Main pillars of legislation of hazardous chemicals in China
A number of regulations concerning the management of hazardous chemicals in China, among which the overarching one is the revised “Regulation on the Control over Safety of Hazardous Chemicals” (State Council Decree 591), also called Decree 591, which came into force on 1 Dec, 2011. This article mainly focuses on Decree 591 with its complex regulatory framework to support its full-scale implementation in four major areas: China GHS (Globally Harmonized System), Registration, Permit and Licenses as well as Entry-Exit Inspection. The most recent developments of the corresponding legislative documents are discussed with the upcoming major updates summarized in a concise manner. Besides, two relevant legislations, “Regulation on the Control over Monitored Chemicals” (Decree 190) and “Regulation on the Administration of Precursor Chemicals” (Decree 445) are briefly introduced.
The overarching piece of legislation on management of hazardous chemicals, Decree 591 (“Regulation on the Control over Safety of Hazardous Chemicals”) came into force on 1 Dec, 2011. It regulates hazardous chemicals through the entire supply chain, ranging from manufacture and importation to distribution and storage, transportation and use. Its earlier version, Decree 344, came into effect in 2002. Both of these regulations could date back to the 1987 Regulation on the management of hazardous goods.
The implementation of Decree 591 demonstrates the authorities’ intention to strengthen the safety controls governing hazardous chemicals in China, to prevent and reduce accidents, and to protect life, property and the environment. Enterprises