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
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
2021-10-13 China notifies WTO with the “Good manufacture practice for cosmetics (Draft)”
Regulations on setting up the position of quality and safety responsibility and the requirements of the workplace environment
2021-10-08 China issues national standards for downcycling of automotive traction batteries
2021-10-08 China introduces new measures to promote traction battery recycling
2021-10-06 China publishes “Interim Measures for General Export Permit Management for Monitoring Chemicals”
2021-10-04 China announces investigations of unlawful acts concerning production safety responsibility insurance
Severe punishment for illegal conduct
2021-10-04 China releases action plan on plastic pollution control under 14th Five-Year Plan
2021-10-04 China to accelerate development of low-carbon automotive industry
2021-10-04 China releases guidelines on disposal of 9 WEEE items, including printers, mobile phones
2021-10-01 China releases revised national standard of restricting excessive package for foods and cosmetics
2021-10-01 China responds to questions regarding small and medium-sized three-phase asynchronous motor
2021-10-01 China publishes Ozone Depleting Substances list subject to import and export control (draft)
HFCs were added to the list
2021-09-28 China releases industry standard “Guidelines for chemical process safety management”
2021-09-28 China publishes report on 15th Anniversary of China Energy Label System
2021-09-21 China adds 6 substances to its catalog of precursor chemicals
2021-09-21 China’s Hainan Province updates list of plastic products that cannot be produced, sold or used
2021-09-20 China published 2 drafts on “Technical specification for green-design product assessment”
For projection display products and metallized film capacitor
2021-09-20 China tightens regulations and supervision for high pollution, high water consumption and high energy consumption projects
2021-09-17 China notifies UN of draft regulation on energy conservation and environmental protection technology for boilers
2021-09-17 China issues technical standards to control pollution from treatment of EVs’ waste lithium-ion batteries
2021-09-10 China publishes draft revision of noise pollution control law
Noise limits set for electrical equipment, other machines
2021-09-10 China releases draft regulations on use and report of single-use plastics
2021-09-07 China releases draft guideline for consumer goods
To determine the maximum allowable content of chemical substances in consumer goods
2021-09-05 China introduces regulations on combustible dust safety for industrial, trading companies
2021-09-05 China’s Fujian Province issued new regulations for water pollution control
Pollutant discharge limits, entities’ responsibilities addressed
2021-08-26 China notifies WTO of revised standards for limits on hazardous substances in furniture
Limits on VOCs, hazardous elements, etc. introduced
2021-08-24 Tianjin publishes “WEEE treatment development plan” (draft)
2021-08-24 China notifies WTO of revised national standards for limits on musical instrument hazardous substances
Recommended standards to become mandatory
2021-08-24 Shanghai releases plan for mandatory clean production audit for 2021–2023
13 key industries designated for auditing
2021-08-20 Beijing sets implementation procedures for carbon neutrality of enterprises
2021-08-19 Beijing issues water consumption standards for vehicle production
Water intake calculation method, two levels of water allowances, etc. introduced for aiming water conservation
2021-08-19 Official report on CCUS development in China released
Analysis of current and future situation of CCUS in China
2021-08-19 Beijing releases local standard on carbon footprint accounting for electronic information products
2021-08-19 China released draft standard on MEPS and energy efficiency grades for fluorescent lamps
2021-08-19 China publishes drafts on 5 compulsory national standards
Including “Household and similar electrical appliances general requirements-Product safety”
2021-08-18 Shanghai issues latest list of key industries for construction project environmental impact assessments
2021-08-18 China revises regulations on repair, replacement, return of vehicles, clarifying sellers’ responsibilities, covering EV parts
2021-08-12 China’s Guangdong Province Releases Guidelines for VOC Control for Key Industries
Including Electronic Parts Manufacturing
2021-08-12 The Great Wall Motor of China announced success of development of highly safety “Dayu Battery”
2021-08-11 China promotes EPR system by encouraging home appliance manufacturers to set and achieve recycle targets
For TV, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner manufacturers
2021-08-11 China plans EIA focusing on CO2 emissions from key industries
2021-08-11 China’s Jiangsu Province issues air pollutant emission standard
2021-08-11 China releases information on cases of hazardous waste-related illegal activities
2021-08-02 China announced “14th Five-Year Plan for Circular Economy Development”
Including the content of waste power battery recycling
