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Overview of Pesticide Regulations in China

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In China, pesticides are regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) in China. The highest regulation is "Regulations on the Management of Pesticides" (State Council Decree 677). These Regulations set stringent requirements on the registration, production, distribution and use of pesticides in China. It comes into force on June 1, 2017. 

Note: This article is part of Free Guide on Pesticide Regulation and Registration in China. You may contact to get a free copy.

Definition of Pesticides

A pesticide means a substance or mixture or other preparation of one or more substances derived from chemical synthesis, or originated from biological and other natural sources, used to prevent or control diseases, insects, weeds, rodents or other organisms harmful to agriculture and forestry, and aimed to regulate the growth of plants and insects. Pesticides, as stipulated in the preceding paragraph, include various types to be used for the following purposes and locations:

  • To prevent or control diseases, insects (including insects, ticks and mites), weeds, rodents, mollusks and other organisms harmful to agriculture and forestry; 

  • To prevent or control diseases, insects, rodents and other organisms harmful to storehouses and processing sites; 

  • To regulate the growth of plants and insects; 

  • To be used as preservatives in agricultural or forestry products;

  • To prevent or control mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, rodents and other harmful organisms; 

  • To prevent or control organisms harmful to dykes and dams, railways, ports, airports, buildings and other sites.

Typical pesticides include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, seedcare products, biopesticides and public health pesticides such as mosquito repellants, wood preservatives, snail-killing agent and termite control agent.

Pesticide Management System in China

The Regulations stipulates that the Chinese agricultural department under the State Council shall be responsible for the supervision and management of pesticide by pesticide registration, production permit, business permit, punishment for illegal activities, etc. Local agricultural departments at or above the county level shall be responsible for the supervision and management of pesticide within their own administrative regions while other relevant departments shall be responsible for the supervision and management of pesticide within their respective responsibilities. After the promulgation of the Regulations, supervision and management of pesticide have been strengthened. The agricultural departments have the right to do on-site checks, random checks, investigate, review and copy relevant materials, seal up and detain relevant products and equipment, etc.  

Pesticide Registration in China

In accordance with the requirements of the Regulations, the pesticide temporary registration in China is cancelled. The Regulations makes clear that pesticides both domestically produced and imported from overseas must be registered prior to their manufacture, import and use. Only when the pesticide is found to be in compliance with relevant conditions after registration test and registration evaluation, Chinese agricultural department under the State Council is to issue a pesticide registration certificate and make an announcement. The Regulations also expands the entities of application, that is, new pesticide developers can apply for pesticide registration certificate. At the same time, the Regulations allow the transfer of registration data, but do not allow the transfer of registration certificate. Experts in Committee of Experts on National Food Safety Risk Assessment also serve as members of Evaluation Committee for Pesticide Registration.

Detailed data requirements on pesticide registration can be found in China MARA's No. 2569 Announcement.

Pesticide Production

The pesticide production permit system will be implemented. Pesticide manufacturing enterprises shall establish goods inspection system as well as book account system; before production is entrusted, the consignor shall acquire relevant pesticide registration certificate and the consignee shall acquire pesticide production certificate. Moreover, there are extra requirements for labels of pesticides: pesticide restricted for use shall label “restricted for use” and the restriction requirements; pesticides for edible agricultural products shall also label the pre-harvest interval.  

Pesticide Business Operation

The pesticide business permit system will be implemented (the operation of public health pesticides excluded). Enterprises must meet required conditions before the enterprise sets foot in the operation of pesticides. Operators are not allowed to process or repacking pesticides. Enterprises need to hire professionals if the enterprises are willing to operate pesticides restricted for use. Pesticide operators shall also establish purchasing and selling account for future reference. Additionally, overseas enterprises are not allowed to sell pesticides in mainland China directly as required by the Regulations. If overseas enterprises are willing to sell pesticides in mainland China, they have to set up sales agencies or entrusted agencies.

Pesticide Use Management

The Regulations makes clear obligations of users of the pesticide. Users shall not use pesticides beyond the range of application or recommended dosage. Extremely-toxic and highly -toxic pesticides are not allowed to use in edible agricultural products. The management system for the use of pesticides has been improved. The department of agriculture is required to give guidance to users of pesticides, improve its service and increase the trainings on rational pesticide use; it is also required to encourage and support professional pest control, organize to implement pesticide reduction plan and gradually to reduce the dosage of pesticide. Moreover, the pesticide waste recycling system, pesticide application accidents reporting and handling system as well as pesticide emergency management system are also set up by the Regulations.

Supervision and Management of Pesticide

The Regulations stipulates that local agricultural departments at or above the county level shall perform their duties of pesticide management and supervision, establish pesticide credit file system, establish pesticide recall system and improve registered pesticide withdrawal system. Definition of forged and fake pesticides is given in the Regulations. A system for the disposition of counterfeit pesticides and pesticide waste has been established. Additionally, the Regulations regulated that agricultural departments at or above the county level and the staff shall not be engaged in the manufacturing and operation of pesticides.  

Legal Liabilities

Punishment for illegal activities is increased. In accordance with the Regulations, penalties for illegal activities such as production and operation without license as well as production and sale of counterfeit goods are increased, illegal gains will be confiscated and relevant licenses will be revoked; if the illegal activities are severe enough to constitute a crime, criminal responsibility shall be affixed. The agricultural department under the State Council will not accept the registration application from enterprises whose registration licenses have been revoked within 5 years; the leading persons directly in charge of the enterprise are not allowed to engage in the production and operation of pesticides within 10 years if the enterprise does not acquire production and operation certificate or registration certificate and license of the enterprise is revoked.


A free copy of the English translation of the new pesticide regulation in China can be obtained from USDA's website below.

China: China Releases Regulations on Pesticide Management | USDA Foreign Agricultural Service


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