One annoying headache foreigners living in Taiwan runs into every now and then is that some computer systems does not accept their ARC/APRC number. This issue is not just effecting their personal lives but every now and then it also creates hurdles for their business.
Enspyre rececently ran into one of these situations where we actually lost a government case. We let the government know about this and they have actually updated the website to fix the problem!
Companies tendering for government procurements need to provide credit information (Chinese: 票據信用查覆單), which is verified and issued by The Taiwan Clearing House (https://www.twnch.org.tw/english/Banklist/enIntro1.asp). This report functions to show a company’s credit history over a period of time. There are several categories, each showing dishonored checks, amount and other related check credit details.
To apply for this credit information, you can either go to the bank where your company’s have accounts or to the Taiwan Clearing House’s office in Taipei City. Most companies would just visit the bank and will only take 10 minutes. But since our company has a foreign responsible person (fuzeren), the process took much longer.
The business credit information database system is searched by the responsible person’s ID number and company tax number. However, due to the format setting, foreigners’ ID containing 2 letters followed with 8 numbers are not accepted by the system since they are different from citizens’ which contain 1 letter and 9 numbers.
Therefore, the bank could not access our company’s credit information online and instead of 10 minutes, it took 2 days! Our bid was due the next day, deemed incomplete and therefore rejected.
Solving the Problem
We immediately reported this situation to the National Development Council (NDC). One of NDC’s services is to collect suggestions of law/regulations changes through their Regulatory Reform Platform which is open to everyone.
After accepting the case and asking for more details, they contacted the Central Bank of Republic of China (Taiwan), as well as The Taiwan Payment Clearing Development Foundation, the direct authority of Taiwan Clearing House to discuss the issue. The Taiwan Clearing House agreed to modify their system so from June 20, 2016, they will be able to read ARC/APRC numbers.
Even if this is just the tip of the iceberg for this issue, this case proves that the government wants to make improvements to create a friendlier business environment for everyone.
Submit Your Own Issue
Do you know of other government websites or computer systems that does not accept ARC/APRC numbers? NDC has been working with major foreign chambers of commerce for many years and they welcome everyone to be involved and make them aware of issues that needs improvement. For now the system is only available in Chinese but an English version is under planning: