中华人民共和国价格法，全国人民代表大会 1997年12月29日颁布 中华人民共和国主席令第92号
Price Law of the PRC
Presidential Decree No. 92
（全国人民代表大会 1997年12月29日颁布 中华人民共和国主席令第92号）
(Adopted by the National People 's Congress on December 29, 1997)
Chapter 1 General Provisions
Article 1. This Law is formulated in order to standardise pricing acts, to give full play to the role of pricing in the rational allocation of resources, to stabilise the overall market price level, to protect the legal rights and interests of consumers and operators and to promote the healthy development of the socialist market economy.
Article 2 This Law shall apply to price acts occurring within the territory of the People's Republic of China.
For the purposes of this Law, prices will include commodity prices and service charges.
Commodity prices refer to the prices of various types of tangible products and intangible assets.
The prices of services refer to the fees charged for various types of paid services.
Article 3 The State shall implement and gradually improve the market-based prices under the regulation and control of the macro-economy. Price setting must comply with the law of value, with most commodity prices and service charges being subject to market readjusted prices and only a small number of commodity prices and service charges being subject to government guided prices or government set prices.
Market-regulated prices mean those prices determined autonomously by operators and formed through market competition.
For the purpose of the Law, the operators refer to the legal persons, other organizations and individuals engaging in the production and operation of commodities or providing paid services.
Government guided prices will refer to prices set by an operator under the guidance of the government department in charge of pricing or other relevant departments which, in accordance with the provisions of this Law, will determine the base prices and their floating range in accordance with the pricing jurisdiction and scope.
Government set prices will refer to prices set by the government departments in charge of pricing or other relevant departments in accordance with the provisions of this Law and the price setting jurisdiction and scope.
Article 4 The State supports and promotes fair, open and lawful market competition, maintains normal price order and exercises administration, supervision and necessary regulation and control over pricing activities.
Article 5. The State Council department in charge of pricing will be uniformly responsible for pricing work nationwide. Other relevant State Council departments will be responsible for pricing work within the scope of their respective responsibility.
The competent price departments of the local people's governments at or above the county level shall be responsible for the work related to prices within their respective administrative regions. Other relevant departments of the various local people's governments at county level or above will be responsible for pricing matters within the scope of their respective responsibility.
Chapter 2 Price Acts of Operators
Article 6 Commodity prices and service prices, with the exception of those subject to government-guided prices or government-set prices under Article 18 of the Law, shall be subject to market - regulated prices and set by operators on their own in accordance with the Law.
Article 7 Operators shall follow the principles of fairness, lawfulness and good faith in fixing prices.
Article 8 Production and operation costs and the market supply and demand situation shall be the basis for the determination of prices by operators.
Article 9 Business operators shall work hard to improve production and operation management, reduce production and operation costs, provide consumers with goods and services at reasonable prices, and reap lawful profits through market competition.
Article 10 The operators shall establish and perfect the internal price management system, accurately record and verify the production and operation costs of commodities and services in light of their operation conditions, and shall not practice fraud.
Article 11 Operators enjoy the following rights in price activities:
1. to fix on their own prices that are regulated by the market;
2. Fixing prices within the range as prescribed by the government for guiding prices;
(III) Setting prices for trial sale of new products falling within the scope of products whose prices are subject to the government-guided prices or government-set prices, with the exception of specially designated products; and
(IV) to inform against or accuse infringement upon their rights to fix prices on their own in accordance with the law.
Article 12 In conducting price activities, operators shall abide by laws and regulations, follow the government-guided prices and government-set prices set in accordance with the law and carry out the statutory intervention and emergency measures regarding prices.
Article 13 When selling or purchasing commodities or providing services, operators shall, as required by the government departments in charge of price, clearly mark the prices and clearly indicate the name, place of origin, specifications, grade, charge unit and price of a commodity or service item, charging standard and other relevant information.
Operators shall not sell goods at a price higher than the marked price and shall not collect any charges which are not clearly indicated.
Article 14 Operators shall not undertake the following behaviors in pricing:
1. Colluding with each other to control the market price and thus damage the lawful rights and interests of other operators or consumers;
(II) Disrupting the normal order of production and operation process to the detriment of the lawful rights and interests of the Sate or other consumers and operators, which results from distributing or supplying goods at a price lower than the market price which has been determined by the forces of demand and supply or otherwise, for the purpose of ousting competitors or monopolizing the market; or
(III) fabricating and spreading information about price rises to drive up prices and push up commodity prices excessively;
(IV) inducing consumers or other operators to trade with it by using false or misleading price means;
(V) Practicing price discriminations against other operators who are under the same transaction conditions when supplying the same goods and or services;
(VI) procuring, selling goods or providing services at prices raised or reduced in disguised form by raising or lowering the grade;
(VII) seeking exorbitant profits in violation of laws and regulations;
(VIII) other unfair price acts prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.
Article 15. All types of intermediary agencies must abide by the provisions of this Law when collecting fees in the provision of reimbursable services. Where laws provide otherwise, such provisions shall prevail.
