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Standards and legislation in China

China Standardization Law

It is no doubt that “China Standardization Law” is the foundation stone of Chinese standardization system. The new Standardization Law of China was published in November 2017 and implemented on 1 January 2018. Prior to the 2017 Standardization Law reform, the development of Chinese standards was largely centralized, with the majority of standards-setting power vested in the government. As China’s economy became more integrated into the world, Chinese government has recognized that its standardization regime had to change, thus some market driven elements were introduced into this system during this reform.

Since China’s standardization reform involves many major principle changes, from the original “government leading the development of standards” to “dual supply of government standards and market standards”, the new model of “mandatory national standards + voluntary national, sectoral and local standards” is more in tune with the EU’s model of “mandatory technical regulations + voluntary standards”. While the “SAC + associations standards” in China will be market standards and will play the similar role comparable to the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) assessments of standards. Nevertheless, this reform will also have a far-reaching impact on the market and how enterprises can adjust.

 

Standardization Related Regulations

There are two key administrative Regulations published by the State Council of China directly addressing to the standardization Law reform. the “Reform Plan on Deepening the Standardization Work”  was published in March 2015, and the “Notice on the Action Plan (2015-2016) for Releasing and Implementing the ‘Reform Plan on Deepening the Standardization Work’ in August 2015. It was under the guideline of these two documents, that was standardization Law reform implemented. China Standardization Law 2017 version reflected all the strategic points of these two documents and a serial of actions were implemented nationally to fulfill the requirements inside them.

There are about 20 regulations either directly supporting the “Standardization Law” or regulating ministries and sectors standardization activities. With the new Standardization Law implemented on January 1, 2018, most standardization related regulations need to be modified to comply and support the new law. For example, the association standards were introduced into China standardization system for the first time, then the management rule of associations standards should be drafted.

Table 2. Regulations Supporting China Standardization .

  Regulations Drafting Organizations Publishing Date Effective Date
1 Measures for the Administration of Mandatory National Standards SAMR January 6, 2020 June 1, 2020
2 Measures for the Administration of National Voluntary Standards [1] SAMR Under modification,

estimate to be published in 2020

3 Measures for the Administration of Sector Standards SAMR Status unknown
4 Measures for the Administration of Association Standards SAMR January 9, 2019 January 9, 2019
GB/T 20004.2-2018

Social Organization Standardization – Part 2: Evaluation of Good Practice [2]

Standards drafted by CNIS June, 2018 June 2018
GB/T 20004.1-2016

The Social Organization Standardization – Part 1: Guidelines on Good Practice

Standards drafted by CNIS May 2016 May 2016
5 Measures for the Administration of Local Standards SAMR January 6, 2020 March 1, 2020
6 Measures for the Administration of Enterprises Standards SAMR Under modification,

estimate to be published in 2020

7 Provisions for the Administration of National Standardization Technical Committees AQSIQ [3] October 10, 2017 January 1, 2018
8 Measures for the Administration of Foreign Language Version of National Standards SAC August 6, 2016 6 August 2016
9 Measures for the Administration of Participation in ISO and IEC International Standardization Activities SAC, AQSIQ May 2015 May 2015
10 Interim Provisions on the Administration of National Standards Involving Patents (for Trial Implementation) SAC December 2013 January 1, 2014
11 Measures for the Administration of Adoption of International Standards SAC April 12, 2001 April 12, 2001
12 Measures for the Administration of Agriculture Standardization SAMR Under modification,

estimate to be published in 2020

13 Administrative Measures for National Food Safety Standards Ministry of Health Under modification,

estimate to be published in 2020

14 Measures for the Administration of Energy Standardization National Energy Administration April 18, 2019 April 18, 2019
15 Administrative Measures for Sector Standards of the Customs of the People’s Republic of China (2017 Amendment) General Administration of Customs February 1, 2018 February 1, 2018
16 Measures for the Administration of the Standards for Medical Devices Food and Drug Administration[4] July 1, 2017 July 1, 2017
17 Measures for the Administration of Railway Industry Technical Standards National Railway Administration June 1, 2014 June 1, 2014
18 Measures of MIIT for sector Standards (Draft for Comment) MIIT Finished call for comments

Not published yet

[1] See SAMR 2020 Legislative Plan http://www.samr.gov.cn/xw/zj/202003/t20200326_313463.html
[2] These two standards will be used to evaluate associations that can make standards. We listed them here as it plays important role on evaluate association standards.
[3] AQSIQ was merged into SAMR in April 2018.
[4] It is now the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA)

Table 1 showed the Regulations supporting China standardization. As “the ministries and commissions of the State Council, the People’s Bank of China, the State Audit Administration, and other divisions with administrative functions directly under the State Council”, can draft, use and manage standards as well, this list is not complete and will be increased.

Basically, the regulations for 5 categories of standards should be modified according to the “New Standardization Law”. Regulations dealing with specific issues like standards drafting processes, management of technical committees, adoption of international standards, and essential patents in standards, etc. , will be drafted or modified by SAC or SAMR. In Europe, such documents are often drafted by Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), like CEN/CENELC, ETSI and DIN, but in China, they are all done by government. In this sense, government still bears the standardization management as its responsibility in China.

The above regulations analyses showed that China government still plays key leading role in  standardization, and market driven standards style still need to be incubated and fostered.

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