December 26, 2017

Pudong to shorten the approval process for project construction permits

Pudong New Area held a news briefing on Monday on optimizing the market environment and deepening the reform of the approval process of companies’ investment and construction projects, which will shorten the time required from land acquisition to getting the construction permit to 80 calendar days.

For land transfer of key industries and functional projects with design proposals, the time from the companies acquiring land to getting construction permit will be shortened to 24 calendar days. For projects without land use design proposals, the time will be shortened to 80 days.

Wang Xiaojie, director of Pudong New Area Construction and Transportation Commission, said the reform shows Pudong’s determination to adopt the advanced world standards. The statistics from the World Bank Group show that for countries to get a construction permit, it takes 80.5 and 86 days in the US and the UK respectively, but it takes 241.7 days in China.

Obviously, China still lags behind some other countries, so the CPC Shanghai Committee and the Shanghai Municipal Government recently released a reform guideline emphasizing the exemplary role of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, said Wang.

The reform adopts the calendar day system instead of workdays, which is more in line with the international practice. For instance, 80 calendar days equals approximately 58 workdays, and the government’s construction permit approval time shouldn’t exceed 18 workdays, leaving companies to decide whether to further speed up the process, said Wang.

The reform will take effect from January 20, 2018. Supplementary policies were made to see through the reform, such as subdividing the approval process into land use scheme approval and construction approval; introducing one-stop service to handle the construction permit applications, and permit issuance; and releasing more standards and pre-construction schedules to specify the labor division between government and the applicants, and standardize the construction approval requirement to make every process of the approval under control.

In addition, Pudong has established two project management service centers in Zhangjiang Science City and Lingang area. The centers will incorporate the government functions in construction approvals into one place to reduce companies’ costs in permit application.