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Updates on China’s New Inspection Mode for Imported Hazardous Chemicals

It’s been almost one year since the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) implemented new inspection mode* for imported hazardous chemicals nationwide on April 13, 2023. It has reduced hazardous chemicals' storage quantity and duration in ports, effectively mitigating the accumulative risk at ports and improving customs clearance and port operation efficiency. However, speaking at a conference focusing on China Hazchem regulatory updates held in Shanghai on March 27, 2024, Mr. Wu Shuai from Shanghai Customs shared with attendees some non-compliance cases and guidance to ensure compliance.

*New inspection mode: Document Review + Port Inspection or Destination Inspection

According to Mr. Wu, the most common non-compliances discovered by Shanghai Customs during inspections are as follows:

  • The transport packages of imported hazardous chemicals, which are considered as dangerous goods and meet the criteria for being packaged in limited quantities (LQ) or excepted quantities (EQ), are not affixed with proper marks. Rectification will be required.

  • Enterprises haven’t promptly checked the inspection notice through the Single Window after customs declaration to confirm the inspection customs and inspection location, which leads to sales/use without inspection and authorization.

  • The information filled in via the Single Window is inconsistent with the corresponding information on the submitted materials. E.g.,

    1. The UN number, hazard class, and/or packaging group level filled in the single window are inconsistent with those on the SDS.

    2. The UN marking is inconsistent with that filled in the Declaration of Conformity for Enterprises Importing Hazardous Chemicals.

Notably, the consistency, completeness and accuracy of import declaration information and required materials is the critical principle of Document Review. Mr. Wu stressed that the information on the imported hazardous chemicals declared via the Single Window must be consistent with that in the declaration materials provided. Moreover, Mr. Wu reminded enterprises to pay high attention to compliance with GHS label and SDS. Non-compliant GHS label and SDS will directly affect customs clearance.


The GACC implemented the Announcement on Questions Regarding the Inspection on Imported and Exported Hazardous Chemicals and Their Packaging (a.k.a. GACC Announcement No. 129 of 2020) from January 10 of 2021, which is considered as the guiding document for customs agencies to fulfill their duties concerning the inspection on imported and exported hazardous chemicals and their packaging. To standardize the operational requirements for the inspection and prevent false declaration and concealment, the GACC decided to reform inspection mode and pilot in Shanghai Port on December 1, 2022 (CL news). Guangzhou Customs piloted it subsequently from January 16, 2023. Given the pilot experience and promising achievement, the GACC decided to roll out this new inspection mode nationwide on April 13, 2023 (CL news).

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