• China

Key documents required for timber legality and trade of China

The below listed key documents are based on the applicable legislation and are considered to play a key role in demonstrating legal origin. The full list of applicable legislation is accessible from the Forestry Legality Alliance website. A list of necessary documents can be found here. The following overview gives important documents necessary for forest product exporters from China.


  Key document Explanation Legal authority
  Forest Authority Certificate or Tenure Certificate Forest tenure certificate is evidence of use right and ownership of forest and forest land, and is also an important document for applying for a harvesting permit. Real estate registration agency and natural resource  administration authority under the State Council
  Harvesting Permit The harvesting permit is required prior to harvesting and provides evidence of legal harvesting. Permits according to source type and scale of forest area are issued by different authorities. While harvesting trees, holders must act according to the required time, area, species, and measures of the permit to harvest forest. Contents of the harvesting permit include permit code, harvesting location, species, forest tenure certificate code, harvesting area and stock volume, time period of harvesting and authorized organization etc. The relevant Forestry Administration
  Document permitting conversion of land use For conversion into deforested land (usually for construction) the companies should have an official approval document issued by relevant Forestry Administration as well as the Forest Authority Certificate. The relevant Forestry Administration

Processing & Trade

  Key document Explanation Legal authority
  Business registration certificate As of 1 October 2015, the business registration certificate, tax registration certificate and organization code certificate have been combined into one certificate, which means that fora company established after1 October 2015 there will be only one certificate. The new certificate will be referred to as a business registration certificate. The contents of the business registration certificate include: name and address of the company, type of the certificate, legal representative, amount of investment, valid period, issuing date, business scope etc. With the new certificate, there will be a unique social credit code which takes the place of the business registration number, tax registration number and organization code. Industry and commerce administration authority
  VAT invoice China An invoice provides evidence of a goods transaction. A VAT invoice (Fapiao) can be evidence of a company paying the tax and tax reimbursement. A VAT invoice can be used to refund tax when exporting and in deducting output tax.  
  Plant Quarantine Certificate In order to prevent the insect and disease related to plant or export, Chinese inspection and quarantine institutions would conduct quarantine and issue the plant quarantine certificate for qualified products. It must be quarantined for the plants or plant products on the quarantine list, especially at epidemic area. Further, all seeds, seedlings and other breed materials should be quarantined before transportation. In China, pant quarantine certificate could be classified into 3 categories: intra-province, out-province, import-export. China Inspection and Quarantine Services
  Customs Declaration Registration Approval (Certificate for Customs Declaration Company) All entities that have import and export business should register at Ministry of Commerce of China to obtain the right to import and export. The registration form shows that the holder has the right to legally import and export. The contents of the registration certificate are: name of the entity (both English and Chinese names), address, organization code, contact information, business registration code etc. Ministry of Commerce
  CITES Permit / Certificate for Import / Export & Re-export According to the “Regulation of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of Import and Export of Endangered Wild Animals and Plants”, people or companies that would import or export endangered wild animals and plants and relevant products are required to apply for this permit/certificate at local authority. The valid period of the permit would not exceed 6 months from issued date, and one-batch-one-license.