Foreign insurers must have been operating for no less than 20 years in order to gain access to the Chinese market, according to the Management Regulations on the China Representative Office for Foreign Insurance Organizations.
The regulations, which took effect on August 1, state that a foreign insurer applying to setting up a representative office in China must have a good performance record and no prosecutions in three years prior to the date of application.
Companies will have to submit to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) a feasibility study report and a declaration that the company's Chief Representative Officer has not been prosecuted by their home country for breaking the law in the previous three years, the rules stipulate.
The CIRC also requires industrial and commercial registration certificates, legal use of office certificates, office contact details, phone numbers and email addresses.
The regulations say foreign insurers with Chinese representative offices who incur three administrative penalties or who are found guilty of serious law-breaking will be disqualified from operating in China.
These rules of the mainland, which replace the original regulations promulgated in January 2004, also apply to insurers from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2006)