Index of China EHS

Framework of EHS laws and regulations in China.

Category Theme
Overall Overview, Environmental Standards
China, Organizations with Governing Environmental Regulations
Chemical Chemical Substances Regulation and Management
Waste Waste management
Energy Energy Conservation
Water Water Pollution Prevention
Air Air Pollution Control
Soil Soil Contamination Prevention
Other Pollution Noise, Vibration, Offensive Odor
OSH Occupational Safety and Health


Overview, Environmental Standards

The Environmental Protection Law at China’s environmental legislative system

China’s system of environmental legislation is established based on the Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China that was enacted in 1989. Under this law, other separate laws have been enacted for controlling pollution. Some of these laws are as follows:

  • Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution
  • Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution
  • Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste
  • Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Law of the People’s Republic of China on Prevention and Control of Pollution from Environmental Noise
  • Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Promotion of Clean Production.

China updated the Environmental Protection Law in 2015. This was the first major revisions. The revised law includes stricter punishments on polluters. It also allows non-governmental organizations to file environmental lawsuits against violators. The National People’s Congress revised other laws, including the Law on the Prevention and control of Air Pollution in 2018 and the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution in 2017. The Congress also adopted the Law on the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution on August 31, 2018.



Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution was enacted in 1987 and amended in 1995, 2000, 2015 and 2018. This Law is formulated in order to prevent and control atmospheric pollution, protect and improve people’s environment and the ecological environment, safeguard human health, and promote the sustainable development of economy and society. The concentration of the discharged pollutants may not exceed the standards prescribed by the State and local authorities. The quality standards for products containing volatile organic compounds, such as coal, petroleum coke, biomass fuel, and coatings, fireworks and firecrackers, boilers, etc., are developed and the atmospheric environment protection requirements are specified.

The environmental legislative framework to protect the air pollution is as follows.

Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution

  • List of toxic and hazardous air pollutants
  • National standards on air pollution prevention:
    • Ambient air quality standards (GB3095-2012), etc.
  • Stationary source emissions:
    • Standard for fugitive emission of volatile organic compounds(GB37822-2019)
    • Emission standard of air pollutants for boiler(GB13271-2014)
    • Emission standard of air pollutants for industrial kiln and furnace (GB9078-1996)
    • Integrated emission standard of air pollutants (GB16297-1996)
    • Emission standards for odor pollutants (GB14554-93), etc.
  • Emission Standard for Mobile-source Pollutants:
    • Limits and measurement methods for emissions from light-duty vehicles (CHINA 6) (GB18352.6-2016), etc.
  • Announcement regarding enforcement of special emission limits for air pollutants
  • Local standards for air quality protection



Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution is formulated in order to prevent and control water pollution, protecting and improving the environment, and safeguarding the safety of drinking water.

The environmental legislative framework to protect the water pollution is as follows.

Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution

  • List of Toxic and Hazardous Water Pollutants
  • National Advanced Pollution Control Technology List
  • Measures for controlling the Collection and Usage of Pollution Discharge Fee
  • National standards on water pollution prevention:
  • Water quality standards:
    • Environmental quality standards for surface water(GB 3838-2002)
    • Quality standard for ground water (GB/T 14848-93), etc.
  • Standards on pollutants discharge from water stationary sources:
    • Integrated wastewater discharge standard (GB 8978-1996), etc.


Waste management

Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste is the national primary law governing municipal and industrial waste management. This law lays out basic requirements for solid waste disposal for industrial facilities. It requires the specified facilities to get approval from the local environmental protection bureau for waste disposal plans prior to construction. The bureaus are also responsible for issuing permits for the collection, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.

The environmental legislative framework on waste management is as follows.

Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste

  • Standards for the prevention and control of environmental pollution by solid wastes:
    • Standard for pollution control on the storage and disposal site for general industrial solid wastes (GB 18599-2001)
    • Standard for pollution control on the security landfill site for hazardous wastes (GB 18598-2001)
    • Standard for pollution control on hazardous waste storage (GB 18597-2001)
    • Pollution control standard for hazardous wastes incineration (GB 18484-2001)
    • Environmental protection control standard for imported solid wastes as raw materials —Smelt slag (GB16487.2-2017), etc.
    • Identification standards for solid wastes – General rules (GB 34330-2017)
    • Identification standards for hazardous waste – General rules (GB 5085.7-2019), etc.



