New registration requirements for hazardous chemicals

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China’s State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) has issued the Administrative Measures for the Registration of Hazardous Chemicals, which took effect on 1 August 2012 and replace the measures issued in 2002. China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has also issued the trial Measures for Environmental Administration Registration of Hazardous Chemicals, which will take effect on 1 March 2013. Entities in China that manufacture or import hazardous chemicals must register their hazardous chemicals with SAWS and MEP, while entities that use hazardous chemicals must register with MEP. Hazardous chemical manufacturers and users must also publicly disclose information regarding their hazardous chemicals production and use.

bldpic3Manufacturers, importers and users

Under the new SAWS measures, importers as well as manufacturers of hazardous chemicals must register these with SAWS. The new SAWS measures also require the submission of detailed information regarding hazardous chemicals and require manufacturers to maintain a domestic, 24-hour telephone hotline for responding to accidents. The MEP measures require hazardous chemicals manufacturers and users, and importers of chemicals falling within the Catalogue of Hazardous Chemicals Subject to Import/Export Restrictions to register with MEP. The MEP measures also impose stricter compliance requirements for manufacturers and users of chemicals that fall within the Catalogue of Key Hazardous Chemicals Subject to Environmental Management published by MEP and updated from time to time (KHC). Enterprises in China that deal with hazardous chemicals should familiarise themselves and ensure they comply with these new requirements.

What the measures say

Both the SAWS measures and MEP measures apply to hazardous chemicals that are listed in the Catalogue of Hazardous Chemicals published by Chinese authorities. In addition, the MEP measures contain provisions applicable to KHC. Highlights of the SAWS measures include the following:

  • manufacturers and importers of hazardous chemicals must register these with the National Registration Centre for Chemical Registration, within SAWS;
  • newly established manufacturers must register their hazardous chemicals before completion and final acceptance of their project, while importers must register before they import a hazardous chemical for the first time;
  • information that must be submitted when registering includes: classification and labelling; physical and chemical properties; main use; hazardous characteristics; safety information for storage, use and shipment; and emergency response measures;
  • hazardous chemical manufacturers must maintain a 24-hour domestic telephone hotline to provide users with emergency consulting services and technical instructions and other assistance with respect to hazardous chemical accidents. Alternatively, the manufacturer may entrust SAWS to provide such services.

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Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker & McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker & McKenzie by e-mail at: Zhang Danian (Shanghai) danian.zhang@bakermckenzie.com

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