On July 6 2004, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television promulgated the Administrative Measures on Chinese-Foreign Cooperation Film Production. The regulations came into force on August 10 2004. The original regulations are now superseded. They had designated the China Cooperative Movie Production Corporation as the authority responsible for examining and approving applications for licences for Sino-foreign film production. Under the new regulations, the China Cooperative Movie Production Corporation will play no role in examining and approving applications for licences. Applications for licences must now be submitted directly to the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, which must determine the application within 20 days. If the application is rejected, the authority must provide reasons for its decision.
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television had to promulgate new regulations because the original regulations were inconsistent with the Administrative License Law of the PRC. Under Article 24 of the Administrative Law, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television is authorized to delegate certain powers of approval to a party. However, the party to which authority is delegated must be an administrative agency. The China Cooperative Movie Production Corporation is not an administrative agency but a corporation. The delegation was in conflict with the Administrative License Law.
The new Law purports to create a more efficient licensing system and includes the necessary authority to restrict or prevent possible abuse of power by administrative agencies. It seems that the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television failed to pay enough attention to the provisions of the Administrative License Law when the original regulations were promulgated on September 28 2003 and, as a result, new regulations were promulgated only 10 months later.
Carson Wen and Jason Ma