Index of China

Framework of EHS laws and regulations in China.

Category Theme
Overall Overview, Environmental Standards
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
2021-04-14 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 the supervision of new chemical substance environmental management registered enterprises”
2021-03-30 China released “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 released guidelines for handling environmental pollution crime related to hazardous waste
2021-03-27 Many paint products exceeding reviewed GB’s VOC content limits found by customs across China
2021-03-25 China issues circular on reviewed subsidies for disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment
2021-03-24 China’s Hainan Province issues circular on 2021 objectives for electric vehicle charging infrastructure construction
2021-03-23 China’s Jiangxi Province issues measures for vehicle recycling, dismantling company qualification
2021-03-22 China’s Notice on the Application for the Second EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) Partner Plan
2021-03-19 Guangdong, China released the “Classification rules of key VOCs industries ” (Draft for comments)
2021-03-18 China released regulations related to the management of cosmetics and new cosmetic raw materials
2021-03-16 Hebei, China released 10 measures for control of air pollution
Ten measures for deeply implement the comprehensive control of air pollution of Hebei province
2021-03-15 China released a national compulsory standard on fuel consumption limits for passenger cars
2021-02-28 China released 3 national standards related to hydrogen energy
2021-02-27 China released “clean production evaluation indicator system” for 6 industries
2021-02-26 China released “Green supply chain management specification for electronics information manufacturing industry”
2021-02-25 Shanghai, China released the “Calculation method for the emission reduction of VOC control projects (trial)”
2021-02-24 China issues provisional measures on designation of person responsible for construction site soil contamination
2021-02-23 China announces measures concerning passenger vehicle fuel consumption, new energy vehicle credits
2021-02-22 China’s Nanjing city imposes fines on companies illegally handling hazardous chemicals
2021-02-15 China released the “Regulations on the Management of Occupational Health at Workplaces”
2021-02-15 China released “Hazard identification, risk assessment and plan of control measures -Guidance”
2021-02-12 China publishes list of technologies for solid waste treatment and soil pollution control
2021-02-12 China publishes information on major industrial accidents
2021-02-09 Beijing, China released a local standard “Technical specification for treatment of industrial brine”
2021-02-09 The State Council of China released “Regulations on the Administration of Pollutant Discharge Permits”
2021-01-28 China Released “Measures for the Administration of Cosmetics Registration and Notification”
2021-01-27 China released a list of green product assessment standards (2nd batch)
Including plastic products, detergents and packing for express service
2021-01-27 China released the “Notice on further improving the financial subsidy policy for the promotion and application of NEVs”
2021-01-25 China released “Discharge Standard of Water Pollution for Electronic Industry” and other 7 national standards
2021-01-19 China Released “Gaseous Refrigerants-Determination of 10 halogenated hydrocarbons GC/MS” and other 2 standards
2021-01-19 China released 3 new issued and 4 amended mandatory national standards related to pollutant emissions
2021-01-19 China Released 3 Technical Guidelines on Chemical Substances
2021-01-19 China issues measures on carbon trading management (trial implementation)
2021-01-19 Beijing issues local standards on carbon emission calculation, reporting for 6+ industries
2021-01-19 China issues law to protect Yangtze River
2021-01-17 China Released a Total of 6 National Standards Related to Identification and Assessment of Environmental Damage
2021-01-16 China Released Report on Implementation of EPR for Electrical and Electronic Equipment
2021-01-15 China issues announcement on inspection, supervision of imported, exported hazardous chemicals
2021-01-14 China to extend pilot programs for lead-acid battery collection, transportation
2021-01-13 China’s Jiangxi province issues regulations for soil pollution control
2020-12-26 Guangdong Province, China Released Regulations on Solid Waste Management
2020-12-26 China Released Standards for “Plastic Shopping Bags” and “Degradable Disposable Tableware”
2020-12-26 China imposes sanctions on new energy vehicle manufacturers that fail to meet production conformity requirements
2020-12-21 China Announced 8 Typical Cases of Chemical Industry and Hazardous Chemical Production Safety Accidents
2020-12-21 China Passed the “Administrative Regulations on the Pollutant Emission Permit (Draft)
Strengthen Penalties by Stipulating Classification Management Based on Pollutant Emissions
2020-12-21 China published Government Procurement Law (Revised Draft for Opinions)
2020-12-21 China Released Interim Measures for the Management of South-South Cooperation Material Assistance Project
2020-12-21 China Released Regulations on the Approval Procedures for Environmental Impact Assessment Reports (forms)
2020-12-14 China updates catalogue of construction categories for environmental impact assessments
2020-12-14 China’s State Council approves bill to amend Production Safety Law, to send it to National People’s Congress
2020-12-11 China revised the “List of Prohibited Products for Processing Trade
