NPC Standing Committee Releases 2018 Legislative Plan

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) on Friday released its annual legislative plan for 2018. As usual, the plan is divided into two sections—the first listing specific legislative projects slated for discussion at the NPCSC’s remaining five sessions in 2018, and second setting forth general guiding principles for its legislative work this year. We will discuss only the first part in this post.

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The plan divides the legislative projects into three categories: (1) those for continued deliberation (that is, those carried over from 2017); (2) those for initial deliberation (that is, bills first submitted in 2018); and (3) preparatory projects. We will again (as we did last year) combine the first two categories in our analysis below, arranging the projects instead by the particular NPCSC session for which they are scheduled. Description of the bills’ contents will be minimal, as their names are usually self-explanatory and most have been released for public comments.

Below, we will link to English translations of draft laws where available. You can access the original Chinese texts in PDF here (drafts released by the State Council) or here (drafts released by the NPCSC).

Projects for Continued and Initial Deliberation

June (3rd Session)

  1. People’s Courts Organic Law (Revision) 人民法院组织法(修订)
  2. People’s Procuratorates Organic Law (Revision) 人民检察院组织法(修订)
    • 2nd round of deliberation (to pass after at least three rounds)
    • August 2017 draft
    • Category I project
  3. E-Commerce Law 电子商务法
    • 3rd round of deliberation (likely to pass)
    • December 2016 draft, October 2017 draft
    • Category II (i.e., lower-priority) project in the 12th NPCSC’s five-year legislative plan (“Category II project”)
  4. Patent Law (Revision) 专利法(修订)
    • Draft released for public comments by the State Council in December 2015
    • Category I project
    • To pass after at least three rounds of deliberation

August (4th Session)

  1. Law on the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution 土壤污染防治法
  2. International Criminal Justice Assistance Law 国际刑事司法协助法
    • 2nd round of deliberation (will possibly pass, but more likely to pass after three rounds)
    • December 2017 draft
    • Category I project
  3. Separate Parts of the Civil Code 民法典各分编
    • Category I project
    • The General Part of the Civil Code (民法典总编) (currently titled the General Provisions of the Civil Law (民法总则) before the eventual codification) was adopted by the NPC in March 2017. The Separate Parts (tentatively including parts on property rights, contracts, tort liability, marriage and family, and inheritance) will be submitted as a whole in August, and the NPCSC will deliberate them “in stages”—presumably one or more, but not all, parts at a time. The Separate Parts, along with the General Part, will be submitted as a draft Civil Code to the NPC session in 2020 for approval.
  4. Land Management Law (Amendment) 土地管理法(修正)
    • Enacted in 1986, last revised in 1998, and then amended in 2004
    • Draft released by the State Council for public comments in May 2017
    • Category I project
    • Likely to focus on revising the statutory schemes on land expropriation, house sites (宅基地) management, and trading of rural collectively owned land for business-related construction (农村集体经营性建设用地)
    • A previous draft was submitted to the NPCSC for deliberation in December 2012, but because of major differences of opinion among interested parties, it was never scheduled for another review and was officially removed from the NPCSC’s legislative agenda two years later.
    • To pass after at least two rounds of deliberation
  5. Farmland Occupancy Tax Law 耕地占用税法
    • Draft released by the State Council for public comments in January 2017
    • Category I project
    • Likely to pass after two rounds of deliberation
  6. Vehicle Purchase Tax Law 车辆购置税法
    • Draft released by the State Council for public comments in August 2017
    • Likely to pass after two rounds of deliberation

October (5th Session)

  1. Rural Land Contracting Law (Amendment) 农村土地承包法(修正)
  2. Basic Healthcare and Health Promotion Law 基本医疗卫生与健康促进法
    • 2nd round of deliberation (to pass after at least three rounds)
    • December 2017 draft
    • Category I project
  3. Tax Collection Administration Law (Revision) 税收征收管理法(修订)
    • Enacted in 1992, last revised in 2001, and subject to two minor amendments in 2013 and 2015
    • Draft released by the State Council for public comments in January 2015
    • Category I project
    • To pass at least three rounds of deliberation
  4. Community Correction Law 社区矫正法
    • Draft released by the State Council for public comments in December 2016
    • Category II project
    • To pass at least two rounds of deliberation
  5. Maritime Traffic Safety Law (Revision) 海上交通安全法(修订)
    • Enacted in 1983, only subject to one minor amendment in 2016
    • Draft released by the State Council for public comments in February 2017
    • Category II project
    • To pass at least two rounds of deliberation—likely three

