Key Points:

  • Standardization efforts will focus on areas such as agriculture, consumer products, information technology and energy
  • Representatives of companies and industry associations will have an opportunity to comment on draft standards

At the end of January 2011, the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) issued the “Guidance on Establishing Projects for National Standardization in 2011.” The projects will focus on the following industries and areas:

  • Modern agriculture
  • Services and social development
  • Food quality, consumer products quality and safety
  • Energy conservation and environmental protection
  • New-generation information technology
  • Biology
  • High-end equipment manufacturing
  • New energy
  • New materials
  • New energy vehicles

Industry members and specialized technology standardization committees are responsible for the collection, selection and application of the projects. During the process of drafting standards, comments to the draft – in particular, comments from representatives of companies and industry associations on highly technical issues – will be solicited. It is not unusual for government officials to receive and consider comments and suggestions from multinational corporations related to draft standards for their industries. Certain “selected” stakeholders may be asked to participate in the review process. For example, according to a notice issued on 28 February 2011 regarding solicitation of comments for national technical standards for printers and electrographs, 15 companies and organizations have been asked to provide comments including Panasonic, Lenovo and Foundertech.

Recently, the Ministry of Environmental Protection promulgated the “Standards on Pollution Discharge of the Rare Earth Industry,” effective as of 1 October 2011. These are the first national standards on pollution discharge to be issued during the 12th five-year-plan plan. They include specific and strict standards on the discharge of waste water, gas and radioactive materials for rare earth industry enterprises. A number of rare earth enterprises may not be able to comply with such standards, although there is a two-year transition period. Consequently, exports in this sector are expected to decrease significantly in the following two to three years.

National standards for various industries are expected to appear gradually in 2011.