Chemicals Management in China: overview
The Chinese government uses a network management model in the regulatory supervision of chemicals. The Ministry of Industry and Information technology (MIIT), Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) and several other ministries oversee environmental protection, safety management and risk control of the chemicals industry. Their regulatory supervision covers import and export, production and use, storage, transportation and waste disposal of chemicals. Regulators are focused on managing new chemical substances, existing chemical substances and hazardous chemicals. Closely related to the cobalt supply chain are:
- Registration of new chemicals – China’s REACH
The MEE’s environmental management registration measures for new chemical substances were announced February 2020 and came into force January 1, 2021. New chemical substances should be registered before production or import. The MEE will regularly update the list of existing chemical substances. Chemicals already on the list need not be re-registered as new chemicals.
- Hazardous chemicals management – China’s CLP
The MEM supervises the production, import, operation, transportation and use of hazardous chemicals. The management mode refers to the globally harmonized system of classification and labelling of chemicals.
- Restricted use of hazardous substances in electronic products – China’s RoHS
The MIIT published administrative measures in 2016 placing restrictions on the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products. These regulations established a conformity assessment system and implemented catalogue management. The restriction refers to lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and benzene. Currently, cobalt is not covered.
- Chemical waste management
The MEE supervises the management of solid waste of chemicals and electronic products nationwide. Its supervision is in accordance with the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste and the Administrative Measures for the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Electronic Waste.
By Paolo Yue, Interel China