2021-08-02 China released Forerunner standard evaluation requirements (draft for comments) related to vehicles
2021-08-02 China answers questions about Interim measures for standardization management of remanufacturing of auto parts
2021-08-02 China released Guide for establishment of ICV network security standards system (draft)
2021-07-28 China’s Jiangsu province releases draft of air pollutant emission standards
For industrial coating process and printing industry
2021-07-23 China adds 255 substances to chemicals inventory
2021-07-23 China to add 8 substances to chemicals inventory
2021-07-23 China publishes accounting manual of pollutant generation and emission
2021-07-13 China announces legislative plan for 2021
Regulations on groundwater and carbon trading are under consideration
2021-07-06 China Chemical Safety Association publishes industry standards for production safety
2021-07-05 China announces pilot program to implement EPR scheme for automobiles
2021-07-05 China issues pollution control guidance for construction projects
2021-06-29 MEE of China comments on VOC materials storage rules
2021-06-25 China adds 6 substances to regulated precursor chemicals list
2021-06-25 China formally accepts Kigali Amendment
2021-06-23 China plans stricter rules for safety control of ammonium nitrate
2021-06-23 China to ban production and use of HBCD under Stockholm Convention
2021-06-23 China drafting national standards for biodegradable materials and products
2021-06-21 Chinese government publishes plan for hazardous waste management supervision
2021-06-21 Amendment of Law on Work Safety approved in China
2021-06-18 China drafting recommended standards for energy efficiency of workpiece machining
2021-06-18 China revises lists of banned cosmetic ingredients, adding 17 new items
2021-06-15 China releases measures for grading OSH management system
2021-06-07 China announces plastic control plan in civil aviation sector
single-use plastic to be banned at airports from 2022
2021-06-05 China revises energy efficiency labeling rules for five products
three-phase motors, transformers, fans, TVs and set-top boxes
2021-05-31 China adds 319 substances into List of existing chemical substances
2021-05-31 Guangdong, China publishes “regulations on administrative guidance by Department of Ecology and Environment”
2021-05-31 China issues standard for information disclosure assessment on EPR of electric and electronic producers
2021-05-26 Beijing, China, publishes regulations on classification of ecological environmental penalty and management
2021-05-26 Shandong, China, issues Notice on enforcement of Ordinance for Pollutant Discharge Permits management
2021-05-26 China drafts technical guideline for screening of priority chemical substances
2021-05-26 Illegal wastewater discharge exposed in Henan province, China
2021-05-26 China announces FAQs related to registration of new chemical substances
2021-05-24 China publishes illegal cases of automated monitoring regulation
2021-05-17 China issues “Announcement on emission factors and material balance methods for calculating the taxable pollutants”
2021-05-12 China’s Fujian Province communicates enforcement cases of pollutant discharge permit regulations
2021-04-30 China notifies WTO/TBT of proposed revisions of MEPS for microcomputer
2021-04-30 China issues guidelines for verification of companies’ GHG emission reports (Trial)
2021-04-30 China drafts amendment for regulations on road transportation of dangerous goods
Comments invited until May 1, 2021
2021-04-30 China establishes guidelines for assessing easy-to-collect & easy-to-recycle design of plastic products
2021-04-30 China releases 2021 annual report on trade-in of home appliances
2021-04-26 China proposes to add 204 substances to Chemical Inventory
2021-04-23 China reveals national plan on supervision and sampling inspection for product quality during 2021
2021-04-23 China notifies draft amendment of MEPS for electric fan to WTO/TBT
2021-04-21 China publishes assessment measures for accident prevention in production and implementation of rectification
2021-04-21 Beijing, China, releases “Technical specification on grid monitored assessment for particulate matter ”
2021-04-21 China releases “Notice on new energy vehicles campaign in 2021”
2021-04-19 China’s Jilin Province announces key measures on plastic pollution control for 2021
2021-04-16 China publishes revised draft of provisional regulations on carbon trading
2021-04-14 China released two typical crackdown cases of the connection between administrative enforcement of law and criminal justice
2021-04-03 Jiangsu Province, China publishes information on 10 cases of environmental regulation breaches in 2020
2021-03-31 Shanghai, China strengthens supervision of enterprises registered new chemical substance for environmental management
2021-03-30 China releases “Plan for Accelerating the Development of New Energy Vehicle Industry in Shanghai”
2021-03-29 Guangdong,China urges pollutant discharge units to take actions
2021-03-28 Fujian, China releases guidelines for dealing with environmental pollution crime related to hazardous waste