On February 20, 2009, the State Council released
the Regulations on Travel Agencies (the "Regulations"), effective May 1,
2009. The Regulations relax restrictions
on foreign-invested travel agencies and reflect China's commitment to agreements
made upon its entrance into the World Trade Organization. According to the Regulations, wholly-foreign-invested
travel agencies, which were previously forbidden, are now permitted in China.
Furthermore, the Regulations loosen the statutory requirements for
foreign-invested travel agencies, such as registered capital and investor
qualifications, and now also permit the establishment of branch offices by
foreign-invested travel agencies. Under
the new Regulations, foreign-invested travel agencies generally have a legal
status similar to domestic travel agencies.
However, the Regulations still contain a requirement that
foreign-invested travel agencies be pre-approved by the National Tourism
Administration and the Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM"). Foreign-invested travel
agencies are also subject to different rules for operating overseas traveling
businesses targeted at PRC citizens.
Copyright ©2008 by Kaye Scholer LLP. All Rights Reserved. This publication is intended as a general guide only. It does not contain a general legal analysis or constitute an opinion of Kaye Scholer LLP or any member of the firm on the legal issues described. It is recommended that readers not rely on this general guide but that professional advice be sought in connection with individual matters.References herein to "Kaye Scholer LLP & Affiliates," "Kaye Scholer," "Kaye Scholer LLP," "the firm" and terms of similar import refer to Kaye Scholer LLP and its affiliates operating in various jurisdictions.
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