2020-12-10 China submitted WTO/TBT notifications on Administrative Measures for Cosmetic Labelling
2020-12-07 China submitted WTO/TBT notifications on MEPS GB for multi-connected air-condition (heat pump) units
2020-12-07 China submits WTO/TBT notifications on three sets of draft regulations for cosmetic products
2020-12-07 China issues announcement concerning total ban on solid waste import
2020-12-02 China publishes National Hazardous Waste List 2021
2020-11-30 China releases revised guidance for new chemical registration
2020-11-30 China released “Technical Guidelines for Ecological and Environmental Impact Analysis”
2020-11-30 China released “Action Plan for Comprehensive Air Pollution Prevention and Control in the Yangtze River Delta Region”
2020-11-27 China Released GB “Guidelines for Enterprises to Develop Emergency Response Plan for Work Place Accidents”
2020-11-27 China released the “Action Plan for Comprehensive Control for Air Pollution of Beijing-Tianjin- Hebei Areas”
2020-11-27 China notified WTO a Standard- “Content Limitation of Mercury, Cadmium and Lead for Zinc Anode Primary Battery”
2020-11-24 China submitted WTO/TBT notifications on 3 compulsory national standards
2020-11-20 China releases two sets of draft measures on national carbon trading
2020-11-19 China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Released the List of Fifth Batch of Green Manufacturing
Including List of Green Factories and List of Eco-Design Products
2020-11-19 Shandong, China announced Implementation Plan for Promotion of Renewal of Household Appliances
2020-11-19 Ministry of Natural Resources of China released “2019 National Seawater Utilization Report”
Including the recent status of seawater desalination projects
2020-11-16 China Society of Automotive Engineers Released “Technology Roadmap 2.0 for Energy-Saving and New Energy Vehicles”
Aiming for 50% NEVs and 50% HVs for new vehicles by 2035
2020-11-16 China released an announcement related to the transition of registration of environmental management of new chemical substances
2020-11-16 China adopts proposals for 14th Five-Year Plan emphasizing expanding domestic demand
2020-11-10 China publishes second List of Priority Chemicals for Regulation, adding 18 chemicals including PFOA
2020-11-09 Tianjin, China Released “Emission Control Standard for Industrial Enterprises Volatile Organic Compounds”
Strengthen the emission limit of VOCs
2020-11-09 China Released “Measures on Environmental Management of Hazardous Waste Transfer (revised draft)”
2020-10-31 Guangdong, China released the “Provincial Measures on Compensation for Ecological and Environmental Damage (Trial)”.
2020-10-31 China Released the Measures on Hazardous Chemical Enterprises’ Responsibility System for the Safety of Major Hazard Sources (Trial)
2020-10-31 China publishes draft management measures for list of sanctioned entities discredited for safe production issues
2020-10-30 China Released the “Guideline for Classification and Label Standard of Biodegradable Plastic Products”
2020-10-28 China Released Representative Cases of Environmental Crime Related to Hazardous Waste
Illegal Disposal of Waste Lead Acid Batteries, Illegal Dumping of Waste Tire Treatment Liquid, etc.
2020-10-27 China submits WTO/TBT notification of proposed revision to car fuel consumption national standard
2020-10-26 China Released “Product list for Water Efficiency Labeling (the 2nd batch)”
2020-10-26 China released three Chemical Substance related Technical Guidelines (Trial) (Draft for Comments)
Including Technical Guideline for Environmental and Health Hazard Assessment of Chemical Substances and etc.
2020-10-26 China’s Zhejiang Province issues Regulation on Water Resources to encourage water conservation through various systems
2020-10-22 China Released 5 National Environmental Protection Standards (Draft for Comments)
“Ambient air and waste gas-Determination of acrylic esters-Gas chromatography” and etc.
2020-10-22 China notified WTO a National Standard of the P.R.C.
The “Specification for the Limitation of Harmful Substances Found in Watch Casings Contacting Directly with Skin”
2020-10-22 China releases first catalogue of outdated processes and equipment for hazardous chemical production to be banned or restricted
2020-10-15 China notified WTO the “National Standard of the P.R.C., Limits of Certain Heavy Metal in Printing Ink”
2020-10-13 Guangdong Province, China, Released “Catalogue of Plastic Products Restricted and Prohibited from Production, Sales and Use”
2020-10-13 China announces Guidance on Optimization and Improvement of Environmental Protection Enforcement (draft for comments)
2020-10-12 China Released Hazardous Chemical Safety Law (Draft for Comments)
2020-09-26 China’s Dalian City releases third list of companies required to improve VOC management
74 companies on list including Japanese firms
2020-09-26 China’s Guangdong Province announces guidelines on development of emergency response measures for environmental accidents
2020-09-26 China announces revised safety requirements for school supplies with updated scope and stricter limits on toxic substances
2020-09-14 Shanghai announced revision of list on emergency emission reductions for severe air pollution days in 2020
2020-08-31 China’s Dalian City releases third list of companies required to improve VOC management, 74 companies on list including Japanese firms
2020-08-31 China releases proposed revision of national standard for energy efficiency of fans, adding DC fans to its list
2020-08-31 China submits WTO/TBT notification of proposed revision of “Gas Storage Water Heater” national standard with higher energy efficiency requirement
2020-08-31 China reports on use status of public reporting platform for China RoHS