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Enquiry: Is a Licence Required to Retail Tobacco in China?

Photo: Applying for a tobacco monopoly licence for retail trade
Photo: Applying for a tobacco monopoly licence for retail trade

According to Article 13 of the Administrative Measures for Tobacco Monopoly Licences, an applicant for a tobacco monopoly licence for retail trade shall satisfy the following conditions:

  1. Having the capital commensurate with the operation of retail business of tobacco products;
  2. Having a fixed place of business which is independent of the applicant’s domicile;
  3. Meeting the requirements for the reasonable distribution of the local retail outlets of tobacco products;
  4. Other conditions as prescribed by the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.

Article 15 – When a tobacco monopoly administration works out a plan for the reasonable distribution of retail outlets of tobacco products, it shall, on the basis of the population, transport, economic development level, consumption capacity and other factors of the area under its jurisdiction, determine the reasonable distribution of the retail outlets after a hearing.

The reasonable distribution plan, capital requirements and place of business requirements for the retail outlets of tobacco products shall be set forth by the tobacco monopoly administrations at or above the county level and shall be submitted to the tobacco monopoly administrations at the next higher level for record-filing purpose.

Article 25 – Under any of the following circumstances, no tobacco monopoly licence for retail trade may be issued:

  1. It is improper to trade cigarettes at the place of business for safety purpose;
  2. The place of business is located within the vicinity of any middle or primary school;
  3. The tobacco monopoly qualification has been cancelled for less than three years;
  4. The tobacco monopoly administration decides to reject or disapprove the issuance of a licence because the applicant has concealed the relevant information or provided any false materials, and the applicant files a new application within one year;
  5. After the tobacco monopoly licence obtained by the applicant by cheating, bribery or any other improper means is revoked, and the applicant files a new application within three years;
  6. The applicant engaged in trading tobacco monopoly products without obtaining a tobacco monopoly licence, has been punished by the law enforcement organ for twice or more within one year, and files a new application for a tobacco monopoly licence within three years;
  7. Other circumstances as prescribed by the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, under which the issuance of a licence shall be disapproved.
Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research