(SARFT Decree No.40)
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1: In order to standardize television drama examination work, guarantee the correct guidance of television dramas, make television drama creation flourish, promote the healthy development of the television drama sector, according to the “Radio and Television Management Rules”, these Regulations are formulated.
Article 2: These regulations apply to the following activities:
(1) Domestic television drama (including television cartoons) theme planning, project establishment and completed film examination;
(2) theme planning and completed film examination of television dramas jointly produced with foreign or Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan organs (including television dramas, hereafter simply named co-produced dramas);
(3) examination of television dramas imported for use in television station broadcast (including television cartoons, feature films, hereafter named imported dramas);
(4) examination of feature films used for broadcast in television media.
Article 3: The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (hereafter simply named SARFT) is responsible for television drama management work nationwide. Provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities are responsible for television drama management work in their jurisdictions.
Article 4: The State implements a theme planning and project establishment examination and television drama distribution permit system over television dramas. Programmes not established according to television drama theme planning, may not be filmed or produced. Television dramas not having obtained a “Television Drama Distribution Permit” may not be distributed, imported or exported. It is prohibited to rent, lend, sell, transfer or covertly transfer any sort of television drama permit.
Article 5: The State encourages creation of television dramas with profound ideology, exquisite artistry, excellent production, that the broad popular masses love to see and hear.
Chapter II: Television drama (including television cartoon) theme planning and project establishment
Article 6: SARFT is responsible for final television drama theme planning and project establishment examination nationwide. Provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities are responsible for preliminary television drama theme planning and project establishment examination in their jurisdiction. Theme planning and project establishment of television dramas produced by television drama production organs subordinate to central work units shall, after the higher-level professional controlling authority has made an opinion, be reported to SARFT for approval.
Article 7: Those applying for television drama theme planning and project establishment, shall have one of the following conditions:
(1) holding a “Television Drama Production Permit (Class A)”;
(2) holding a “Radio and Television Programme Production Business Permit”;
(3) being a local (city) level or higher television station;
(4) being a film production organ holding a “Film shooting permit”.
Article 8: Those applying for television drama theme planning and project establishment shall submit the following materials:
(1) a “Television Drama Theme Planning and Project Establishment Application Form” or a “Television Cartoon Theme Planning and Project Establishment Application Form”;
(2) an outline of no less than 1500 characters describing content such as the programme’s main ideology, main characters, time background, story details, etc.;
(3) where the themes involve content such as major political, military, foreign affairs, united front, ethnicity, religion, legal cases, famous persons, written evidence material such as opinions from the main controlling authorities and relevant sides, etc., shall be provided.
Article 9: SARFT accepts television drama theme planning and project establishment applications during the four quarters of every year, and the 1st to the 15th of the first month of the quarter is the application period. SARFT accepts television cartoon theme planning and project establishment applications two times every year, and 1 January to 15 January and 1 July to 15 July is the application period. SARFT does in principle not accept applications outside of the application periods. Where SARFT adjusts the application period, it shall announce it to society 60 days in advance. Provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities may provide television drama (television cartoon) theme planning and project establishment application periods in their provinces according to this item, and announce it to society 60 days in advance.
Article 10: Central work units’ subordinate television drama production organs conforming to the requirement of Article 7 of these Regulations, put forward television drama (television cartoon) theme planning and project establishment applications directly with SARFT. Other work units conforming to the requirement of Article 7 of these Regulations, shall put forward television drama (television cartoon) theme planning and project establishment applications with the provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entity of their locality. Provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities, after preliminary examination, report to SARFT for final examination.
Article 11: SARFT conducts examination application materials according to the law, and makes a written decision on granting or not granting project establishment within fifty days, of which the organization of expert discussion time is thirty days.
