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Provisions on the First Import of Chemicals and the Import and Export of Toxic Chemicals

The Chinese government has undertaken to revise these Provisions before the end of 2002.

(Promulgated by the National Environmental Protection Agency, the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation on March 16, 1994)

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1   These Provisions are formulated for the purpose of protecting human health and the ecological environment, enhancing environmental management on the first import of chemicals and the import and export of toxic chemicals, and implementing the provisions drawn up in the "London Guidelines for the Exchange of Information on Chemicals in International Trade (Amended 1989 Amendment)" (hereinafter referred to as the "London Guidelines") .

Article 2   Those who engage in the import and/or export of chemicals within territory under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China must abide by these Provisions.

Article 3   The Provisions apply to environmental management on the first import of chemicals and the import and/or export of chemicals included in the List of Toxic Chemicals Banned or Severely Restricted in the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to the "List").

The Provisions are not applicable to food additives, pharmaceuticals, veterinary drugs, cosmetics of radioactive materials.

Article 4   Terms used in the context of these Provisions are defined as follows: 
(1) "Chemical" means a chemical substance whether by itself or in a mixture or preparation, whether manufactured or obtained from nature and includes such substances used as industrial chemicals and pesticides;
(2) "Banned chemical" refers to a chemical which has, for health or environmental reasons, been prohibited for all uses;
(3) "Severely restricted chemical" means a chemical for which, for health or environmental reasons, virtually all uses have been prohibited, but for which certain specific uses remain authorized;
(4) "Toxic chemical" refers to a chemical damaging to the health and environment through environmental cumulation, bioaccumulation and bio transformation or chemical reaction after entering the environment, or posing serious harm to the human health and posing potential hazard through contact.
(5) "First import of chemical"  denotes a chemical which has not been registered in China by a certain foreign business concern or its agents for export to China. This is still regarded as a "first import of chemical" even if the same type of chemical has already been registered in China by some other foreign business concern or its agents.
(6) "Prior informed consent" (PIC refers to the principle that international shipment of a chemical that is banned or severely restricted in order to protect human health or the environment should not proceed without the agreement of the designated national authority in the importing country;
(7) The terms "Export" and "import" mean, in their respective connotations, the activity required to fulfill the formalities for the exit or entry of chemicals at the Customs of the People's of China, but do not apply to transit operations;

Chapter II Supervision and Management

Article 5   The National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) of China shall implement unified environmental supervision and management on the first import of chemicals as the import and export of toxic chemicals. It is responsible for implementing the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC Procedure) prescribed in the London Guidelines, for issuing a list of toxic chemicals banned or severely restricted in China, for examining and approving registration for environmental management on the first import of chemicals as well as the import and export of toxic chemicals included in the List, for signing and issuing the Registration Certificate for Environmental Management on the Import of Chemicals, and the Clearance Notification for Environmental Management on the Import/Export of Toxic Chemicals, and for issuing an announcement of registration of the first import of chemicals .

Article 6   The Customs of the People's Republic of China shall examine and clear the import or export of toxic chemicals included in the List according to the Clearance Notification for Environmental Management on the Import/Export of Toxic Chemicals signed and issued by the NEPA.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, in performing its functions and co-operating with the NEPA, shall examine relevant contents of the application materials for registration of environmental management on the first import of chemicals and the import or export of toxic chemicals, and shall publicly announce the List of Toxic Chemicals Banned and Severely Restricted in the People's Republic of China .

Article 7   The NEPA shall set up a State Committee for Evaluation of Toxic Chemicals. The Committee will be responsible for the over-all work of examining applications of registration for environmental management on the import and export of chemicals. The Committee shall offer the NEPA consultation and suggestions concerning technical matters in carrying out the regulations.The State Committee for Evaluation of Toxic Chemicals shall consist of managers and technical experts from departments of environmental protection, public health, agriculture, chemical industry, foreign trade, commodity inspection, customs and other fields. Each term extends for three years.

Article 8   Local competent environmental protection administrative departments at various levels, in accordance with the regulation, shall conduct environmental supervision and management on the first import of chemicals and the import and export of toxic chemicals.

Chapter III Registration and Management

Article 9   Foreign business concerns or their agents, when exporting to China any chemicals (except for pesticides) which have not been registered in China, must apply to the NEPA for Registration of Environmental Management on the First Import of Chemicals, shall fill in the Application Form for Registration of Environmental Management on the First Import of Chemicals, and must provide samples for experiment (in quantities generally not less than 250 grams) fee of charge .

Registration and management for the first sale of pesticides to China by foreign businesses shall still be made in accordance with Regulations for Registration of Pesticides. The Ministry of Agriculture and the NEPA shall regularly exchange registration information.

Article 10   The NEPA, when examining and approving an application for registration of environmental management on the first import of chemicals, if the application conforms to the provisions, shall approve the registration and issue a Registration Certificate permitting the import of chemicals, As for chemicals which upon examination are not deemed fit for import to China, registration shall not be permitted and a certificate shall not be issued. Applicants shall receive notification for this.

If, upon examination, it is considered that a first import of chemicals must undergo further experiment and a fairly long period of observation before its hazard can be determined, a temporary registration may be granted and a temporary registration certificate issued.

