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Measures on the Certification Management of Products Bearing Environmental Labels

Measures on the Certification Management of Products Bearing Environmental Labels (On Trial)
(Promulgated by the National Environmental Protection Agency on July 28, 1994)

Chapter I  General Provisions

Article 1 These Measures are formulated in accordance with the Law of the People's Republic of China on Product Quality, the Regulations of the People's Republic of China for the Administration of Product Quality Certification and the Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China, in order to develop the certification of products bearing environmental labels, guarantee the quality of such products and promote international trade as well as international cooperation on labeled products. 

Article 2 The certification of a product bearing environmental labels (hereinafter refered to as certification) refers to activities conducted according to the standards for a product bearing environmental labels or relevant technical requirements to certify a product's comformity with corresponding standards and environmental protection requirements, by means of the issuance of a certificate and an environmental label to that product by a certifying institution after verification.

Article 3 These Measures shall apply to any product certification that is beneficial to the environment.

Article 4 All enterprises within the territory of the People's Republic of China (including Chinese-foreign equity joint ventures, contractual joint venture, foreign-capital enterprises) and all enterprises outside the territory and their sales agencies (hereinafter referred to as enterprises) may voluntarily apply for certification of products bearing environmental labels.

Article 5 The certification work of products bearing environmental labels shall be placed under the leadership of the competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council and under the guidance of the competent department of standardization administration under the State Council.

Chapter II Determination of Varieties of Products Bearing Environmental Labels

Article 6 Any department, unit, or individual may recommend the development of certification for a specific variety of products bearing an environmental label to the China Certification Committee of Products Bearing Environmental Labels (hereinafter refered to as the Certification Committee), and complete a suggestion form for the recommended variety of products bearing an environmental label.

Article 7 The Secretariat of the Certification Committee shall conduct investigations and study of the recommended variety of products bearing an environmental label for the development of the product certification, and submit a feasibility report to the Certification Committee.

Article 8 The Certification Committee shall examine the feasibility report on the development of certification for a specific variety of products bearing an environmental label, determine the name of the variety of product bearing environmental label in the catalogue, and then submit it to the competent department of environmental protection administration and the competent department of standardization administration under the State Council for approval.

Chapter III Application Requirements for Certification

Article 9 The products applying for certification (hereinafter refered to as product) shall meet the following requirements:

1. Belong to the catalogue indicating the variety of products bearing environmental labels published by the State, the certification of which can be developed;

2.  Conform to the standards for products bearing environmental labels or technical requirements specified by the State; and

3. Be able to be batch-produced with stable technical indices.

Article 10 The enterprise that applies for the certification of a product shall meet the following requirements:

1. Hold a corporate business license issued by an competent department of industry and commerce  administration for any enterprise within the territory of the People's Republic of China; the enterprise shall also be a holder of a registration certificate granted by a related institution for any enterprise outside the territory;

2. Hold a product quality certificate, or a production license or a product quality certificate issued within the last year by an examining institution acknowledged by the competent department of standardization administration above the provincial level;

3. The enterprise's pollution discharge shall meet the State and local standards for the discharge; and

4. Have received no punishment from the local competent department of environmental protection administration within a year from the date of the application.

Chapter IV Certification Procedures

Article 11 The enterprise applying for certification may obtain an Application Form for Products Bearing Environmental Labels from the competent department of environmental protection administration at the level of the province (autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government) where it is located.

Article 12 The competent department of environmental protection administration at the level of the relevant province ( autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government) shall examine the Application Form and put forward its preliminary examination opinion within 30 days. The applicant shall subsequently submit the examined Application Form to the Secretariat of the Certification Committee.Certification procedures for enterprises outside the Chinese territory shall be stipulated separately.

Article 13 The Secretariat of the Certification Committee shall organize an inspection group to conduct an on-the-spot inspection of the product and its production processes in accordance with the inspection outline for corresponding products bearing environmental labels.

The group shall consist of two to four members, and a state-certified inspector shall be assigned as its head. The inspection period in the enterprise shall be one or two days. The group shall finish its inspection report within 15 days, and submit it to the Secretariat of the Certification Committee.

Article 14  After the on-the-spot inspection has been passed, the inspection group shall be responsible for sampling and sealing the product applying for certification that needs testing. The enterprise shall send the sample to a designated testing institution for the test.

In case of a sample that is damaged and where the damage is verified as caused by transportation, another sample shall be allowed. The testing institution shall send representatives to conduct an on-the-spot test if necessary.

