UPDATE (Dec. 5, 2018): The State Council’s executive meeting, its top decision-making body, approved a draft amendment to the Patent Law [专利法] on Wednesday (December 5). The draft amendment may have replaced a draft revision to the Law that was released for public comments in 2015 for it seems to make similar changes as the draft revision (based on the brief press release of the State Council’s meeting). The NPCSC will likely review the draft amendment at its upcoming session.
The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to convene for its seventh session late this month. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet in mid-December to decide on the dates and agenda of the session.
According to the NPCSC’s 2018 legislative plan, the following bills have been tentatively scheduled for the upcoming session:
- draft revision to the Judges Law [法官法];
- draft revision to the Procurators Law [检察官法];
- draft Resource Tax Law [资源税法];
- draft revision to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste [固体废物污染环境防治法] and amendments to (unspecified) related laws;
- draft Foreign Investment Law [外国投资法].
The State Council may also submit for review a draft Vaccine Administration Law [疫苗管理法] (on which it solicited public comments for two weeks in November).
The pilot reform to combine the maternity insurance fund and the basic medical insurance fund will expire on December 31. We expect the State Council to either request an extension of the pilot or submit an amendment to the Social Insurance Law [社会保险法].
The pilot reform that allows the rights to use cultivated land and house sites [宅基地] to be mortgaged will also expire on December 31. The State Council may submit amendments to the Property Law [物权法] and the Guaranty Law [担保法] to codify the reform. Alternatively, it may request yet another extension—the pilot was already extended once for one year in late 2017—until the Civil Code (which will replace those two laws) is enacted.
Another land reform pilot—which allows the transfer of the right to use collectively owned land for construction [集体建设用地使用权]; adjusts the approval authority over house sites; and revises the standards for compensating the expropriation of collectively owned land—will expire, again, on December 31. The State Council will likely submit an amendment to the Land Management Law [土地管理法] and possibly also an amendment to the Urban Real Estate Administration Law [城市房地产管理法] (certain provisions of these two laws are being suspended during the pilot).
Lastly, a pilot reform of the civil service system will expire on January 1, 2019. As the NPCSC is already reviewing a draft revision to the Civil Servants Law [公务员法] that codifies the reform, we expect it to extend the pilot until the revision is adopted.
The NPCSC is also expected to adopt a decision to convene the 2019 NPC session (the 2nd Session of the 13th NPC) at its upcoming meeting.