Industrial chemicals are mainly regulated by the following regulations in China:
“Decree of the State Council No 591 Regulations on Safe Management of Hazardous Chemicals”
“Order of the Ministry of Environmental Protection No. 7 Environmental Management of New Chemical Substances”

Pursuant to article 15 of the Decree No 591, manufacturers of hazardous chemicals shall provide safety data sheet on the hazardous chemicals that are produced, post or affix a chemical safety label on the package. The contents in safety data sheet and chemical safety labels should meet the requirements of relevant national standards. The relevant standards in China are as follows:

  • General rule for classification and hazard communication of chemicals (GB 13690-2009)
  • 28 rules for classification and labelling of chemicals (GB 30000.2-2013 to GB 30000.29-2013)
  • General rules for preparation of precautionary label for chemicals (GB 15258-2009)
  • Safety data sheet for chemical products – Content and order of sections (GB/T 16483-2008)
  • Guidance on the compilation of safety data sheet for chemical products (GB/T 17519-2013)

On April 29, 2020, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China (MEE) issued the final Measures on Registrations of New Chemical Substances for Environmental Management under Ministry Order No. 12. The new Measures replaces the current 2010 version and comes into force on January 1, 2021, when the Order No.7 will be repealed.

Same as the current version, the new Measures require manufacturers and importers to register new chemical substances with MEE before placing the new chemical substances on the Chinese market. They also introduce a notification process for new uses of existing listed substances.

Law on the Safety of Hazardous Chemicals (Revision draft for solicitation of comments)

In order to strengthen the safety management of hazardous chemicals, prevent and reduce hazardous chemical accidents, the Ministry of Emergency Management organized the consultation on the draft of the “Law on the Safety of Hazardous Chemicals”, which had been open to the public comments until 1 November, 2020. If approved, it will replace Decree No. 591.

The draft law is applicable to the safety management of the production, storage, use, operation, transportation and disposal of hazardous chemicals. It consists of 11 chapters (Article 137), and based on the lessons learned from the explosion accident, “Safety of hazardous chemical disposal” etc. was added to clarify the responsibility for safety supervision of the disposal (Disposal safety). The State implements a hazardous chemical registration system.


