China Standardization Administration of China announces revised safety requirements for school supplies with updated scope and stricter limits on toxic substances

On July 23, 2020, the Standardization Administration and the State Administration for Market Regulation of China announced a revision of the mandatory national standard, the “General Safety Requirements for School Supplies”. The standard will come into force on February 1, 2022. Here is an overview:

Revision of the scope

  1. The scope of the standard has been changed from “school supplies used by minor students” to “school supplies used by students no older than 14 years old“.
  2. It has been clearly stipulated that school supplies designed for students over the age of 14 or for experts are out of its scope.


Revision of the limits on leachable elements (revised items only)

Products After the revision Before the revision
Colored clay Pigments for finger painting and plastic (modelling clay)
Leachable element(mg/kg) Antimony 10 60
Arsenic 10 25
Barium 350 250
Cadmium 15 50
Chromium 25 25
Lead 25 90
Mercury 10 25
Selenium 50 500

The revised standard has added a provision that exempts school supply items from its application if less than 10 g of sample can be obtained from a test unit of a touchable printed/painted surface of an item.


Revision of the limits on toxic substances in correction fluids/tapes

After the revision Before the revision
Requirement The combined content of the following chlorinated hydrocarbons must not exceed 10 mg/kg: dichloromethane, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, chloroform, trichloroethane, trichloroethylene and carbon tetrachloride.  Must not contain these substances.


Addition of labelling provisions

The revised standard has added labelling provisions, including the one requiring products to state, “This product is suitable for students,” or “Designed for children of 6–14 years old.”

The original text and information of the standard can be viewed at this link (in Simplified Chinese):

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