This barrier is unrelated to the end of the transition period, following the United Kingdom's departure from the EU.

Public ID: PID-2B7DPG

Restriction on overseas access to design licenses affecting UK architecture and engineering exporters/investors in China

in China

Trade barrier summary

Overseas architecture and engineering businesses are not able to access the full suite of 'design licenses' needed to complete projects from concept through to delivery.
Overseas businesses can only access licenses needed for designing projects. They cannot access licences for carrying out construction work. In order to win a contract, designs for overseas businesses have to be approved by a business with experience in China (e.g. a local Chinese design institute). The international experience of an overseas business is not recognised. In addition these institutes require designs to be transferred over to them, in order to be accepted for a procurement tender. This creates a cycle in which overseas businesses cannot access a full suite of licenses in order to independently deliver their services.

Sectors affected

  • Advanced engineering
  • Construction
  • Financial and professional services : Business and consumer services



Date reported

21 December 2018

Last updated

18 December 2020

Public ID


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