by Lily Hou, PhD., CHMM
On October 2, 2020, China’s Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) published a notice soliciting public comments on the third draft version of the Hazardous Chemicals Safety Law (the Law). Once finalized, the new Law will become China’s first National People’s Congress legislation specifically addressing the management of hazardous chemicals. The Law will replace the “Regulations on Safe Management of Hazardous Chemicals” (Decree No. 591). Compared to the administrative regulations under Decree No. 591 formulated by the State Council, the new Law is at a higher level in the Chinese legislative hierarchy.
The Law was first drafted in September 2017 by the former State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), and the second draft was published by the MEM on January 5, 2020. Both drafts only solicited comments from government authorities and were not open to the general public.
The new Law provides strict safety management of production, storage, use, trade, transportation, and disposal of hazardous chemicals. It clarifies the responsibilities of various ministries in the management of hazardous chemical safety and strengthens the layout and safety management of chemical industry parks.
The Law introduces several changes to the current registration and licensing requirements for hazardous chemicals, including:
- Exempts registrations of hazardous chemicals for the following special conditions: research and development, product trial and marketing testing, low volume, low release and low exposure, and polymers.
- Exempts the requirements of hazardous chemical safety production licenses for manufacturers of hazardous chemicals with low risk, simple process and without chemical reactions. The manufacturers will only be required to simply report to the emergency management department at the county level for record management.
- Combines the three licenses of hazardous chemicals (safety production license, business license and safe use license) under Decree No. 591 into one license, that is the safe production license, and specifies the type of enterprise on the license for the production, operation or use activity, e.g. Hazardous Chemical Safety Production License (Use).
Any comments on the draft Law can be submitted via email to: email@example.com. All submissions shall be made prior to November 1, 2020.
MEM Notice soliciting public comments on the draft version of the Hazardous Chemicals Safety Law (关于向社会公开征求《中华人民共和国危险化学品安全法（征求意见稿）》意见的通知): https://www.mem.gov.cn/gk/tzgg/tz/202010/t20201002_368140.shtml
China, Hazardous Chemicals Safety Law
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