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Implementation Opinions on Strengthening and Standardizing Efforts on the Management of the List of Untrustworthy Notary Clients for Joint Punishment (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)

Promulgating Entities: Department of Justice Public Legal Services Authority
【Date of Issue】2018/11/7

To all provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality Justice Departments (Bureaus) and the Justice Bureau for the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

So as to implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and accelerate construction of a creditworthiness system, the following Implementation Opinions are formulated on the basis of the Planning Outline on the Establishment of a Social Credit System (2014-2020)" (Guofa (2014) No.21) , the "State Council Guiding Opinions on Establishing and Improving Systems of Joint Incentives for the Trustworthy and Joint Disciplinary Action for the Untrustworthy to Accelerate the Establishment of Social Crreditworthiness" (Guofa (2016) No. 33), and the "National Development and Reform Commission and People's Bank of China's Guiding Opinions on Strengthening and Regulating Efforts on the Management of Lists of Persons Receiving Joint Incentives for Trustworthiness or Joint Punishment for Untrustworthiness" (Fagaicaijin (2017) No. 1798), strengthening credit supervision of seriously untrustworthy notary clients, establishing a system for listing targets of joint disciplinary action (hereinafter simply, 'blacklist'), improving joint mechanisms for punishing unlawful untrustworthiness, and promoting the healthy development of the industry.

I. General Requirements

(1) The judicial-administrative organs are to lawfully enter untrustworthy notary clients such as those violate the "Law on Notaries", the "Notary Procedural Rules" into the blacklist, lawfully and publicly announce this, implement credit restrictions, and joint disciplinary action. Where notary parties have untrustworthy illegal conduct but the circumstance are minor, they may first be entered into a list for key scrutiny of their creditworthiness status (hereinafter simply "key scrutiny list).

(2) the Ministry of Justice is responsible for conducting guidance and coordination of efforts nationwide involving management of the notary party blacklist; the judicial-administrative organs at the county level or above are responsible for blacklist management work in that region, based on their duties.

(3) Adhere to the principle of 'all those making determinations being responsible for them", with departments and units making blacklist designations being responsible for publishing the blacklists, credit restoration, handling objections, and removals.

(4) Credit information related to designating untrustworthy notary parties for entry into the blacklist should be put on the national credit information sharing platform, and joint disciplinary action implemented in accordance with the "Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Disciplinary Action against Seriously Untrustworthy Notary Clients."

II. Standards for Designations

(5) Seriously untrustworthy notary clients include natural persons, legal persons, or other organizations that fabricate or conceal facts from notaries in the course of handling notary matters, or who provide false materials, as well as other entities or persons who assist in fabricating or concealing facts from notaries or in providing fake materials.

(6) Where notary clients have any of the following untrustworthy situations, they should be entered onto the blacklist in accordance with procedures:

1. Fabricated or concealed facts, or provided fake supporting materials, causing a notary document to be revoked;

2. Was pursued for criminal responsibility for fabricating or concealing facts, or providing fake supporting materials.

3. Fabricated or concealed facts, or provided fake supporting materials, causing a people's court to rule not to enforce a notary document for compulsory enforcement.

4. Fabricated or concealed facts, or provided fake supporting materials, causing a negative consequences in a notary matter involving foreign interests;

5. Fabricated or concealed facts, or provided fake supporting materials to obtain a notary document by fraud, engage in fraudulent activities, or disrupt the order of work at a state organ or unit, after review by relevant departments;

6. Violated credit assurances and refuses to make corrections.

(7) Where other entities or persons have any of the following untrustworthy situations, they should be entered onto the blacklist in accordance with procedures:

1. Professional establishments or personnel providing services such as appraisals, testing results, or translation of materials, fabricated or concealed facts or provided fake supporting materials for a notary client;

2. Fabricated or altered, or sold fabricated or altered notary documents or notary seals, or posed as a notary, and was given an administrative punishment or pursued for criminal responsibility.

III. Procedures for Designations

(8) Judicial-administrative organs at the county level or above may make designations for the blacklist and key scrutiny list for untrustworthy notary clients in accordance with the designation standards. Judicial-administrative organs at the provincial-level or above may make designations for the blacklist and key scrutiny list for untrustworthy notary clients in accordance with the designation standards as authorized by the Notary Association.

(9) All kinds of unit and individual citizens such as those supporting foreign certification, foreign embassies in China, and for title registration are to actively support and cooperate in designation efforts, providing information on untrustworthy conduct on relevant entities to the designating departments (units).

(10) Designating departments (units) should follow the following procedures to make blacklist designations:

1. Formally inform the market entity to be entered into the blacklist of the reasons and basis for the entry, and permit them to relevant matters in their defense within 10 working days;

2. Organize a small group in which relevant government departments, social organizations, and industry experts participate, conduct a review based on the materials submitted by all sides, and issue a written designation opinion on whether the market entity is to be entered on to the blacklist;

3. Blacklist designations of judicial-administrative organs at the county level or above take direct effect; blacklist designations by authorized national industry associations and chambers of commerce must be reviewed by a judicial-administrative organ at the provincial level or higher before taking effect;

4. After designations are completed, the designating departments (units) should send the designation decision letter to the market entity being entered onto the list.