Article 16 In selling imported commodities and purchasing export commodities, operators shall abide by the relevant provisions of this Chapter and maintain the order of the domestic market.
Article 17 Trade organizations shall abide by laws and regulations concerning prices, enhance the self-discipline with regard to prices and accept the guidance of the government departments in charge of price.
Chapter III Pricing Acts of the Government
Article 18 The government may adopt the government- guided prices or government-set prices when necessary for the prices of the following commodities and services:
1. a very small number of commodities that have a vital bearing on the development of the national economy and the living of the people;
2. a small number of commodities for which resources are scarce;
(III) the prices of commodities under natural monopoly management;
(IV) important public utilities;
(V) important public welfare services.
Article 19 The pricing authority and the specific scope of application of the government-guided prices and government-set prices shall be based on the central and local pricing catalogues.
The Central Pricing Catalog shall be compiled and revised by the competent department of price under the State Council and published upon the approval of the State Council.
Local priced catalogues shall be compiled by the competent price departments of the people's governments of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government according to the pricing authority and the specific scope of application defined in the central priced catalogue, and published after being examined and approved by the said people's governments and being submitted to the competent price department under the State Council for examination and approval.
Local people's governments below the level of province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality will not be permitted to formulate pricing lists.
Article 20. The State Council department in charge of pricing and other relevant departments will formulate government guided prices and government set prices in accordance with the pricing jurisdiction and actual scope of application stipulated in the Central Government pricing catalogue. Of these, the government guided prices and government set prices for important commodities and services will be subject to State Council approval in accordance with regulations.
The competent price departments and other relevant departments of the people's governments of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall set government-guided prices and government-set prices for their own regions according to the pricing authority and the specific scope of application defined in the local pricing catalogues.
Based on authorisation from the provincial, autonomous region or directly administered municipal people's government, municipal and county people's governments may formulate government guided prices and government set prices for implementation within their own regions in accordance with the pricing jurisdiction and actual scope of application stipulated in the local pricing lists.
Article 21. When formulating government guided prices and government set prices, reasonable purchase and sale price differentials, wholesale and retail price differentials, regional price differentials and seasonal price differentials shall be implemented in accordance with the social average costs of the relevant goods or services, the market supply and demand situation, the requirements of national economic and social development and the social acceptability.
Article 22 When setting government-guided prices and government-set prices, the government departments in charge of price and other relevant departments shall carry out the investigation of prices and costs and listen to the opinions of consumers, operators and other parties concerned.
When the government departments in charge of price carry out the price and cost investigation of the government-guided prices and government-set prices, the units concerned shall truthfully report the situation and provide necessary account books, documents as well as other materials.
Article 23 The system of hearings shall be established for setting government-guided prices and government-set prices on public utilities, public welfare services and commodities operated under the natural monopoly that have a bearing on the immediate interests of the masses, and the department in charge of prices shall preside over hearings, solicit opinions of consumers, operators and other parties concerned to demonstrate necessity and feasibility thereof.
Article 24 The government-guided prices and government-set prices, after being set, shall be made known to the consumers and operators by the department that sets the prices.
Article 25 The specific scope of application of government-guided prices and government-set prices and the price level shall be adjusted in due time on the basis of the economic operation situation, and according to the pricing authority and procedures as prescribed.
The consumers and operators may make proposals for adjustment of the government-guided prices and government-set prices.
Chapter 4 Control of General Price Level
Article 26. Stabilising general market price levels will be an important macro-economic policy objective of the State. According to the needs of the development of the national economy and the affordability of society, the State determines the control target of the general level of market prices, incorporates it into the plan for national economic and social development, and realizes it by comprehensively applying policies and measures concerning currency, finance, investment, and import and export.
Article 27 The government may establish a reserve system for important commodities and set up a price regulation fund in order to regulate prices and stabilize the market.
Article 28 In order to meet the needs of price regulation and management, the government departments in charge of price shall establish a price monitoring system to monitor changes in the prices of important commodities and services.
Article 29. The government may implement price protection measures during the purchasing process in respect of grain and other important agricultural products when the market purchase price is excessively low, as well as adopt corresponding economic measures to ensure its realisation.
Article 30 When the prices of important commodities and services rise noticeably or are likely to do so, the State Council and the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government may take intervention measures for some prices, such as restricting the price differential rates or profit rates, prescribing price limits, implementing the system of price rise declaration and the price adjustment record system, etc.
People's governments of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall, in adopting the intervention measures prescribed in the preceding paragraph, report the same to the State Council for the record.
Article 31. When general market prices experience violent fluctuations or other abnormal conditions, the State Council may adopt emergency measures nationwide or in certain regions to temporarily centralise pricing jurisdiction or to partially or completely freeze prices.
Article 32 Upon elimination of the circumstances for implementation of the intervention measures and emergency measures pursuant to the provisions of Article 30 and Article 31 of this Law, the intervention measures and emergency measures shall be promptly lifted.
