Tougher Vehicle Emission Standards
15 of the China’s most smog-prone cities have adopted new vehicle emissions standards, the latest move in the country’s war on pollution.
The new stage-6 standards, known as China VI, aim to drastically curb emissions of common air pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. Since July 1st, China’s auto dealerships are not allowed to sell vehicles that do not meet the new standards, which are considered as some of the most stringent globally.
Originally, China VI standards were only set to take effect in 2020. However, growing public concern over air quality has pushed the Ministry of Ecology and Environment to fast-track the implementation of the new regulations one year early.
According to the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, vehicle emissions were responsible for almost half of the capital’s concentration of PM2.5 particles last year. Therefore, the new rules represent a big milestone for China in its quest to become more environmentally friendly.
New Recycling Era Begins in Shanghai
In order to fight against the massive volume of household garbage in the city, Shanghai authorities have implemented a new compulsory garbage sorting system. The city produces an outstanding 9 million tonnes of trash yearly.
The new rules now require residents to dispose of garbage into 4 different bins for wet, recyclable, hazardous and residual waste. As a result, trash can manufacturers have seen their sales surge in the last few weeks. Consumers are in fact spending up to 200 times more than the price of a regular trash can for double-decker recycling bins.
Read more about the impact of the new garbage sorting regulations in our latest article.
New Vehicle Purchase Tax Regulations
In good news for prospective car buyers, the Ministry of Finance and State introduced new calculation standards for the vehicle purchase tax. Beginning July 1st, the taxable value will be adjusted to the amount consumers actually paid to sellers, instead of manufacturer’s suggested retail price. The move is also expected to regulate dealer practices and limit tax evasion.
In addition, authorities have announced that tax exemptions on new energy vehicles will be extended until the end of 2020 in a bid to make Chinese roads greener.
Overall, these measures come as an eagerly awaited stimulus in the automotive industry as car sales have been steadily dropping in the first quarter of 2019.
Reduction in Passport Fees
The National Immigration Administration has reduced passport and travel permit fees for Chinese citizens, in a move that should benefit 65 million travelers every year.
Starting July 1st, applying for a Chinese passport will set you at 120 yuan, 40 less than before the reduction. Those traveling to Hong Kong and Macau will also benefit from discounted rates, with application fees for travel permits lowered from 80 yuan to 60 yuan.
In 2018, China processed over 97 million applications for passports, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan travel permits. Only 10% of Chinese residents are passport-holders. We can expect the fee reduction to result in a surge of applications and continue to fuel China’s incredible outbound tourism boom.
Cheaper Registration Fees For Trademark Renewals
Renewing trademark will now be 50% cheaper thanks to new cuts announced by the National Development and Reform Commission. Trademark renewal will cost you 500 yuan (USD 72), and the fee related to changes in trademark applications has been decreased from 250 yuan to 150 yuan.
Businesses who opt for e-filing will also benefit from a 10% discount when registering, cancelling or reviewing a trademark. Chinese regulators have been stepping up efforts to protect intellectual property rights across the country in the past couple years. For instance, trademark registration fees were halved in 2017 to 300 yuan (USD 43) per case. The implementation of the new regulations also means that renewal fees have been slashed by 75% in just 2 years.