China releases hazchem guidance and mandatory classifications

China’s State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) issued guidance on its hazardous chemicals catalogue, together with mandatory classifications for all chemicals listed, on 2 September.
Industry has awaited the guidance since the release of the updated catalogue in March (CW 10 March 2015). It entered into force on 1 May.
The guidance explains how to find out if a mixture, or “product”, is listed in the catalogue and whether firms producing or handling listed chemicals require licences or hazardous chemical registrations.
If at least 70%, by weight or volume, of the ingredients in a mixture are listed, it is deemed as listed in the catalogue, and may need administrative licences.
A hazardous chemical registration is required if the mixture itself is listed – unless it has already been officially classified as not hazardous.
If a mixture is listed in the catalogue, companies that handle it may be subject to administrative licence requirements, such as production, operation or safe use licences.
 Mandatory GHS classifications
The guidance also requires companies to use the mandatory classifications for all 2,828 chemicals listed in the catalogue. These are in a “classification information sheet” set out as an annex to the guidance. Each entry includes the chemicals:
  • Chinese and English name
  • Cas number; and
  • Hazard category

Companies must prepare or update safety data sheets and labels in accordance with these.

Together, the catalogue, guidance and annex will help businesses that produce, import, distribute or use listed chemicals, comply with the safe management of hazardous chemicals regulations (Decree 591). Along with Order 53, the decree requires manufacturers and importers to register hazardous chemicals with the National Registration Centre of Chemicals (NRCC).

Sources: Chemical Watch Global Risk and Regulation News