It is not permitted to import chemicals for which a registration certificate for environmental management on import of chemicals or a temporary registration certificate has not been granted.

Article 11   The registration for environmental management on chemicals, obtained by a foreign business concern or its agents for their first export of chemicals to China, shall be valid for five years. If there is need to extend the registration before its expiration, the original applicant must apply for registration to renew its certificate six months before the date of expiration. 

Temporary registration shall be valid for one year. It shall be reconfirmed whether or not formal registration shall be permitted before expiration of the validity period. Under special circumstances, extension can be made upon approval of registration authorities. The period of extension may not exceed one year.

Article 12   Whenever foreign business concerns or their agents export to China, or domestic businesses import from abroad, industrial chemicals or pesticides included in the List, they must apply in advance to the NEPA for registration of environmental management on import of toxic chemicals. The Registration Certificate for Environmental Management on the Import/Export of Chemicals and the Clearance Notification for Environmental Management on the Import (Export) of Toxic Chemicals (hereinafter referred to as the "Clearance Notification") shall be issued to them upon approval. The clearance notification is issued each time for each import/export of chemicals in the List. Each Clearance Notification can only be used for Customs declaration once within its valid date. 

Article 13   Those who want to export chemicals included in the List should apply to the NEPA for the Registration of Environmental Management on the Import of Toxic Chemicals.

The NEPA. after accepting the application. shall notify the responsible department of the importing country. and. after receiving notification of import permission from the responsible department of the importing country, shall issue the Registration Certificate for Environmental Management on the Import/Export of Chemicals, allowing the applicant to export toxic chemicals. No registration shall be issued and no chemical export shall be allowed without permission from the responsible department of importing country. The applicant shall be duly notified for this.

Article 14   The Registration Certificate for Environmental Management on the Import/Export of Chemicals signed and issued by the NEPA shall be stamped with the seal of the People's Republic of China NEPA, denoting approval of the registration request for environmental management on the import and export of chemicals. The green color is for the Registration Certificate of Environmental Management on the Import/Export of Chemicals applied at home and abroad for import or export of toxic chemicals included in the List; The Registration Certificate of Environmental Management on Import/Export of Chemicals applied for by foreign business concerns or their agents for the first export of chemicals to China is in pink, while the temporary certificate is in white.

Article 15   The Clearance Notification for Environmental Management on the Import/Export of Toxic Chemicals shall be issued to applicant for Customs declaration, a copy of Clearance Notification shall be kept by NEPA, and a copy shall be sent to the State Administration of Import and Export Commodity Inspection of the People's Republic of China.

Article 16   Examination period of the application for the registration of environmental management on the import and/or export of chemicals shall be calculated from the date after receiving the application which conforms to the requirement of registration. The period of examination of the application for registration of the first import of chemicals cannot exceed 180 days. The period of examination for that of import and export of toxic chemicals included in the List cannot exceed 30 days.

Article 17   The NEPA, when examining and approving the application for the registration for environmental management on the import and export of chemicals, has a right to address inquiries to applicants and to ask for related supplementary materials.

The NEPA should maintain secrecy regarding technical matters connected with the materials and samples submitted with an application.

Article 18 The NEPA shall supervise the manufacture of standardized application forms for the Registration of Environmental Management on the First import of Chemicals and on the Import and Export of Toxic Chemicals; the Registration Certificate and Temporary Registration Certificate for Environmental Management on the Import and Export of Export of Chemicals; and the Clearance Notification of Environmental Management on the Import and Export of Toxic Chemicals .

Chapter IV Prevention of Port Environmental Pollution

Article 19   Classification, packaging, labeling and transport of imported and exported chemicals shall be carried out in accordance with the international or domestic stipulations on shipment of hagan dous commodities. 

Article 20   In the process of loading and unloading, storing and transporting chemicals, effective precautions and emergency measures must be taken to prevent pollution of the environment.

Article 21   In case port pollution is caused by, or likely to result from, defective packaging or failure to meet requirements, the responsible port administrative departments must take prompt measures to control and eliminate the pollution, and without delay notify the local administrative departments responsible for environmental protection, for investigation and handling. Fees for control and elimination of the pollution should be borne by the party responsible.

Chapter V Punishment

Article 22   Those who violate these provisions by importing and/or exporting chemicals without the required registration for environmental management on import and export of chemicals shall be fined by Customs in accordance with the detailed rules and regulations for implementation of Customs administrative punishments. Customs shall order the party concerned to go through the registration procedure. Those who fail to obtain approval for the registration shall be ordered to send back the goods.

Article 23   Those who cause pollution of China's port while importing and exporting chemicals shall be punished by the local administrative departments responsible for environmental protection.

Article 24   Those who violate regulations of the state foreign trade management system by importing and or exporting chemicals shall be punished by the foreign trade administrative department in accordance with the relevant stipulations.

Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions

Article 25   Chemicals first imported for experimental purposes in quantities less than 50 kg annually shall be exempted from registration(except for those included in the List of Toxic Chemicals Banned or Severely Restricted in the People's Republic of China).


Article 26   Fees for the registration of environmental management on the import and export of chemicals shall be formulated separately.

Article 27   The NEPA shall be responsible for explaining these provisions.

Article 28   These Provisions shall come into force on May 1,1994.

(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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