China Releases Proposed Standards For Labeling, Packaging Chemical Reagents

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By Michael Standaert  

SHENZHEN, China--China has proposed mandatory requirements for chemical reagent packaging materials and labeling as part of its implementation of the U.N. Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

The draft requirements from the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) distinguish between hazardous and non-hazardous chemical reagents.

Packaging for reagents classified as hazardous would have to go through more stringent performance tests outlined in the draft. Manufacturers, users, and distributors of the hazardous reagents would have to follow GHS labeling rules.

The draft standard was sent to World Trade Organization's Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade in late April as part of China's GHS obligations. WTO is expected to formally accept the regulatory draft within about 90 days from its submission.

Phaseout of Herbicide Paraquat

China’s Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine also jointly released rules on the production and use of paraquat to phase out the herbicide in the next four years.

According to the notice, applications or licenses for approvals to use, process, or produce the herbicide will be halted immediately.

Beginning July 1, 2014, existing licenses for manufacturing of paraquat for export will be revoked. Domestic sale and use of the chemical will be stopped as of July 1, 2016.

Products containing paraquat will have to meet more stringent labeling requirements by Jan. 1, 2013, under the new rules.

The Ministry of Agriculture said additional steps, such as adding odor and chemical agents to paraquat and using smaller bottles, will be required for health and safety reasons.

By Michael Standaert  

The draft proposal for chemical reagent packaging is available, in Chinese, at

More information on the restrictions on the use of paraquat is available, in Chinese, at