Chemicals Law: China Publishes and Updated Draft

The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) has updated its draft Regulation on the Environmental Risk Assessment and Control of Chemical Substances (Chinese only) and notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the revision at the beginning of September. The MEE has not yet announced when the new law will take effect.

When compared to the original draft, companies should now take notice of the following changes:  

  • Pharmaceuticals, pesticides, cosmetics, food and food additives, and fertilizers are exempt from the law. Specific laws and regulations apply to these chemicals.
  • China intends to protect confidential business information (CBI) for a period of five years. This period was introduced after companies requested clarification. The first draft contained no provisions for CBI.
  • The original draft required manufacturers, importers, and downstream users to submit annual reports on exposure and emission scenarios, the risk-abatement measures taken, effects on human health and the environment, and additional environmental data. The amended draft requires this data every three years. The MEE will also publish a list of substances that do not require any notification or a notification only for specific quantities. 

China published the first draft in early January. The goal of the law is to cover existing and new chemical substances. The law that has applied since October 2010 (Order No.7) and all other laws related to chemicals will be replaced by the new law. You can find more details on the draft here.

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