Related Reports

Date Title
2022-05-16 China’s National Medical Products Administration answers FAQs about cosmetics management
2022-05-09 China Household Electrical Appliances Association releases standards for service life of household water purifiers
2022-05-09 China publicizes its major home appliance manufacturers’ efforts to fulfill responsibility for end-of-life appliance collection
2022-05-06 China released the “Implementing opinions on accelerating the recycling of waste textiles”
2022-05-06 China announced the “Medium and long-term plan for the development of hydrogen energy industry (2021-2035)”
2022-04-28 China’s Haikou city publicizes 10 cases of plastic product regulation violations
Information on some companies producing or using banned plastic products have been made public
2022-04-28 China announces program to enhance production safety of hazardous chemicals during 14th Five-Year Plan period
2D barcode-based product management system will be developed
2022-04-25 China releases recommended national standards for evaluation of energy conservation, pollution reduction in remanufacturing
2022-04-25 China steps up oversight of pollutant discharge permit system with heavier penalties
2022-04-22 China drafting revised technical standards for cosmetics safety
Toluene would be added to the restricted material list
2022-04-22 Beijing revises mandatory VOC content limits for architectural coatings and adhesives
2022-04-22 China publishes mandatory national standard related to safety specifications in hazardous chemicals enterprises
2022-04-22 Guangdong, China releases “Measures on management of trading for inclusive carbon emission reduction”
Certified emission reduction can be used for offset
2022-04-13 China’s Fujian province issues regulations on ecological, environmental protection
2022-04-13 China’s Jiangsu province issues regulations on soil contamination control
2022-04-11 China announces 2022 plan for strengthening quality and safety inspection of hazardous chemicals
2022-04-11 China releases national standard for water reuse
Reclaimed water is classified into 3 grades based on water quality
2022-03-29 China announces revision plans of RoHS regulations
2022-03-29 China begins public consultation for RoHS-related industry standard
“Measurement of seven phthalates used in electrical and electronic devices: High-performance liquid chromatography”
2022-03-29 China strengthens regulations on heavy metal pollution
Measures such as the designation of key regulated areas, substances and industries have been introduced
2022-03-29 China announces national emergency system development program for 14th Five-Year Plan
Stricter regulations on production safety and hazardous chemicals will be introduced
2022-03-29 China releases four draft industrial standards for occupational safety
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2022-03-22 China Expects to Add Four Phthalates to RoHS Controlled Substances
Revision to Related Standards by End-September 2022
2022-03-22 China’s MEE lists 18 chemicals on its “List of Existing Chemical Substances”
2022-03-20 China is Revising “Measures for the Management of Sudden Accident Emergency Response Plans”
2022-03-20 China’s Hebei and Jiangsu Provinces Announce Hazardous Chemicals Action Plans
Emphasizing Management with 2D Codes for Hazardous Chemicals
2022-03-20 China releases draft amendment of national standard “General requirements for safety of students’ articles”
Proposal for adding short chain chlorinated paraffin to regulated substances
2022-03-20 Technical association of China’s Shandong Province releases technical standards for naturally degradable plastics
2022-03-20 Technical association of China’s Shandong Province releases evaluation standards for naturally degradable plastic products
2022-03-18 China investigates domestic usage status of PFHxS
2022-03-18 China Announces Repeal of “Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Imported Paint Inspection”
Notification of imported paints to be abolished
2022-03-13 China issues guidelines for transformation of energy intensive industries for energy saving, carbon reduction
2022-03-13 China’s first standards for defining terms of CCUS
2022-03-10 Shanghai, China carries out special law-enforcement inspection on chemical industry wastewater
Inspection of compliance with wastewater standards, etc.
2022-03-10 Hunan, China releases the plan for implementation of “The Yangtze River Protection Law”
2022-03-02 MIIT of China to promote recycling of used EV batteries
2022-02-25 China releases GB/T “Evaluation of the energy performance of lighting systems”
2022-02-25 China releases GB/T “Evaluation of energy performance of motor system”
2022-02-23 China launches new hazardous chemical registration system supporting generation of 2D barcode for chemicals
2022-02-14 China clarifies how to declare components of hazardous mixtures transported in Port of Shanghai’s Waigaoqiao area
2022-02-14 China issues standards for quality management in cosmetics manufacturing
2022-02-11 Tianjin, China Released Action Plan for Plastic Pollution
2022-02-09 China’s Jiangsu Province announces plan to develop Zero-Waste Cities
2022-02-09 China releases draft plan for digital transformation in hazardous waste management
2022-02-04 China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment released the “Guidelines for Screening of Priority Assessment Chemical Substances”
2022-02-04 China’s Ministry of Emergency Management solicits opinions on the “Regulations for Control of Major Illegal Loss of Trust in Safe Production”
2022-01-27 China Paper Association issues the “Water-based Coated Paper Cups” standard
2022-01-27 China announces technical guidelines for industrial VOC leak detection and repair (LDAR)
