The most important step in hazardous chemical compliance in China is to determine whether chemicals are hazardous or whether they are listed in the Catalog of Hazardous Chemicals (hereinafter referred to as the Catalog). Enterprises must obtain an operation permit or license for hazardous chemicals (in short as HC Operation Permit) if their chemicals are listed in the Catalog.
Related enterprises may leave a message on the website of the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) if there are any questions about hazardous chemicals management to get public replies from the Ministry (as shown below). CIRS Group has selected the most frequently asked questions on the HC Operation Permit for your reference:
Q1: As a construction enterprise, our company provides construction materials containing hazardous chemicals such as paints that are listed in the Catalog, yet we do not provide brushing services. Is this considered an operation of hazardous chemicals? Do we need to obtain a HC Operation Permit?
A: If your enterprise sells paints that are hazardous to customers, your company is involved in the operation of hazardous chemicals. In accordance with the Measures for the Administration of Hazardous Chemicals Operation Permit (hereinafter referred to as Measures), an HC Operation Permit shall be obtained.
Q2: Our Company has a new project involving sales of mixed hazardous chemical gases which mainly contain oxygen, nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide, and helium. In accordance with the Measures, enterprises must apply for HC Operations Permit if they are involved in the operation of hazardous chemicals listed in the Catalog. However, none of our mixed gases are listed in the Catalog. Do we still need to obtain an HC Operation Permit for the mixed gases and how do we apply for the permit?
A: Please identify and classify the mixed gases in accordance with the Guidance for the Implementation of Catalog of Hazardous Chemicals (2015) (Trail), and determine whether relevant administrative permits or licenses shall be obtained or whether or not registrations for hazardous chemicals shall be made based on the results.
Q3: As a trade enterprise engaged in the export trade of various goods, we purchase and export commodities that are chemical substances listed in the Catalog, yet these substances are not highly toxic, toxic, or explosive. During the export trading, the quality and packaging of the goods are inspected by the Customs, the goods are transported by units with hazardous goods transportation qualifications, and the storage is supervised by the departure port. In this circumstance, do we still need to apply for an HC Operation Permit in accordance with Article 98 of Chapter VIII of the Regulations on the Safety Management of Hazardous Chemicals?
A: In accordance with the Measures, enterprises engaging in hazardous chemicals trade shall obtain an HC Operation Permit except under the circumstances that operators have obtained the port operation permit and are allowed to engage in the storage of hazardous chemicals in harbors.
Q4: I am from a local safety supervision department. A local business sells fuel to the catering industry (the fuel is comprised of methanol, water, and other solvents; the addition of water and other solvents is less than 20). After testing, the closed flash point of this fuel is below 60℃. Is it necessary to issue an HC Operation Limit in accordance with Entry 2828 of the Catalog of Hazardous Chemicals to the company?
A: In accordance with the reply from the General Office of the State Administration of Work Safety on Safety Supervision on New Fuel Oils (No.33  of the General Office of the State Administration of Work Safety), “new fuel oil” with a closed flashing point at or above 60℃ shall be classified as hazardous chemicals as per Entry 2828 of the Catalog of Hazardous Chemicals (2015). Therefore, local safety supervision departments shall perform legal responsibilities as specified in the Regulations on the Safety Management of Hazardous Chemicals.
Q5: Sodium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide solution (concentration ≥ 30) are listed in the Catalog (Entry 1669). Currently, the HC Operation Permit of our company covers sodium hydroxide. Can we sell sodium hydroxide solution with a concentration ≥ 30 as well?
A: Sodium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide solution have different hazard properties. Therefore, if there is a need to operate sodium hydroxide solution, a new permit application must be processed.
Q6: 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone and γ-butyrolactone are not listed in the Catalog (2015). Is it necessary to obtain an HC Operation Permit if our company runs these two substances (storage facilities not covered)?
A: No, it isn’t. Where the business scope does not involve operations of hazardous chemicals, an HC Operation Permit is not required.
Q7: I have two questions. 1. Is it appropriate to apply for an HC Operation Permit without storage facilities when renting a Class A warehouse from another entity that meets the safety and fire protection requirements for the storage of hazardous chemicals? 2. Is it permissible to choose an office building as an office address location when the hazardous chemicals are stored without storage facilities and no chemicals will be stored at the office address?
A: In accordance with the Measures, an HC Operation Permit shall be obtained based on the category and scale of storage and operation of hazardous chemicals. The address of office buildings can be used as a registered address. When used as business premises, relevant regulations shall be met.
Q8: A company has obtained an HC Operation Permit in City A with its approved scope covering trade and operation of hazardous chemicals such as sulfuric acid and nitric acid (storage facilities not covered). This company rented an office in City B where staff were stationed. The company temporarily stored the hazardous chemicals (sulfuric acid and nitric acid) in the office for distribution yet the place does not meet relevant storage conditions. We counted the number of hazardous chemicals stored in this place, it does not constitute a major source of danger. Do we define this act as illegal storage or illegal operation?
A: Based on the description, this company is suspected of illegal storage of hazardous chemicals.
CIRS Group warmly reminds you that hazardous chemicals are not only required to obtain HC Operation Permits, but also hazardous chemicals registrations.
CIRS Group has translated the Catalog of Hazardous Chemicals (2015) into English, if you would like to order the English version or other national standards, please click here.
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