22 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Morgan Car Company receives China Ministry of Commerce approval for imports

The process of setting up Morgan Cars Limited for the sale of the fabulous British motor cars has taken its toll in terms of time, money and stress; today we received notification in writing that our application has been approved. We submitted the documents on the 1st February of 2012 and the process has been clear, transparent and thorough. Unlike setting up a business in Singapore or the UK where the investors are at risk of their own entrepreneurial zest, the entrepreneur in China has to satisfy the various ministries that their business is genuine, likely to succeed, and will preserve the well being of the employees. In some senses this is admirable and certainly the requirement for a business plan means that the business has to be thought through; which may even save some failures.

However, it does mean that a startup in what is considered a 'strategic industry' ie. automotive, is not for the hasty nor the well funded. Still, that in itself does create a barrier to entry which will be a saving grace. Having operated service and internet companies since 1995 whereby a url and a bank account create the impression of a credible business, sinking my teeth in to the costs of the showroom, stock and government investigations of my working capital has been something of an eye opener. Running a Pr agency is like sailing a dingy, an auto company like piloting an oil tanker. Still it is good to keep challenging oneself. There is still, of course, plenty more to learn.

Following on from the MOFCOM approval we still have the  below which  cannot be done in parallel, for each step is the prerequisite of the next step:
1.       Certificate of Approval: MOFCOME 5-10 working days
2.       Business License: online application and reservation with AIC is up to actual situation, then business license is issued in 5 working days
3.       Public Security Bureau Filing and chop making: 5 working days
4.       Organization Code Certificate: 1 working day
5.       Tax Registration Certificate: 1-2 working days
6.       SAFE IC card: 20 working days
7.       Account opening: about 10 working days
8.       Capital injection
9.       Capital verification: about 10 working days
10.   Business license update and import and export licensing: about one month

[note - thank you to Marcia Lin of Lee & Lee for their careful support at each stage of this process.]

We also have another raft of documentation to then complete for the import license which allows cars to be brought into China for commercial resale. The site is all in Chinese and I now have to get that translated. Part of the excitement of this process is that it is of course, all in Chinese. Luckily I have Erika to hand who has great commercial acumen (being Shanghainese it appears to be in the DNA), and Oscar who is a trusted Man Friday from Beijing.

The Showroom in Gongti has the designs as good as complete, and our demonstration cars will be back from Chengdu to grace the new showroom in the first week of October. This is of course as long as we are able to extend the ATA carnet for the cars by 3 extra months. Although Morgan gave us a 12 month carnet the Government in China only allows 6 months within the country - apparently because people have brought cars in for exhibition purposes on an ATA carnet only for the vehicles to never be seen again. In China the lack of trust at each choke point means that one simply can't take anything foregranted. If we can't get the extension then we shall have an empty showroom until our new stock arrives.

For now, we celebrate the MOFCOM approval and will tackle the ATA carnet next week.

 

 

 

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