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Regulations on Protection of Traditional Arts and Crafts

(Promulgated by Decree No. 217 of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China on May 20, 1997, and effective as of the date of promulgation)

Article 1 These Regulations are formulated for the purposes of protecting traditional arts and crafts and promoting the prosperity and development of the undertaking of traditional arts and crafts.

Article 2 Traditional arts and crafts used in these Regulations refer to a variety of handicrafts and techniques that have existed for over one hundred years and marked by a long history, exquisite skills, have been passed on from generation to generation, have a complete technical process, have been made of natural materials, have a distinct national style and local features, and are renowned both at home and abroad.

Article 3 The State practices a policy of protection, development and improvement of varieties and techniques of traditional arts and crafts.

Local people’s governments at or above the county level shall strengthen leadership over the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts and shall take effective measures to support and promote the prosperity and development of the cause of traditional arts and crafts in their respective districts.

Article 4 The department of the State Council in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts is responsible for the nationwide work of protection of traditional arts and crafts.

Article 5 The State practices a system of identification and verification with regard to varieties and techniques of traditional arts and crafts. The varieties and techniques of traditional arts and crafts that tally with the requirements laid down in Article 2 of these Regulations shall, in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations, be identified and verified as the varieties and techniques of traditional arts and crafts.

Article 6 The varieties and techniques of traditional arts and crafts shall be assessed and examined by the assessment and examination board composed of the experts engaged by the department of the State Council in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts shall, according to the assessment and examination conclusion of the assessment and examination board, make and publicize an identification.

Article 7 An enterprise or individual making traditional arts and crafts products may make an application to the department of the local people’s government at the county level in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts with respect to the varieties and techniques that need to be protected; the department in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts of the people’s government of a province, an autonomous region or a municipality directly under the Central Government shall, after examination and verification, make recommendations to the department of the State Council in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts.

Article 8 An enterprise or individual applying for identification and verification of varieties and techniques of traditional arts and crafts shall, according to the provisions of the department of the State Council in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts, submit complete, full and accurate information.

Article 9 The State adopts the following protective measures with regard to identified and verified techniques of traditional arts and crafts:

(1) collecting, collating and setting up archives therefore;

(2) collecting and storing up excellent typical works;

(3) fixing a secrecy classification for craft techniques and ensuring confidentiality according to law; and

(4) providing financial support to research and bringing up talents.

Article 10 The outstanding works among the varieties of traditional arts and shall, after being assessed and examined by the assessment and examination board composed of the experts engaged by the department of the State Council in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts, be named Chinese Arts and Crafts Treasures (hereinafter referred to as treasures) by the department of the State Council in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts.

Article 11 The State adopts the following protective measures with regard to the treasures:

(1) Treasures collected and purchased by the State shall be stored up by the China Arts and Crafts Gallery or the arts and crafts galleries and museums of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities under the Central Government.

(2) The export of treasures is forbidden. The exhibition of treasures abroad must be approved by the department of the State Council in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts jointly with relevant departments of State Council.

Article 12 Those who satisfy the following requirements and have been engaged in the creative of traditional arts and crafts for a long time may, upon assessments and examination by the assessment and examination board, be conferred with the title of Great Master of Arts and Crafts of China by the department of the State Council in charge of the work of protection of traditional arts and crafts:

(1) outstandingly accomplished and renowned both at home and abroad;

(2) exquisitely skilled and uniquely styled.

Article 13 The people’s governments at various levels, the relevant departments and units shall care for and support the creative work of great masters of arts and crafts and create good working environments and conditions for them in line with the following provisions:

(1) The unit to which a great master of arts and crafts belongs shall set up a work room for the great master;

(2) The great master of arts and crafts has the right to carve his name on his works;

(3) To create favorable conditions for the great master of arts and crafts to train apprentices and pass on his skills;

(4) The retirement age of the great master of arts and crafts may be appropriately extended according to the relevant provisions of the State.

Article 14 The relevant departments of the people’s governments at or above the county level shall make overall planning and appropriate arrangements for the natural raw materials and substances specially needed for the production of varieties of traditional arts and crafts.

Article 15 The State shall, according to law, enhance the protection of precious and rare mineral varieties such as precious, jade, etc., which are specially needed for the production of varieties of traditional arts and crafts, and strictly prohibit unauthorized and unplanned mining and excavation thereof.

Article 16 The State encourages local people’s governments at various levels to take necessary measures in accordance with actual circumstances in their respective districts to tap and rescue traditional arts and crafts techniques, collect exquisite traditional arts and crafts, foster talents in traditional arts and crafts techniques, and render financial support to scientific research into traditional arts and crafts.

Article 17 People’s governments at various levels shall take necessary measures to support and help enterprises making varieties of arts and crafts which bring low economic returns but are of highly artistic value and are on the brink of extinction.

Article 18 Enterprises making traditional arts and crafts products shall set up and perfect a system of protection or confidentiality for traditional arts and crafts techniques to strengthen effectively the administration of traditional arts and crafts techniques.

Persons engaging in making traditional arts and crafts products shall observe the provisions of relevant laws and regulations of the State and shall not reveal the techniques secrets and other business secrets learned in the process of making traditional arts and crafts products.

Article 19 The State gives awards to units and individuals who gave made outstanding contributions to the passing down, protection and development of the cause of traditional arts and crafts.

Article 20 Anyone who, in violation of the provisions of these Regulations, commits one of the following acts, shall be given administrative sanctions or administrative penalties by the relevant departments in accordance with the provisions of relevant laws and administrative regulations; where constituting a crime, criminal liabilities shall be investigated according to law:

(1) stealing or revealing secrets of traditional arts and crafts techniques;

(2) illegally exploiting precious and rare mineral resources used for making traditional arts and crafts or stealing and selling precious and rare mineral products used for making traditional arts and crafts; or

(3) smuggling treasures abroad.

Anyone who makes or sells fake traditional arts and crafts works with the assumed name of Great Master of Arts and Crafts of China shall bear civil liabilities according to law; and the relevant department may give administrative penalties in accordance with the provisions of the relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 21 These Regulations shall take effect as of the date of promulgation.