On March 15, 2023, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment published two sets of draft regulations on chemicals that have been added to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The chemicals subject to the draft regulations are hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), pentachlorophenol (PCP) and its salts and esters, polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs). The ministry will accept comments on the draft through March 27, 2023.
The four chemical items except for PCNs are also included in China’s 2023 List of Key Controlled New Pollutants. Some individual exemption provisions of the Stockholm Convention are excluded from the draft for consistency with the regulations of this list.
The addition of the chemicals to the Stockholm Convention will come into force for China 90 days after the country deposits its ratification instrument with the secretary-general of the United Nations.
Regulated substances and regulation details
|POPs||CAS Registry Number(s)||Regulations||Exemptions excluded from Chinese regulations|
|Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD)||87-68-3||Production, use, import and export are prohibited.||－|
|Pentachlorophenol (PCP) and its salts and esters||87-86-5
|Production, use, import and export are prohibited.||Use in utility poles and their crossarms|
|Polychlorinatednaphthalenes (PCNs)||－||Production, use, import and export are prohibited.||Production of polyfluoronaphthalene including octafluoronaphthalene|
|Decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE)||1163-19-5||Production, use, import and export are prohibited except that the use of decaBDE in the following are exempted from the prohibition until Dec. 31, 2023:
(1) Fabric products that need to be fire-retardant except for clothing and toys
(2) Additives at a concentration of less than 10 wt% used in plastic housings or components of home heaters, irons, fans or immersion heaters that contain or directly contact electrical components or that are required to meet the fire-retardancy standards.
(3) Polyurethane foam for building insulation
|Use in car parts, air craft and aircraft spare parts|
|Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs)*||Examples:
|Production, use, import and export are prohibited except that the use of SCCPs in the following are exempted from the prohibition until Dec. 31, 2023:
(1) Additives used in conveyer belt manufacturing in the natural and synthetic rubber industries.
(2) Spare parts for rubber conveyer belts used in mining and forestry.
(3) The leather industry, especially in fatliquoring.
(4) Additives in lubricants, especially lubricants used in motors of automobiles, power plants and wind farms; drilling in oil or gas exploration; and oil refineries producing diesel.
(5) Tubes for outdoor decorative lights
(6) Waterproof and fire protection coatings
(8) Metal processing
(9) Secondary plasticizers used in flexible polyvinyl chloride except for those used in toys and products for children.
* Chlorinated hydrocarbons at a concentration of 1% or more that have chains of four to 28 carbon atoms and contain at least 48 wt% of chlorine.
Discharge of unintentional substances
Chemicals used for laboratory-scale studies or used as reference substances as well as small quantities of chemicals present in products or other articles as unintentional contaminants are not subject to the above-mentioned prohibitions or restrictions on production, use, import and export unless otherwise stipulated.
The draft regulations (in Chinese) are available at