The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued and circulated the Administrative Provisions on the Access of New Energy Vehicle Manufacturers and Products (the “Provisions”) to address the pressing needs of protecting citizens and their property, as well as the product safety of new energy vehicles. With the rapid development of the new energy vehicle industry in China in recent years, the ownership of new energy vehicles has continued to grow at a brisk pace. At the same time, inadequate product quality control has become more common, which led to increasing potential product safety issues and risks. The Provisions needed to be enacted as soon as possible to strengthen the safety requirements for new energy vehicles and address the pressing needs of protecting the lives of citizens and their property, as well as furthering public interest.
Consisting of a total of 32 articles, the Provisions primarily contain the following requirements:
1. The definition and scope of new energy vehicles are clearly stipulated. According to the Development Plan for the Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicle Industry (2012-2020) (Guo Fa  No. 22), Article 3 of the Provisions specifically define new energy vehicles and confirm the scope to include plug-in hybrid (including extended range) vehicles, pure electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.
2. Entry requirements for manufacturers are improved. Applicants to enter into the new energy vehicle industry shall be an automobile manufacturer who has already been granted entry into the automobile manufacturing industry, or a new automobile manufacturing enterprise that has completed the investment formalities; those that meet the administrative provisions for market entry of vehicle manufacturers in the same category; those that have design, development and manufacturing capabilities, ability to maintain consistency in manufacturing, after sales service and product safety assurance capabilities. Meanwhile, the Requirements for Examination to Enter into the New Energy Vehicle Industry (the “Entry Examination Requirements”) attached to the Provisions further contain 17 examination requirements regarding entry by manufacturers.
3. Product entry conditions are improved. New energy vehicle products applying for entry shall meet the relevant laws and safety technical requirements, comply with the Criteria for the Special Inspection Items and Basis for New Energy Vehicle Products and the relevant standards prescribed for automobiles in the same category, as well as pass the examination administered by the examination agencies. Meanwhile, the Criteria for the Special Inspection Items and Basis for New Energy Vehicle Products attached to the Provisions further stipulate 39 examination criteria to specify the conditions for product entry.
4. Establishment of an operational safety monitoring system. Manufacturers shall set up a safety monitoring platform for its new energy vehicle products and monitor the operational safety status of products pursuant to an agreement entered into with the customer. To protect customer information, the Provisions require manufacturers to take proper custody of the operational safety status data, which shall not be divulged, altered, damaged, sold or illegally provided to others, and information not relating to operational safety status shall not be monitored.
5. Supervision and inspection measures are improved. The Provisions specifically provide that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shall supervise and inspect how the manufacturers have maintained their status, their consistency in manufacturing, and the status of the operational safety monitoring platform per the Entry Examination Requirements through data examinations and onsite audits. The provincial industry and information technology authorities are also required to supervise and inspect the production status of manufacturers within their administrative areas. For manufacturers who have stopped production for over 12 months, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shall specifically announce that it will inspect how they have maintained their status under the Entry Examination Requirements before production may resume.
6. There will be greater legal liabilities. In case of intentional concealment of facts or the provision of false materials for the entry application, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will either refuse to review the application or will reject entry, issue warnings, and bar the applicant from filing another application in one year. In case of entry granted through unjustified means such as deception or bribery, the entry will be revoked, and the applicant will be prohibited from applying again in three years. A manufacturer who produces or sells new energy vehicle models which have not been included in the Announcement on Road Motor Vehicle Manufacturers and Products will be penalized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology pursuant to the Road Traffic Safety Law.