2022-01-23 China releases new regulation on environmental information disclosure
2022-01-23 China announces plan for industrial wastewater recycling
Recycling rate target set for each industry to promote circular water use
2022-01-23 China releases 2021 list of advanced technologies for control of air pollution, noise, vibration
2022-01-19 China’s MEE announces violations on false reporting of automated monitoring data
Resulting in fines totaling over 49 million RMB
2022-01-19 China adds 11 chemicals to the Inventory of Existing Chemical Substances
2022-01-18 China issues preliminary guidelines for record keeping of general industrial solid waste
2022-01-18 China implements pollutant discharge permit system for industrial solid waste
2022-01-17 China released Inventory for Import Permit Management Goods
2022-01-17 China released draft “Regulations on the Management of Safety Information Codes for Hazardous Chemicals (Trial)”
2022-01-14 China announces case studies of ecological and environmental violation
Including air and surface water pollution cases
2022-01-14 China releases draft “Yellow River Protection Law”
2022-01-14 China’s MIIT plans to revise industry standards to achieve peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality
2022-01-14 China revises water efficiency standard for water purifiers
2022-01-12 China releases standards for waste paper processing companies
2022-01-12 China releases draft guidelines for safety risk management in hazardous chemical production facility construction
2022-01-05 China revises Noise Pollution Prevention and Control Law
Expanding the scope of application and including noise in the pollutant emission permit system
2021-12-29 China adds two products to water efficiency labeling scheme
2021-12-29 China sets new technical guidelines on self-monitoring for six industries
Including battery, rubber and plastic products industries
2021-12-28 China announces green industrial development program for 14th Five-Year Plan period
Targets set for carbon reduction, other environmental efforts
2021-12-28 China releases national standards for biodegradable straws
2021-12-27 China releases national standards for biodegradable plastic materials and products
Rules for biodegradability, labeling introduced
2021-12-27 China to tighten regulations for heavy metals management
Limits on total discharges proposed for lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, arsenic
2021-12-27 China excludes 6 solid waste types from hazardous waste designation
2021-12-27 China plans to add 11 new substances to existing chemicals inventory
2021-12-20 China drafting restriction of VOC emission from electrical and electronic product
2021-12-20 China announces plan to improve energy efficiency of electric motors for 2021–2023 period
2021-12-20 China’s Zhejiang Province announces plan to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicle industry
50 hydrogen stations to be constructed by 2025
2021-12-10 China issues revised mandatory standards for energy efficiency of air conditioners, heat pumps
2021-12-10 China issues revised mandatory standards for energy efficiency of fans
2021-12-10 China releases draft list of recommended HCFC alternatives
24 alternative chemicals to 3 HCFCs proposed
2021-12-01 China releases new list of ozone depleting substances regulated for international trade
HFCs have been included
2021-12-01 China releases water conservation promotion plan for 14th Five-Year Plan period
Water saving in industry to be promoted
2021-12-01 China issues mandatory national standards for energy conservation, renewal energy use in buildings
2021-12-01 China adds 23 new substances to its inventory of existing chemicals
2021-11-26 China issues regulations on groundwater management
Total groundwater withdrawal limits, no-withdrawal zones, contamination control measures to be introduced
2021-11-26 Shanghai issues revised regulations on production safety
Greater responsibility of companies, digital management measures
2021-11-19 China issues standards for labeling of recyclable beverage cartons
2021-11-19 China releases draft national standards for carbon emissions management disclosure by companies
2021-11-19 China releases “Environmental protection comprehensive list (2021 version)”
Including VOC and PFOA related products
2021-11-17 China releases list of production methods, equipment that should be eliminated
Chemical, petrochemical, other industries affected
2021-11-17 China releases official opinions on peaking carbon emissions, achieving carbon neutrality
Stricter regulations on energy intensive industries
2021-11-09 Hainan issues notice on electronic code of biodegradable plastic products
2021-11-09 Beijing drafting compulsory VOC limits for architecture coatings and adhesives
2021-11-08 Zhejiang Province issues standards for classification of warehouses by energy consumption, carbon emissions
2021-11-08 China updates list of controlled ozone depleting substances
HFCs were newly added
2021-11-08 China releases national plan for standards development
Standardization plans for green production, green design, green packaging revealed
2021-11-05 Tianjin introduces new regulations to help peak carbon emissions, achieve carbon neutrality
2021-11-05 China releases draft rules for corporate environmental information disclosure
2021-10-19 Beijing revises local standard of general principles for cleaner production audit for industrial enterprises
Audit procedures and requirements for regulated enterprises are specified
2021-10-19 China publishes Regulations on Children’s Cosmetics
China’s first legal document on children’s cosmetics
2021-10-18 China releases draft plan for new chemical pollutants management
Regulations on PFOA, decaBDE, other hazardous substances