China China updates catalogue of construction categories for environmental impact assessments

On November 30, 2020, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment released the Catalogue of Construction Categories for the Management of Classification-based Environmental Impact Assessment 2021. It takes effect on January 1, 2021. Here are the important changes introduced by the update:

Clarification of management principles

  • It is clearly stated that construction work classified into none of the construction categories in the catalogue are excluded from the management scheme of construction environmental impact assessment.
  • When construction that should be managed under this scheme is performed, a plan must be submitted to and approved by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment in advance.

Simpler classification process of building renovation and extension

Renovation and extension of buildings that does not involve the main body of building are classified according to the details of the renovation and extension work.

Higher integration with the pollutant discharge permit system

Entities operating in industries managed by the pollutant discharge permit system, including the machinery industry, and industries that have a negligible impact on the environment are not required to submit the environmental impact registration form.

Industries removed from the management catalogue

(Only some are shown here.)

  • Development and remediation of contaminated land.
  • Restaurants, entertainment establishments and public baths.

Industries brought under tighter management (change to a higher management class)

(Only some are shown here.)

  • Printing
    • Entities that use more than 10 tons of solvent ink annually submit the “report”.
    • Other entities submit the “report form”.
  • Electronic components and material manufacturing.
    • Manufacturers of semiconductor materials and electronic chemical materials submit the “report”.
    • Entities that manufacture printed circuit boards or special electronic materials1 (excluding electronic chemical materials), use organic solvents or perform acid cleaning submit the “report form”.

1 Materials used for manufacturing electronic components, including semiconductor integrated circuits.

The full catalogue is available at

(in simplified Chinese).

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