by Lily Hou, PhD, CHMM
The China State Council’s institutional reform plan has been approved by the 13th National People’s Congress. On March 24, 2018, the State Council published the Notice on the Setup of Institutions (No. 6  of the State Council) identifying a new organizational structure, consisting of 26 ministries and commissions.
Which ministries and commissions are in the State Council?
The ministries and commissions constituting the State Council now include:
- Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (农业农村部)
- Ministry of Civil Affairs (民政部)
- Ministry of Commerce (商务部)
- Ministry of Culture and Tourism (文化和旅游部)
- Ministry of Ecological Environment (生态环境部)
- Ministry of Education (教育部)
- Ministry of Emergency Management (应急管理部)
- Ministry of Finance (财政部)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (外交部)
- Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (住房和城乡建设部)
- Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (人力资源和社会保障部)
- Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (工业和信息化部)
- Ministry of Justice (司法部)
- Ministry of National Defense (国防部)
- Ministry of Natural Resources (自然资源部)
- Ministry of Public Security (公安部)
- Ministry of Science and Technology (科学技术部)
- Ministry of State Security (国家安全部)
- Ministry of Transport (交通运输部)
- Ministry of Veteran Affairs (退役军人事务部)
- Ministry of Water Resources (水利部)
- National Audit Office (国家审计署)
- National Development and Reform Commission (国家发展和改革委员会)
- National Health Commission (国家卫生健康委员会)
- People’s Bank of China (中国人民银行)
- State Ethnic Affairs Commission (国家民族事务委员会)
What impact does this reform have on China’s chemical control policies?
If you are a chemical exporter who have concerns over the impact of this reform on the chemical control authorities of China and their chemical control policies, we have provided an overview of the changes to the functions of the major chemical control authorities:
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), which was in charge of registration of new chemical substances and administration of import/export of restricted toxic chemicals, has been replaced by the Ministry of Ecological Environment (MEE). In addition to the responsibilities of the former MEP, the MEE has taken on new roles in setting climate change policies, preventing agricultural and underground water pollution and protecting marine water, which were previously administered by several other ministries and agencies.
The State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), which oversaw workplace safety and took charge of registration and licensing for manufacturing, operating and using hazardous chemicals, has been replaced by the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM). The functions of the MEM include administering work safety, setting emergency management policies, organizing rescues and responding to natural disasters.
General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), which conducted inspection of imported and exported hazardous chemicals and packaging, has been dismantled. Their responsibilities on entry and exit inspection and quarantine management have now been assigned to the General Administration of Customs.
National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), which formulated national policies for foods, cosmetics and drugs and conducted toxicity appraisal of hazardous chemicals, has been replaced by the National Health Commission (NHC). The functions of the National Health Commission combine the roles of the former NHFPC, and several governmental organizations supervising public health, and coping with an aging population.
The Ministries and Commissions have updated their websites with the new titles and functions, and are working towards implementing the reform. Currently, you will still need to access the websites of the new Ministries through the original link of the replaced Ministries, though this is expected to be amended soon.
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State Council Notice on the Setup of Institutions (No. 6  of the State Council) 国务院关于机构设置的通知) (Available in Chinese only)
State Council Institutional Reform Plan (国务院机构改革方案) (Available in Chinese only)
The Plan to Deepen Reform of Party and State Institutions (《深化党和国家机构改革的方案》 (Available in Chinese only)
China, Institutional Reform, State Council, Chemical Control Policies