Chapter 5 Price Supervision and Inspection
Article 33 The competent departments of price of the people's governments at or above the county level shall conduct supervision and inspection over price activities in accordance with law and impose administrative sanctions against law-breaking acts in price in pursuance of the provisions of this Law.
Article 34 When conducting price supervision and inspection, the government departments in charge of price may exercise the following functions and powers:
1. Inquiring of the parties concerned or the relevant personnel, and requiring them to provide evidential materials and other materials relating to their illegal price acts;
(II) inquiring into and copying the account books, invoices, vouchers, documents and other materials relating to illegal price acts, and checking the bank materials relating to illegal price acts;
(III) inspecting the property related to illegal price acts, and ordering the parties to suspend relevant business if necessary; and
(IV) Under circumstances where there is a likelihood that the evidence may be destroyed or lost or difficult to obtain later, the evidence may be registered and preserved in advance in accordance with the law; the party concerned or the relevant persons shall not transfer, conceal or destroy the evidence.
Article 35 When subject to the supervision and inspection by the governmental competent administration for price, the operator shall truthfully provide the account books, bills, vouchers, documents and other materials necessary for the supervision and inspection.
Article 36. The personnel of government departments in charge of pricing must not use any information obtained in accordance with the law for any purpose other than price control in accordance with the law and must not divulge the commercial secrets of the parties concerned.
Article 37 Consumer organizations, employees' price supervision organizations, residents' committees, villagers' committees and other organizations as well as the consumers shall have the right to conduct social supervision over price acts. The government departments in charge of price shall give full play to the role of the masses in price supervision.
News entities have the right to conduct price supervision by public opinion.
Article 38 The government departments in charge of price shall establish a reporting system for illegal pricing.
All units and individuals have the right to report on law-breaking acts in price. The government departments in charge of price shall encourage such reporters and be responsible for keeping them secret.
Chapter 6 Legal Liabilities
Article 39. If an operator does not implement government guided prices, government set prices or official price interventionary and emergency measures, authorities will order it to rectify the matter, will confiscate any illicit gains and may also impose a fine of up to five (5) times the amount of the illicit gains. A fine may be imposed if there are no illicit gains. In serious circumstances, the operator will be ordered to suspend operations while rectification is carried out.
Article 40. If an operator is involved in any of the acts listed in Article 14 of this Law, authorities will order it to rectify the matter, will confiscate any illicit gains and may also impose a fine of up to five (5) times the amount of the illicit gains. A warning will be given and a fine may be imposed if there are no illicit gains. In serious circumstances, the operator will be ordered to suspend operations while rectification is being carried out or the administration for industry and commerce will revoke the business licence. If relevant laws have other provisions on penalties and penalty imposing organs for the acts listed in Article 14 of this Law, such provisions may be applied.
An act listed in item (1) or (2) of Article 14 of this Law which is regarded as affecting matters nationwide will be determined by the State Council department in charge of pricing. An act which is regarded as affecting a province or area below provincial level will be determined by the pricing department of the people's government of the province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality.
Article 41 Any operator who causes the overpayment by consumers or other operators due to the illegal price acts thereof shall return the overpaid part; if the damage is caused, such operator shall bear the liability for compensation in accordance with the law.
Article 42. If an operator violates the provisions on clearly marked prices, authorities will order it to rectify the matter, will confiscate any illicit gains and may also impose a fine of up to 5,000 yuan.
Article 43 Any operator who has been ordered to suspend relevant business operations but does not suspend the operations, or transfers, conceals or destroys properties registered for preservation in accordance with the law shall be imposed a fine of not less than one time but not more than three times the relevant business income or the value of the properties transferred, concealed or destroyed.
Article 44 Whoever refuses to provide materials needed for supervision and inspection as required or provides false materials shall be ordered to make a rectification and be given a warning; if such person fails to make a rectification within the time limit, a fine may be imposed.
Article 45 Local people's governments at all levels or the relevant departments of people's governments at all levels that violate the provisions of this Law, overstep the pricing authority and scope in determining and adjusting prices without authorization or fail to implement the statutory price intervention or emergency measures shall be ordered to make rectification and may be criticized in a circular; the persons who are directly in charge and the other persons who are directly responsible shall be given administrative sanctions in accordance with law.
Article 46. If any pricing personnel disclose State or commercial secrets, abuse their powers of office, practise favouritism or other irregularities, neglect their duties, or demand or accept bribes in an act which constitutes a crime, criminal liability will be pursued in accordance with the law. Where a case does not constitute a crime, a penalty will be imposed in accordance with the law.
Chapter 7 Supplementary Provisions
Article 47 Fee collection by State administrative organs shall be conducted in accordance with law, items for fee collection shall be strictly controlled, and scope and standards of fee collection shall be limited. Specific administrative measures for fee collection shall be formulated separately by the State Council.
The provisions of the relevant laws and administrative regulations shall apply to interest rates, exchange rates, insurance premium rates, and prices of securities and futures, and this Law shall not apply thereto.
Article 48 This Law shall go into effect as of May 1, 1998.
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