On 21 May 2009 the Ministry of Environment Protection of China launched the closed inter ministries consultation on the proposed amendments to the Measures on the Environmental Control of New Chemical Substances….China REACH.
Amongst others, the most significant changes in the proposed Measures of
21 May 2009 are as follows:
- A risk management concept for new chemicals in the Chinese chemical control system covering hazard and exposure
- Chemicals would be classified into three categories - general chemicals, hazardous chemicals, and chemicals of environmental concern.
- Basics of notification and the registration process for new chemicals would remain the same as it was. However, detailed 'general notification'
would be required for new chemicals depending on tonnage (1, 10, 100 and 1,000 tonnes) of the chemicals imported or produced. The principle of notification information would be 'higher the volume, more information would be required'.
- Simplified notification would be available for new chemicals imported or produced at levels of less than 1 tonne per year. Separate research and development notification would be available when producing or importing a new chemical substance at a level less than 0.1 tonne per year.
- Notification of new chemicals would only be done by a registered Chinese entity.
- 'Joint notification' would also be possible under the concept of 'Easy Notification'.
- In the case of a producer or an importer who has registered hazardous chemicals or chemicals of environmental concern, they would have to prepare and submit an annual production or import report and an annual production or import plan to the Chemical Registration Centre.
The most potentially problematic issue for foreign chemical manufacturers or exporters is that only Chinagenerated ecotoxicological data would be acceptable for registration
Some observers find this surprising, with one industry expert commenting:
“Chinahas no expertise or infrastructure in this area and so this will not be possible at present. Furthermore why not accept data published by reputable research institutions worldwide as does EU REACH and the US and Korean equivalents. This would mean duplication of effort (and costs) and more unnecessary animal testing.
This could of course be in effect a trade barrier to prevent import of foreign chemicals”.
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