Article 12: Programmes of which television drama theme planning and project establishment is approved are valid for two years. Of those not filmed and produced after expiry, the project establishment is cancelled automatically. Were it is required to extend the period of validity, it shall be reported again according to these Regulations thirty days before the period of validity expires. Where validity period extension is approved, shooting and production shall be done within a year. Of those still not filmed and produced after expiry, project establishment is cancelled. Provincial-level or higher administrative radio, film and television entities may not accept project establishment applications from the applicant concerned for the same theme programme.
Article 13: If it is necessary to change name, number of episode or production organ of programmes of which project establishment was approved, it shall be reported to SARFT for filing, and corresponding modification formalities shall be conducted.
Article 14: Concerning the filming and production situation of programmes of which project establishment was approved, monthly reports of production trends are reported to provincial-level or higher administrative radio, film and television entities for filing.
Chapter III: Examination organs and standards
Article 15: SARFT establishes a television drama examination committee and a television drama re-examination committee, provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities establish television drama examination organs, to be responsible for television drama examination work within their jurisdictions.
Article 16: The SARFT television drama examination committee’s duties are:
(1) examining television dramas (including television cartoons) produced using the “Television Drama Production Permit” of a central work unit’s subordinate organ, and making an examination conclusion
(2) examining engagement of foreign personnel (including: screenwriters, directors, actors, cameramen, etc.) to participate in domestic television drama (including television cartoon) creation, and making an examination conclusion;
(3) examining co-produced drama scripts, completed pictures and imported dramas, and making and examination conclusion;
(4) examining television dramas (including television cartoons) drawing public controversy during television broadcast, submitted to SARFT by provincial-level television drama examination organs, as well as needing to be reported to SARFT because of social interest needs, and making an examination conclusion.
Article 17: The SARFT television drama re-examination committee’s duties are: conducting examination of programmes where the submitting organ disagrees with the SARFT television drama examination committee examination conclusion or provincial-level television drama examination organ examination conclusion and submits a re-examination application, and making an examination conclusion.
Article 18: Provincial-level television drama examination organ duties are:
(1) examining domestic television dramas (including television cartoons) produced by television drama production organs in their jurisdiction, not containing foreign personnel participating in creation, and making an examination conclusion;
(2) preliminarily examining domestic television dramas produced by television drama production organs in their jurisdiction, where foreign personnel participate in creation, and making a detailed and clear preliminary examination opinion;
(3) preliminarily examining co-produced drama scripts and finished pictures produced by television drama production organs in their jurisdiction together with foreign organs, and making a detailed and clear preliminary examination opinion;
(4) preliminarily examining imported dramas applied for by organs in their jurisdiction, and making a detailed and clear preliminary examination opinion.
Article 19: Television drama examination shall persist in the orientation of serving the people and serving Socialism and the policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, persist in the principle of sticking close to reality, sticking close to life and sticking close to the masses, guaranteeing correct public opinion guidance.
Article 20: Where television dramas contain the following content, they shall not pass examination
(1) content violating the basic principles provided in the Constitution;
(2) content endangering national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity;
(3) content revealing State secrets, endangering State security or damaging State prosperity and interests;
(4) content inciting ethnic hatred, ethnic discrimination, destroying ethnic unity, or violating ethnic customs and habits;
(5) content propagating cults and superstitions;
(6) content disordering social order, destroying social stability;
(7) content inducing minors to commit unlawful acts and crimes and playing up violence, sex, gambling and terrorist activities;
(8) content insulting or slandering others, violating other’s lawful rights such as citizen’s individual privacy, etc;
(9) content endangering social virtue, damaging excellent ethnic cultural traditions;
(10) other content prohibited by relevant laws, regulations and rules, and State provisions.
Chapter IV: Examination procedure
Article 21: For domestic television drama (including television cartoon) examination, an application shall be put forward with the examination organ, and the following materials shall be submitted:
(1) a “Domestic Television Drama Reporting Form” or a “Domestic Television Cartoon Reporting Form”;
(2) effective proof of production organ credentials;
(3) copies of theme planning and project establishment approval documents;
(4) copies of approval documents for engaging foreign personnel to participate in domestic television drama creation;
(5) a story outline of no less than 500 characters per episode;
(6) a set of half-size integrated videotapes of images, sound, time numbers, etc., conforming to examination requirements;
(7) complete beginning and ending titles and subtitle sheets of songs.
Article 22: Co-produced drama management shall be conducted according to relevant SARFT regulations concerning Sino-foreign coproduced television drama management.
Article 23: Imported drama management shall be conducted according to relevant SARFT regulations concerning foreign television drama import and broadcast management.
Article 24: Television drama examination organs, after receiving complete report materials, shall make a decision on whether or not they grant administrative permits within fifty days, of which the organization of expert appraisal may take thirty days. Television dramas passed through examination, are issued a “Television Drama (Television Cartoon) Distribution Permit” by the provincial-level or higher administrative radio, film and television entity. For those examined as needing revision, the provincial-level or higher administrative radio, film and television entity puts forward a revision opinion. The submitting may, after revision, apply again according to these Regulations. For those not passed through the examination, the provincial-level or higher administrative radio, film and television entity makes a written decision of non-passing, and explains reasons. The “Television Drama (Television Cartoon) Distribution Permit” is printed uniformly by SARFT.
Article 25: Where submitting organs disagree with the decision not to grant administrative permits, they may within sixty days of receiving said decision, raise a re-examination application with the SARFT television drama re-examination committee. The SARFT television drama re-examination committee shall make a re-examination decision within fifty days, of which the organization of expert appraisal may take thirty days, and shall notify the submitting organ in writing. To those re-examined as meeting qualifications, SARFT issues a “Television Drama (Television Cartoon) Distribution Permit”.
Article 26: Television dramas already having obtained a “Television Drama (Television Cartoon) Distribution Permit”, may not be altered at will. Where alteration needs to be done of drama name, main characters, main plot details and drama episode length, etc., it shall be resubmitted according to these Regulations.
Article 27: Domestic television dramas containing major revolutionary or history themes, shall be submitted according to relevant regulations.
Article 28: Provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities shall report the issuing situation of the “Television Drama (Television Cartoon) Distribution Permit” for the preceding month to SARFT for filing in the first week of every month.
Article 29: The nationwide “Television Drama (Television Cartoon) Distribution Permit” issuing situation shall be announced to society by SARFT.
Article 30: Television drama production organs may distribute or entrust other organs to distribute television dramas or television cartoons for which they hold the copyright and that obtained a “Television Drama (Television Cartoon) Distribution Permit”.
Article 31: Television stations shall broadcast television dramas according to relevant State laws, regulations and rules, persist in pre-broadcast examination and re-broadcast resubmission systems, and shall indicate the corresponding distribution permit number at the beginning of every episode, indicate the corresponding production permit number at the end of every episode, and may not omit the name of the production organ and main creative personnel.
Article 32: Under circumstances where social interests requires it, SARFT may decide to order revision or cessation of distribution, import, export and broadcast of television dramas or television dramas already having obtained a “Television Drama (Television Cartoon) Distribution Permit”.
Chapter V: Punitive provisions
Article 33: Violations of these Regulations shall be punished according to the provisions of the “Radio and Television Management Regulations”. Where the circumstances are grave and constitute a crime, criminal liability shall be prosecuted according to the law.
Chapter 34: Administrative radio, film and television entities and work personnel abusing their power, derelicting their duty, engaging in favouritism and committing irregularities in television drama examination management, shall be subject to administrative punishment according to the law. Where it constitutes a crime, criminal liability shall be prosecuted according to the law.
Chapter VI: Supplementary provisions
Article 35: Provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities may according to these Regulations, integrating the real circumstances of their jurisdiction, formulate television drama examination management rules in their jurisdiction.
Article 36: These Regulations take effect on 20 October 2004, the SARFT “Television Drama Examination Trial Regulations” (SARFT Decree No. 1) are abolished simultaneously.