(Approved by the State Council on January 11, 1995)
These regulations are formulated with the view to maintaining order in the socialist market economy, prohibiting excessive profiteering and protecting consumers' legal rights.
The regulations apply to commodities and services which are essential to the national economy and social development and closely related to citizens' life (hereinafter referred to as commodities and services).
Price supervising departments under the State Council are responsible for announcing and adjusting the list of items of above-mentioned commodities and services, according to relevant regulations of the State Council.
Items with fixed prices should be supervised in accordance with the State pricing standard and relevant regulations of price administration under the State Council.
On the basis of the list of items announced by price supervising departments under the State Council, the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and centrally-governed municipalities can add more items which are closely related to the locals' life. The local governments should announce the additional items and report to price supervising departments under the State Council for record.
Citizens, legal persons, and other organizations that conduct business and offer paid services within the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (hereafter referred to as business dealers) should abide by this regulations.
Business dealers should comply with the principle of openness, fairness, and honesty and abide by the State's regulations in selling goods at marked prices.
Pricing standards of commodities and services should meet the following requirements:
(1) The price level of a commodity or service should not exceed the reasonable range of the average market price of such commodities or services of the same category and grade in the same area at the same period.
(2) The rate of price difference of a commodity or service should not exceed the reasonable range of the average price difference rate of such commodities or services of the same category and grade in the same area at the same period.
(3) The profit rate of a commodity or service should not exceed the reasonable range of the average profit rate of such commodities or services of the same category and grade in the same area at the same period. This regulations do not include profits gained through upgrading management, application of new technology, reduction of cost or improvement of efficiency.
The average market price, price difference rate, profit rate of commodities and services are calculated on the basis of their average production and operation costs.
The reasonable ranges of the average market price, price difference rate, profit rate are regulated in accordance with the commodities or services' relative importance to the national economy or citizens' daily life, the supply and demand situation of the market, as well as their special characteristics.
The average market price, price difference rate, profit rate of commodities and services and their reasonable ranges should be measured, regulated, and announced by price supervising departments under the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and centrally-governed municipalities, in accordance with regulations issued by price supervising department under the State Council. The price supervising departments of people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and centrally-governed municipalities can also authorize supervising departments at the city and county level to measure, regulate, and announce the average market price, price difference rate, profit rate and their reasonable ranges, for commodities and services closely related to the local people's life.
All relevant government administrative departments and business dealers shall co-operate with the price supervising departments in their performance of duty.
Business dealers shall not violate the existing price regulations in any of the following manners.
(1) Marking price tags not in accordance with regulations or asking for prices higher than the marked amount.
(2) Cheating customers through falsified price reduction or discount, or so-called "preferential" prices, or falsified "lowest" prices or other fake price information.
(3) Driving up prices in collusion with other manufacturers and dealers or guilds.
(4) Forcing the other party in the transaction to accept high prices, in violation of the principle of fairness and free will.
(5) Employing other fraudulent pricing schemes.
Business dealers shall not refuse and obstruct the work of inspectors from the price supervising departments.
Any unit or individual has the right to appeal on or report excessive profiteering practices to price supervising organs.
Upon acceptance of the appeal or people's report, a price supervising organ should immediately check the facts, handle the case according to this regulations and reward the reporting person according to different circumstances.
Price supervising and checking organs should order those who violate Article 5 of this regulations to correct their erroneous practices. To those who refuse to correct their malpractice, the organs can give warning, confiscate their illegal gains, and impose a fine up to five times their illegal profits.
Price supervising and checking organs should give warnings to those who violate Article 8 of this regulations and order them to return their illegal gains to their victims. Where the illegal profits are not duly returned as ordered, the organs should confiscate such profits and impose on violators a fine up to five times their illegal gains. In serious case, violators should be held legally responsible for their malpractice.
Any one, who obstructs officials from the price supervising organs to carry out their duty with violence and threats, should be held legal responsible for such criminal activities. For those, who object or obstruct the inspecting officials' performance of duty, but without employing violence or threats, the public security organs should give them punishment according to regulations of the public security administration.
Administrative punishment will be imposed on officials of the price supervising and checking organs, who neglect their duty, abuse their power for personal gain, shelter or tolerate excessive profiteering practices. They should be held legally responsible if committing any crimes.
Departments under the administrations for industry and commerce, audition, finance, tax, public security, and technical supervising organs should co-operate with the price supervising and checking organs within their own term of jurisdiction.
People's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and centrally-governed municipalities can set forth their own operating methods according to this regulations to adapt to the local situation.
Price supervising departments under the State Council are responsible for implementing and interpreting these regulations.
These regulations come into force as of the day of promulgation.