In February, 2021, the draft Law on Safety of Hazardous Chemicals, a legislation poised to regulate China's hazardous chemicals in place of Decree 591, was submitted for deliberation at the executive meeting of the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM).
China is one of the world’s major chemical powerhouses, with large amount of businesses engaging in the production and operations of hazardous chemicals. However, they face great challenges associated with hazardous chemicals. The regulation of hazardous chemicals safety involves various authorities as well as a number of laws and regulations, which results in blank spots and overlaps in the regulatory practices. Therefore, the central government has reckoned it both necessary and urgent to establish a State-level law to fundamentally unify and enhance legislative measures for ensuring safety of hazardous chemicals.
With a focus on clearly dividing responsibilities and guarding against safety risks at the source, the draft Law may wield a tremendous amount of influence over the chemical sector. Compared to the third draft which was published in October last year, major highlights in the proposed draft remain the same, yet with some changes made in certain specific rules.