December (6th Session)

  1. Judges Law (Revision) 法官法(修订)
    • 2nd round of deliberation (to pass after at least three rounds)
    • December 2017 draft
    • Category I project
  2. Procurators Law (Revision) 检察官法(修订)
    • 2nd round of deliberation (to pass after at least three rounds)
    • December 2017 draft
    • Category I project
  3. Resource Tax Law 资源税法
    • Draft released by the State Council for public comments in November 2017
    • Category I project
    • Likely to pass after two rounds of deliberation
  4. Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste (“Solid Waste Law”) (Revision) and related laws 固体废物污染环境防治法(修订)
    • The Solid Waste Law was enacted in 1995 and revised once in 2004. It also underwent three minor amendments in 2013, 2015, and 2016.
    • The Solid Waste Law was the subject of a high-profile law enforcement inspection in 2017, led by the last NPCSC Chairman, Zhang Dejiang. The law enforcement inspection team recommended in its report that the Solid Waste Law be revised as soon as possible.
    • The “related laws” likely include the Clean Production Promotion Law (清洁生产促进法) and the Circular Economy Promotion Law (循环经济促进法).
    • To pass after at least two rounds of deliberation—likely three
  5. Foreign Investment Law 外国投资法
    • Draft released by the State Council for public comments in January 2015
    • Category II project
    • To replace the Chinese-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures Law (中外合资经营企业法), Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprises Law (外资企业法), and Chinese-Foreign Contractual Joint Ventures Law (中外合作经营企业法)
    • To pass after at least three rounds of deliberation; NPC’s approval is likely required—if so, we expect it to pass in March 2020 at the earliest.

According to the legislative plan, bills relating to State institutional reform, national defense and military reform, and supervision system reform will be scheduled for deliberation as appropriate.

Completion Rates

Based on our analysis of past annual legislative plans, the average completion rate for legislative projects carried over from the previous year is 90.8%, and the rate for new projects is 73.4%. The overall completion rate is 80.2%. (We consider a project completed as long as it was submitted within the target year, whether or not to the NPCSC session for which it had been scheduled.)

Preparatory Projects

The 2018 legislative plan also includes the following list of preparatory projects, most of which won’t be submitted for deliberation this year. (“*” denote Category I projects and “**” denote Category II projects in the 12th NPCSC’s five-year legislative plan.)

  • Revisions/amendments: Securities Law* (证券法; revision already deliberated twice in April 2015 and April 2017), National People’s Congress Organic Law (全国人民代表大会组织法), Civil Servants Law (公务员法), Copyright Law* (著作权法; 2014 State Council draft), Vocational Education Law* (职业教育法), Forestry Law* (森林法; 2016 State Council draft), Personal Income Tax Law (个人所得税法), Workplace Safety Law (安全生产法; 2017 State Council draft), Minor Protection Law (未成年人保护法), Archives Law (档案法), Officers in Active Service Law** (现役军官法), Military Service Law (兵役法), People’s Armed Police Law (人民武装警察法), and Public Security Administrative Punishment Law (治安管理处罚法; 2017 State Council draft).
  • New laws: Atomic Energy Law* (原子能法), Export Control Law (出口管制法; 2017 State Council draft), Encryption Law (密码法; 2017 State Council draft), Futures Law** (期货法), Excise Tax Law (消费税法), Real Estate Tax Law* (房地产税法), Deed Tax Law (契税法), Stamp Tax Law (印花税法), and Land Borders Law* (陆地国界法), as well as laws on rural revitalization (乡村振兴) and rural finance (农村金融).

We expect most of these preparatory projects and previously listed projects to be included in the 13th NPCSC’s five-year legislative plan, due to be released in the fall at the NPCSC’s quinquennial legislative work conference.


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