If you intend to do any of the following in China, please contact Risk Services at email@example.com or 642-5141:
- Hire a local to work for you as an employee
- Purchase or lease office or research space
- Purchase or lease an automobile
- Establish a long-term (over 90 days) or ongoing project
- Conduct a clinical trial
U.S. GOVERNMENT COMPLIANCE CONSIDERATIONS
Foreign activities may trigger many U.S. laws, including:
- Import Controls
- Export Controls
- Tax Reporting
- Foreign Bank Account Reporting
- Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Anti-Boycott Laws
Import Controls. UC employees must adhere to U.S. import requirements, and may need to enlist the services of a customs broker, especially for shipments arriving by sea and subject to the Importer Security Filing 71730, also known as ISF 10+2.
Export Controls. Export controls may apply to advanced software and technology, research data, and other sensitive assets. UC’s Export Compliance FAQ contains useful information and can be found here. Go here for the University of California plan for compliance with federal export controls. If you plan on taking or sending potentially export-controlled materials to China, consult the campus Research Administration Compliance Office at 642-0120.
Tax Reporting. The University and its employees may be taxed in foreign countries. The tax implications for operating in China may be found at the Internal Revenue Service’s United States-China Income Tax Convention. For further clarification, contact the Controller’s Office at:
- firstname.lastname@example.org or 642-0031 for tax advising and unrelated business income tax coordination, or
- email@example.com or 642-1336 for foreign tax form processing
Foreign Bank Account Reporting. The U.S. Treasury Department requires U.S. citizens with a financial interest in or signatory authority over a financial account in a foreign country, where accounts exceed $10,000 at any point during a calendar year, to report such accounts on a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FinCen Report 114). Those needing to complete the form should contact the Controller’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 643-9803 for assistance. An IRS 1040 Schedule B form (Part III–Foreign Accounts and Trusts) must be filed by the signatory for any foreign bank account, regardless of the account balance.
Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions. In general, collaborations between University personnel and scholars at foreign institutions or organizations do not require export licenses unless they involve export-controlled or -restricted research or involve scholars in sanctioned countries. Before engaging in an international collaboration, the University needs to determine whether export licenses are required and to verify that the foreign collaborator is not blocked or sanctioned. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for enforcing all U.S. embargoes and sanctions. Depending on each country’s embargo or sanction program, activities may be prohibited without specific authorization or license. UC’s International Collaborations webpage contains additional information on this topic.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is intended to stop bribery. It prohibits offering to pay, paying, promising to pay, or authorizing the payment of money or anything of value to a foreign official. The term “foreign official” generally includes any employee or contractor of a foreign government, and may include individuals employed by foreign universities. It is also unlawful to make a payment to a third party knowing that all or part of the payment will go to a foreign official. For more information, review the federal government’s Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If you need further clarification, contact the UC Berkeley Office of Legal Affairs at 642-7122. Transparency International’s 2018 survey of perceived public sector corruption rated China at 39 out of 100 (87th out of 180 countries reviewed, i.e. prone to corruption).
Anti-Boycott Laws. The U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for oversight of laws prohibiting individuals and entities from participating in boycotts not approved or sanctioned by the U.S. government. The Export Administration Act requires that requests to participate in such boycotts or to conduct activities in any of the boycotting countries be formally reported to the Department of Commerce and/or IRS.
For other compliance-related issues, refer to UC’s International Compliance webpage.
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR DOING BUSINESS INTERNATIONALLY
Foreign Bank Accounts. Employees wishing to open a foreign bank account should contact the Controller’s Office at email@example.com or 643-9803. Requests to open accounts must be made through the Office of the President’s Banking and Treasury Services Group by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee.
Real Estate Agreements. Only employees with delegated authority to sign contracts on behalf of The Regents may enter into agreements, leases, or other contracts. Foreign affiliates or operations must submit to the Real Estate Services Office property management agreements, personal property leases, or contracts with a term longer than one year or in an amount greater than $25,000 per year. The campus then seeks approval from the University president or designee. For more information, consult the Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of Foreign Affiliate Organizations and Foreign Operations.
AUTHORITIES IN MAINLAND CHINA ARE TIGHTENING RESTRICTIONS ON ENTRY FROM MULTIPLE COUNTRIES WHILE MAINTAINING DOMESTIC CONTROLS AMID ONGOING EFFORTS TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19). OFFICIALS HAVE ANNOUNCED POLICIES REQUIRING ALL AUTHORIZED INBOUND PASSENGERS, INCLUDING CHINESE NATIONALS, ARRIVING FROM DESIGNATED COUNTRIES TO PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF BOTH A NUCLEIC ACID COVID-19 TESTS AND IGM ANTIBODY TESTS TAKEN AT DESGINATED FACILITIES IN THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN 48 HOURS PRIOR TO BOARDING FLIGHT. MOST INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS MUST QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS, AND OFFICIALS GENERALLY ALLOW NONRESIDENT PASSENGERS TO STAY IN GOVERNMENT-DESIGNATED HOTELS AT THEIR OWN COST.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUED A DO NOT TRAVEL FOR CHINA DUE TO THE NOVEL CORNAVIRUS FIRST IDENTIFIED IN WUHAN, CHINA EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY. ON JANUARY 30, THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) DETERMINED THE RAPIDLY SPREADING OUTBREAK CONSITUTES A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY OF INTERNATIONAL CONCERN (PHEIC). TRAVELS SHOUD BE PREPARED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS WITH LITTLE OR NO ADVANCE NOTICE. MOST COMMERCIAL CARRIERS HAVE REDUCED OR SUSPENDED ROUTES TO AND FROM CHINA.
Note: this page contains basic risk information. For more details, please contact the Risk Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail).
If you are traveling to China on University-related business, please sign up for the University’s travel insurance program by going here. For more information on the travel insurance program, please go here.
Because everyone’s health is unique, we suggest seeking the advice of a medical professional before traveling internationally. Members of the campus community interested in protecting their health while abroad may schedule an appointment with the University Health Services International Travel Clinic
The quality of medical care in China is spotty. The best facilities are VIP wards (gaogan bingfang) in big-city hospitals. In remote locations, medical personnel may be reluctant to treat foreigners. Risk Services (email@example.com, 642-5141) can provide recommendations for medical care in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Luoyang, and Tianjin. Public ambulances can be unreliable. Travelers experiencing a medical emergency may reach a medical facility faster and more safely via personal vehicle or taxi.
Air pollution is a major problem in China, particularly in Lanzhou, Urumqi, Xi'an, Xining, and Beijing. If you have a chronic respiratory condition such as asthma, please consult a medical professional prior to your trip and carry appropriate medications.
Food and water quality is poor in many areas. Ensure that food is properly handled and prepared. Wash raw produce before eating. Avoid raw meat dishes and unpasteurized dairy products. Avoid street vendors and unregulated food establishments, which often have sub-standard hygiene. Drink only bottled, boiled, or purified water.
Although crime is a growing concern, particularly in Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, China is generally safe. Petty theft and other nonviolent crimes represent the greatest security concern, especially at tourist attractions such as the Great Wall and at transport hubs, markets, and shopping centers. Hustlers target foreigners at bars and other entertainment venues.
The security services are well-trained and respond quickly. However, they are also known to respond to civil unrest with great force. For safety reasons, it is best to avoid demonstrations and protests.
Earthquakes are common in China. To optimize your preparation for an earthquake, review this guidance from the State of California