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China to Enforce Ban on HBCDD

SafeGuardSAutomotive, Home Furnishings and Houseware, Home Textiles, Personal and Protective EquipmentJune 29, 2021

China has informed the relevant Ministries of the prohibition of HBCCD. Surveillance activities will be carried out from December 26, 2021.

In May 2001, the People’s Republic of China (China) signed the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutant chemicals (POP chemicals), a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that persist in the environment. This was ratified in August 2004.

In December 2016, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) published Announcement No. 84 of 2016 (the Announcement) to prohibit the manufacture, use, import and export of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD). The Announcement transposed ‘Decision SC-6/13: Listing of Hexabromocyclododecane’ from the Stockholm Convention into the nation’s law on POP chemicals. In consistency with Decision SC-6/13, HBCDD was permitted to be used in expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) in buildings but only for a period of five years – until December 25, 2021. HBCDD was also permitted to be used in laboratory-scale research or as a reference standard. 

According to the definitions in the Announcement, HBCDD means HBCDD (CAS 25637-99-4), 1,2,5,6,9,10-HBCDD (CAS 3194-55-6) and its main diastereoisomers: α-HBCDD (CAS 134237-50-6), β-HBCDD (CAS 134237-51-7) and γ-HBCDD (CAS 134237-52-8).

HBCDD is a flame retardant with a number of uses, including EPS and XPS foams for insulation and construction, as well as back-coatings for upholstery and other interior textiles, including automotive applications. 

This Announcement has been effective since December 26, 2016.   

On June 8, 2021, China’s MEE issued Letter No. 237 to the relevant Ministries to carry out surveillance activities in relation to the blanket ban on HBCDD in the Announcement from December 26, 2021. Reports on these surveillance activities are to be submitted to the MEE before March 31, 2022.

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