with relevant regulations when they believe that the procurement documents, the procurement procedures or results have infringed on their legitimate rights and interests. The finance departments at all levels shall strictly implement Measures for Challenge and Complaint Concerning Government Procurement (Decree No.94 of the Ministry of Finance), keep channels open for complaints, handle the complaints of suppliers in line with law and in a fair manner, and restrain from implementing differentiated and discriminatory treatment when handling complaints from domestic and foreign-invested enterprises to protect the legitimate rights and interests of all suppliers in government procurement.
All regions shall, in a timely manner, abolish and rectify rules and practices that are in violation of the circular, as well as illegal rules and unlawful practices of setting up a pool of candidate suppliers, a directory of suppliers, and a database of qualifications , etc. And a progress report on their rectification work should be submitted to the Ministry of Finance by the end of November.
Ministry of Finance of People's Republic of China
October 13, 2021