China’s Ministry of Emergency Management on May 26 published a draft circular on stricter safety control of ammonium nitrate to solicit comments. Public comments will be accepted until June 27, 2021. The draft has been developed to enhance the safety control over the production, use, etc. of ammonium nitrate, in response to the ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut, Lebanon in August 2020. Here is an overview:
Stricter regulations on construction projects involving ammonium nitrate
Licensing criteria become stricter for construction projects involving ammonium nitrate. Projects not complying with occupational safety laws and other rules are denied a license.
Stricter safety control over the production and storage of ammonium nitrate
- Chlorite ion content in raw materials and organic compound content in products must certainly meet the national standards.
- Solid ammonium nitrate must be stored in isolation from other things in accordance with Section 6.5 of the Rule for Storage of Chemical Dangers (GB 15603).
Stricter safety control over the sale and use of ammonium nitrate
- Ammonium nitrate producers and sellers are allowed to sell it after obtaining a civilian explosive sale license (民用爆炸物品销售许可证) from the government body in charge of the civilian explosive industry.
- Entities using ammonium nitrate need to have obtained a civilian explosive purchase license (民用爆炸物品购买许可证) from the public security organ to request the purchase of ammonium nitrate.
Stricter supervision by government bodies
- If a government body for emergency management finds that a company producing or dealing with ammonium nitrate does not meet the production safety requirements, it suspends or revokes the company’s safe production license.
- The illegal sale of ammonium nitrate is strictly controlled and punished. Those committing serious violations will lose their civilian explosive sale license.
- The regulations on ammonium nitrate export are strengthened, with a quantity limit for each export shipment.
The full text of the draft circular (in simplified Chinese) is available at