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The People’s Republic of China’s Standardization Administration has released nine volatile organic compound (VOC) standards on coatings, adhesives, inks and cleaning agents to win the ‘Blue Sky Campaign’.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer ProductsNO. 124/20

 SG 12420 Chemical

In 2018, the State Council of the People's Republic of China (PRC) released the ‘three-year action plan to win the battle for a blue sky’ to improve air quality. This proposes the implementation of special volatile organic compound (VOC) remediation plans for the petrochemical, chemical, industrial coating, packaging, printing and other key VOC emitting industries. It also bans the production and use of solvent-based coatings, inks, adhesives and other key industries with a high VOC content. Special enforcement action will be implemented to reduce the total emission of VOCs by more than 10% in 2020 when compared to 2015.

In June, 2020, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the PRC (MEE) announced the ‘2020 Volatile Organic Compounds Management Plan’ to reduce emissions by 10%. The plan will vigorously promote source substitution to reduce the emission of VOCs and require manufacturers of coatings, adhesives, inks and cleaning agents to prepare for the implementation of mandatory national standards for VOCs. 

To achieve the goal of reducing VOCs, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and the Standardization Administration of the PRC (SAC) have successively published nine mandatory national standards. These standards contain methodology and limits for VOCs and other substances in coatings, adhesives, inks and cleaning agents. Coatings, adhesives, inks and cleaning agents are all high-risk VOC-containing materials commonly used in many industries. The publication of these mandatory national standards will facilitate relevant enterprises to reduce the use of VOCs in their products. 

Highlights of the nine mandatory national standards are summarized in Table 1.

standard Name of the standard Release Date Effective Date
GB 38468-2019
Limit of harmful substances of interior floor coatings
2019.12.31
2020.07.01
GB 38469-2019 
Limit of harmful substances of marine coatings
2019.12.31 2020.07.01
GB 18581-2020 Limit of harmful substances of woodware coatings
2020.03.04
2020.12.01
GB 18582-2020 Limit of harmful substances of architectural wall coatings
2020.03.04 2020.12.01
GB 24409-2020  Limit of harmful substances of vehicle coatings
2020.03.04
2020.12.01
GB 30981-2020 Limit of harmful substances of industrial protective coatings
2020.03.04
2020.12.01
GB 33372-2020 Limit of volatile organic compounds content in adhesive
2020.03.04
2020.12.01
GB 38507-2020 Limits of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in printing ink  2020.03.04
2021.04.01
GB 38508-2020 Limits for volatile organic compounds content in cleaning agents 
2020.03.04
2020.12.01

Table 1

Note: For details of the standards, please refer to the national standards open system of the PRC.

SGS has test capabilities for relevant VOC standards to help enterprises to comply with mandatory national standards. SGS has been accredited by the China Metrology Accreditation (CMA) for VOCs in mandatory national standards on coatings, adhesives, inks and cleaning agents. 

SGS is committed to providing information about development in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Through a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Ethan Zhang
Technical Supervisor, EET RSTS
t: (86) 574 8776 7006 ext. 6007

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