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Unauthorized fees levied by industry bodies, associations to stop

Ouyang Shijia
Updated: Jul 22,2020 02:33 PM    chinadaily.com.cn

China will take firm steps to stop the unauthorized levy of fees on businesses by industry bodies and associations, as part of its larger drive to energize the market and lift the burdens that are hurting companies, government officials said on July 21.

"Arbitrary levy of fees must be resolutely dealt with," said Wang Aiwen, vice-minister with the Ministry of Civil Affairs. "Due to the disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies are having a difficult time, calling for a further push to better regulate fees charged by industry bodies and associations."

"In the next step, the ministry will mainly focus on strengthening the supervision and inspection of the standard formulation, collection and use of dues," Wang said at a news conference held in Beijing.

Wang's remarks came after the General Office of the State Council recently released a regulation to better regulate charges on businesses from industry bodies and associations.

According to the new regulation, industry bodies and associations must not force enterprises to enroll and pay fees by using the impact of government departments or their influence in the industry.

Chen Zhijiang, an official with the State Administration for Market Regulation, said the administration will make a big push to severely punish activities relating to the unauthorized levy of fees on enterprises.

"More efforts will be made to conduct random checking of industry bodies and associations, cooperate with other departments to work on the issues and improve the regulations," Chen added.

According to Chen, companies encountering an unauthorized levy of fees can report it to regulatory authorities via the 12315 national internet platform of consumer dispute resolution.

Official surveys found that some industry bodies and associations charge relatively high fees on enterprises, such as financial and mutual insurance associations.

Zhou Banxue, director of the Department of Price at the National Development and Reform Commission, said revenues of nearly 20 financial and mutual insurance associations accounted for almost 30 percent of total revenues of national associations in 2018, reporting an average income that is more than 10 times that of the national associations.

According to Zhou, more efforts will be made to guide associations to fully consider members' operating conditions, affordability and industry development levels and then formulate reasonable charging standards.

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