The testing institution must submit a testing report in duplicate within a prescribed time limit to the Secretariat of Certification Committee, a copy of which shall be sent to the competent department of environmental protection administration under the relevant province (or autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government).

Before an on-the-spot inspection, the enterprise shall pay fees for certification application and on-the-spot inspection, and also for necessary product tests.

Article 15 The Secretariat of the Certification Committee shall, based on the application materials, inspection report and product test report, work out an evaluation, and report it to the Certification Committee for examination.

Article 16 The Certification Committee shall convene a plenary meeting of its members, to examine the certification materials, and give approval to a list of the products and enterprises that are in compliance with the certification standards.

The competent department of environmental protection administration and that of standardization under the State Council shall issue an announcement of the list of the products and enterprises that have passed the certification.

The Secretariat shall notify the failed enterprise of its failure to pass the certification, and explain the reasons for the failed certification therefor. A copy of the notification shall be sent at the same time to the competent department of environmental protection administration of the relevant provinces (or autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government).

Chapter V Use of the Certificate and Environmental Label

Article 17 Any enterprise that has passed the certification shall, within two months after the announcement, sign a contract on the use of the environmental label with the Secretariat of the Certification Committee, pay the environmental label approval fee and an annual pension, and then obtain the certificate.

Article 18 The term of validity of the certificate and the use of the environmental label shall be three years. Enterprises that intend to continue use of the certificate on expiry of the period of validity thereof, shall renew the application therefor three months before the expiry date. Enterprises that do not reapply for the certification are not allowed to keep using the certificate and the environmental label.

Article 19 The application and certification procedures are the same as the initial ones for any enterprise required to reapply for the certification due to expiry of the certificate or other reasons.

Article 20 Any enterprise that has passed the certification is allowed to use the environmental label on its products, packaging, specifications and advertisements.

Article 21 The design of the environmental label shall be made according to the pattern promulgated by the competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council. The label shall be monochromatic (usually green), and its size can be magnified or reduced in proportion to the standard pattern but may not be deformed (the directives for the production of the label shall be separately specified).

Article 22 The certificate shall be renewed in accordance with related stipulations within the term of validity in one of the following cases:

1. Where a new trademark is used;

2. Where the holder of the Certificate changes; and

3. Where the types and specifications of the product change.

Chapter VI Post Certification Supervision

Article 23 Within the term of validity of a certificate, the competent departments of environmental protection administration under the relevant province (or autonomous region or municipality under the Central Government) shall conduct a supervisory inspection of the certified product and its enterprises at least once a year, and shall report the results of such inspections without delay to the Certification Committee.

Article 24 The relevant inspection institution shall undertake one or two tracking tests of the products proved qualified after certification. Samples for tests can be drawn from users, markets or enterprises.The Secretariat of the Certification Committee shall arrange the tracking tests in a unified manner.

Article 25 The use of the certificate and the environmental label by an enterprise shall be suspended in any of the following cases:

(1) Where the supervisory inspection discovers that the certified products and their present production situations fail to meet the certification requirements; and

(2) Where the use of the certificate or the environmental label fails to meet the specified requirement.

Article 26 The suspension of the use of the certificate and the environmental label shall be proposed by the competent department of environmental protection administration under the relevant province (or autonomous region or municipality under the Central Government) and submitted to the Certification Committee for approval.

On approval, the Certification Committee shall issue a notice to the enterprise ordering rectification within a limited time. A copy of the notice shall be sent at the same time to the competent department of environmental protection administration under the province (or autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government) where the enterprise is located.

The time-limit for rectification shall not exceed six months and the enterprises shall temporarily cease the use of certificates and environmental labels within the rectification period.

Article 27 The enterprise, on receiving the notice of rectification, shall immediately proceed to rectify existing problems. After finishing rectification, the enterprise shall submit a rectification report in writing to the competent department of environmental protection administration under the relevant province (or autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government).

Article 28 The competent department of environmental protection administration under the relevant provinces (or autonomous region or municipality under the Central Government) shall examine the rectification report of the enterprise, conduct an on-the-spot verification, and submit the names of the product and the enterprise that has attained the rectification goals to the Certificate Committee.The Certificate Committee shall then issue a notice to the enterprise allowing it to resume the use of the certificate and the environmental label. The additional inspection expenditures shall be borne by the enterprise.

