Sale of organs “illegal” in China after July 2006
In 2006, the government enacted the provisions on the “Entry and Exit of Cadavers,” which officially banned the commercial sale of human organs.  However, the 2006 provisions failed to address the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, leaving the 1984 order intact.
The drafter of the 2006 provisions stated, “The guideline will specifically not mention the use of executed prisoners’ organs, even though it’s the main source of organs in China . . . . The executed prisoners’ organs will not be specifically banned in this guideline or in the coming Human Organ Transplant Rule.”
This new legislation became effective July 1, 2006, banning the sale of human organs, requiring donors to provide written permission for the transplantation of their organs, limiting transplant surgery to certain institutions, compelling an ethics committee to review and approve all transplants in advance, and requiring institutions performing transplant surgery to verify that the organs are from legal sources.  The provisions attempt to regulate the transportation of cadavers.
However, the provisions still provide the Chinese government with the ultimate authority on all decisions related to export matters.  For example, Article 8 of the provisions states, “It is strictly prohibited to trade in cadavers, and to make use of cadavers to engage in commercial activities.”  However, Article 7 states that if Chinese customs officials are presented with a valid certificate issued by the Chinese government to approve the transport of cadavers, the body is released.
In China, enacting legislation does not mean enforcing it.
In China today, the reality is that the abstract principle of law is often corrupted by the wish for personal gain or the interests of the Communist Party.  It has been reported that organs are still being sold following this 2006 legislation.