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Travel Essentials (3)

Representative Offices

Resident offices must submit a written application to Customs if they intend to import any personal effects or vehicles. Approval by Customs waives any relevant import license requirements and allows the office to import the equipment in reasonable amounts for office-use only.

Overseas Assignment to China

Expatriate managers who are assigned to work in China need to apply for employment visas (see above). On their first trip into China on the Z visa, they are entitled to bring duty-free reasonable and personal- and household- use items including the otherwise dutiable items such as VCR, PC, video cameras, etc.

Foreign Currency Conversion

Conversion services are available in China for most foreign currencies. The Chinese bank handles conversion of the above-mentioned foreign currencies into RMB or vice versa.

China's law governing foreign exchange bans the circulation of foreign currencies and the setting of accounts with foreign currencies in the People's Republic of China. For the convenience of foreigners and residents from HK, Macao and Taiwan traveling in Mainland China, the Bank of China and other designated Chinese banks handles the conversion into Renminbi of foreign travel checks and credit cards as well as the conversion of foreign currencies and the New Taiwan dollar in cash. Also for the convenience of travelers in China, some hotels, restaurants and stores in China also handles the conversion of foreign cash into RMB. So far the following foreign credit cards are acceptable in China: Master, Visa, American Express, JCB, Diners.

Adoption

After completing a lengthy pre-approval process, foreign citizens wishing to adopt a child in China can expect to spend at least two weeks in China. U.S. immigrant visas for adopted children are issued at the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou. For additional information contact the Office of Children's Issues, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State, Room 4811A, Washington, D.C. 20520, Tel: (202) 736-7000.

Business Hours

Government stipulated working days are from Monday to Friday. Banks, offices, government departments and public security bureaus open 08:30 to 18:00, with a lunch break from noon to 14:00. Stores usually remain open every day, including public holidays. Opening hours are usually from 9:00 to 21:00. Monuments and museums usually are open seven days a week. Restaurants and bars stay open later at night. It is possible to eat late at 22:00. Some open-air restaurants even stay open into the small hours. Times are approximate and subject to local variations. In western China, for example, because of time difference with the Beijing time, offices often open later.

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