Article 29 Under any of the following cirumstances, the Certification Committee shall cancel the certificate, ban the use of the environmental label and announce these actions to the entire nation:

(1) Where products are judged as unqualified in a supervisory inspection or tracking test;

(2) Where the rectification fails to attain its goals on the expiry of the rectification time-limit;

(3) Where the quality of a certified product seriously deteriorates or serious quality accidents occur causing losses to users;

(4) Where the certificate or the environmental label is transferred;

(5) Where payment of annual pension is refused; and

(6) Where the Certificate Committee deems it necessary for the renewal of the certificate, but the enterprise does not make an application therefor.The cancellation of the certificate shall be proposed by the competent department of environmental protection administration under the relevant province (or autonomous region or municipality under the Central Government), or by the Secretariat of the Certification Committee and be submitted to the Certification Committee. The Certification Committee, after approval, shall issue to the enterprise a notice of certificate cancellation. A copy of the notice shall be sent to the competent department of environmental protection administration under the relevant province (or autonomous region or municipality under the Central Government).

Article 30 Any use of environmental label by an enterprise that has not gone through certification or failed certification, any instance of the use or transfer of an environmental label by an enterprise that has failed to meet the standards or technical requirements for a product bearing an environmental label shall be punished by a fine according to the stipulations of Article 19 of the Regulations of the People's Republic of China for the Administration of Product Quality Certification.

Article 31 Where any person in charge of certification, examination inspection or testing violates the law, neglects his duty, engages in malpractice for personal gain, resorts to deception, commits foul play, or makes serious mistakes in his work, the Certification Committee shall, in accordance with the seriousness of each case, propose to the competent department of standardization administration under the State Council the imposition of registration cancellation, revocation of the letter of appointment, and cessation of his certification work. The relevant administrative department shall impose a disciplinary sanction, and where a crime has taken place, criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to law. 

Article 32 Where any inspection institution undertaking to inspect certification issues fakes certificates or falsifies data resulting in serious consequences, the Certification Committee shall propose to the competent department of environmental protection administration and that of standardization under the State Council the imposition of cancellation of the qualification of that institution and the revocation of its qualification certificate. The institution shall also be ordered to pay for any losses incurred as the result of such actions.

Article 33 Where any inspection institution or person undertaking the work of certification divulges technical secrets of a certified product, and illegally seizes the technological results of the applicant, the Certification Committee shall propose to the competent department of environmental protection administration and that of standardization under the State Council the imposition of cancellation of the certification qualification of the institution and the persons' registration qualification, as well as the revocation of the letter of appointment and the payment of the losses incurred. Competent administration sanctions shall be imposed on the responsible persons by the competent administrative department.

Article 34 Wherever any certified products leaving a factory for sale are discovered to be out of compliance with the technical requirements for products bearing environmental labels, the producer shall guarantee the repair, replacement and return of the products. Where damages are caused to users or consumers, the producer shall bear the liability therefor according to the law.

Chapter VII Appeal

Article 35 Enterprises and users may appeal to the Certification Committee or the competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council in any of the following cases:

1 Where the product conforms to the certification requirements while the certification institution refuses to accept the application;

2 Where disagreement exists as to the inspection, testing or temporary suspension or cancellation of the certificate for products bearing environmental labels;

3 Where the certification institution or its working staff behave in a manner inconsistent with the certification stipulations;

4 Where certification fees are not in line with stipulations; and

5 Where users disagree concerning products deemed in compliance with the standards by certification.

Article 36 Appeals shall be made in writing. Written appeals shall contain reasons, opinions, claims and necessary evidence.

Article 37 The Appeal Supervision Department of the Certification Committee shall organize investigations concerning appeals. The Certificate Committee shall make a decision on the treatment of the case within three months after receiving the appeal.

The party that disagrees with the administration of the case may appeal to the competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council.

Article 38 The fees actually spent in the appeal (including expenses for tests, consultations and travels) shall be reimbursed by the party held liable.

Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions

Article 39 The certification fees shall be collected from the enterprise applying for certification on a non-commercial basis. The specific charging method and amounts shall be set separately by referring to the Trial Measures for the Management of Product Quality Certificate Fees promulgated in Jia Fei Zi No.56 (1993) issued by the State Administration of Commodity Pricing and the Ministry of Finance.

Article 40 The fees collected from applicants, on-the-spot inspections and product tests shall be allocated by the Certification Committee to the appropriate institutions, taking into consideration their actual working condition. 

Article 41 The China Environmental Label Products Certification Committee is responsible for the interpretation of these Measures. 

Article 42 These Measures shall take effect upon approval.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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