(11) Judicial administrative departments are to rely on the national notary administration system to establish a national untrustworthy notary client blacklist information management system, and the blacklists designated by each designating department are to be entered into the information management system. After untrustworthy entities are entered into the blacklist, the designating departments should promptly enter the relevant information into the blacklist information management system that same day. The principle content of the entered information includes: First is basic information, including the names of legal persons and other organizations (or the full names of natural persons), the uniform social credit numbers, the global legal person entity identification numbers (LEI codes) (or citizens' ID numbers; citizen social credit numbers for residents of Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan; or ID numbers for foreign nationals), legal representatives' (or units' responsible parties) full names and ID type and number, and so forth; Second is the grounds for entry onto the list, including the facts of their untrustworthy violations, the departments (units) making the designations, the basis for the designations, the date of the designations, the effective periods, and so forth; and third is circumstances regarding the relevant market entities' receipt of incentives and disciplinary action, credit restoration, and removal from the list.

(12) The national untrustworthy notary client blacklist information management system should actively share relevant information with the national credit information sharing platform, providing it for the use of all levels of state organ and organizations authroized by laws and regulations with public function management duties.

(13) Blacklists that have been designated as effective are to be published to the public by the designating departments through their portal websites, local government credit websites, the "China Credit" website, the notary association website, notary establishment websites, and elsewhere. Necessary technical processing should be carried out before the release of information involving enterprises' commercial secrets and personal privacy.

(14) The designating departments (units) should formulate relevant standards and procedures for market entities entry into the key scrutiny list, enter key scruiting lists into the information management system, and share it on the national credit information sharing platform.

IV. Removal from blacklists and rights protections

(15) Where market entities that have already been entered into the blacklist meet the following requirements, they shall be removed from the blacklist upon confirmation by the designation department (unit):

1. The market entity has been listed on the blacklist for 3 years and has not had further serious illegal untrustworthy conduct;

2. The primary factual basis for the market entity's inclusion on the blacklist has been withdrawn;

3. The standards for blacklist designations have changed and the new designation standards are not met;

4. Self credit restoration has been completed in accordance with relevant provisions and standards, and the designation department (unit) agrees after review;

5. The balcklist designation is found to be in error through handling of an objection.

(16) After market entities are removed from the blacklist, the designating departments (units) should promptly announce the removal through the channels where the list was previously published, and enter them into the key scrutiny list. Where the blacklist designation was found to be in error, they are not entered onto the key scrutiny list.

(17) The designating departments (units) should establish mechanisms for self credit retoration by market entities, and when delivering blacklist designation decision letters, clarify whether or not the market entitiy can restore there credit, and the methods and time period for retoration, in light of the seriouslness of the untrustworthy conduct. 'Blacklisted' market entities that can correct untrustworthy conduct by performing relevant duties may submit an application with supporting materials for removal from the list to the departments (units) that made the designations, after they have performed the relevant obligations.

(18) Designating departments (units) should establish mechanisms for addressing objections to the blacklists, clarifying channels for accepting objections, and the process and time limits for handling them. Where relevant units and individuals have objections to being entered onto a 'blacklist', they may submit objection appeals to the departments (units) making the designations and provide supporting materials. Designation departments (units) should strictly follow the time limits in responding on whether or not to accept, and after acceptance, follow the time limits to give feedback on the outcome. Where clients still have objections to the outcome, they may apply for a reconsideration in accordance with law.

(19) Where the designation departments (units) discover inaccuracies in list information on their own or through relevant departments, units, individual feedback, or complaints, they should promptly conduct a review and verification. Where relevant units or individuals were incorrectly entered onto the 'blacklist' because of a true error in the work of the designating departments (units), the departments (units) making the designations should promptly correct the parties' creditworthiness records, apologize in writing to the parties, and make clarifications to restore their reputations. Where it leads to a harm to the parties' interests, compensation is to be given in accordance with law.

V. Safeguard Measures

(20) Judicial-administrative organs are responsible for the establishment and management of the national untrustworthy notary client blacklist information system, for strictly implementing a system of rules to ensure information security, and completing information and data security protection work. Each designation department should strictly follow provisions on the entry, inquiry, maintenance, and use of information, ensuring that information is truthful and strictly preventing leaks.

(21) Each designation department shall promptly correct conduct in violation of laws or regulations that manifests in the course of blacklist and key scrutiny list designations. Where in the course of making list designations, any designating department or their relevant staff have conduct such as abuse of authority, dereliction of duty, twisting the law for personal gain, or leaking non-public information either intentionally or through error, the unit to which they belong or the competent department at the level above is to lawfully sanction the directly responsible persons and other responsible management in light of the severity of the circumstances; and where it caused harm to a client, bear corresponding responsibility in accordance with law; and where a crime is constituted, transfer the case to the judicial-administrative organs to pursue criminal responsibility in accordance with law.

(22) On the basis of this implementation opinion, provincial level judicial-administrative organs may draft detailed implementation rules on the management of of lists of seriously untrustworthy notary clients for joint disciplinary action within their jurisdictional region. With authorization and on the basis of this Implementation Opinion, notary associations may draft detailed implementation measures for their association.

(23) The China Notary Association, local notary associations, notary establishments, and so forth that cooperate with the government departments carrying out blacklist management efforts are to pay attention to strengthening their own credit establishment, upholidng fairness and justice, and being practical and realistic.

This document is to take effect on the date of publication, and remain in effect through December 31, 2020.

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