On 29 April 2016, the Ministry of Finance (“MOF”) and the State Administration of Taxation (“SAT”) jointly issued Circular Cai Guan Shui [2016] No.26 on the Tax Policy for the Importation of Seed Sources during the “13th Five-Year Plan” Period (“Circular”). The Circular specifies the range of varieties that can enjoy exemptions from imports value-added tax. The Circular is effective from 1 January 2016 and until 31 December 2020.

The following imported seeds sources are tax exempt:

A) Seeds (seedlings), breeding stock (poultry) and fish seeds (fry) that are closely related to and directly used in or served to the production of agriculture and/or forests, as well as the wild genetic resources that are imported for scientific research, breading or reproduction by an institute of scientific research on animals and plants, zoos, farms, or plantations that are qualified with certain qualifications, and;
B) Semen and embryos of police dogs for breading purposes imported by the army, armed police, police and security department (including anti-smuggling police).

The importer of seeds sources has to propose a plan to the competent industry authority, and the industry authority makes recommendations regarding tax exemption to MOF. MOF and SAT will give the final approval to the varieties and quantity that can be imported tax free, after which the importer can apply to Customs for tax exemption.

Although specified seeds sources are free from imports value-added tax, domestic tax will be imposed under the law of the PRC when they enter into the Chinese market.

For more information in Chinese, see