Q: What is the background of the Implementation Arrangements of the Conformity Assessment System for the Restricted Use of the Hazardous Substances Contained in Electrical and Electronic Products?
A: On January 6, 2016, eight departments, including MIIT and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) co-issued Administration Measures for the Restricted Use of Hazardous Substances Contained in Electrical and Electronic Products (Joint Ministerial Order No. 32, hereinafter, the Administration Measures), which was officially implemented on July 1, 2016.
Two steps are listed in the Administration Measures. The first step is to label the products incorporated in the Administration Measures in accordance with relevant standards. The second step is to impose quantity limitations of hazardous substances for the products listed in the Standards Compliance Catalogue of Electric and Electronic Products Containing Hazardous Substances Restricted in Use (First Batch). The content of hazardous substances in the electrical and electronic products shall not exceed that specified in the relevant standards and shall be managed in accordance with the conformity assessment system.
Most enterprises have already finished labelling their relevant products. On March 12, 2018, after drawing experience from EU and other nations and regions on the restricted use and quantity limitation of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products, eight departments including MIIT and NDRC co-issued Catalogue for the Standards Compliance Administration of the Restricted Use of the Hazardous Substances Contained in Electrical and Electronic Products (First Batch) (hereinafter, the Catalogue) and Exception List of the Application of the Catalogue for Standard Compliance Administration of the Restricted Use of the Hazardous Substances (hereinafter, the Exception List), in an attempt to promote the implementation of the second step listed in the Administration Measures.
Twelve products are incorporated in the Catalogue, namely, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, electric water heaters, printers, photocopiers, fax machines, TV sets, monitors, microcomputers, mobile handheld devices and cell phones.
In order to implement the second step, SAMR and MIIT proposed the Implementation Arrangements for products in the Catalogue. With the requirements in the Catalogue, it is easy to limit the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products at the source, reduce the pollution of the environment by waste products, increase the supply of green products and promote green consumption.
Q: What are the main principles when formulating the Implementation Arrangements?
A: When formulating the Implementation Administration, the eight departments have always adhered to the principles of openness, transparency, fairness and justice, considering China’s reality and at the same time meeting international standards. Closely in accordance to the requirements of China’s reform to streamline administration and delegate power to the lower levels, improve regulation and optimize services, the Implementation Arrangements are to improve the business environment, reduce the burden on enterprises, and drive work related to the restricted use for hazardous substances of electrical and electronic products.
Q: Why is self-declaration one of the ways for enterprises to carry out the conformity assessment?
To facilitate the conformity assessment activities for enterprises with a fairly low certification fee. Now, on the basis of international practice, the conformity assessment system includes two approaches for enterprises to choose from. One is the voluntary certification for the restricted use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products (hereinafter, the Voluntary Certification), the other one is the supplier’s declaration of conformity for the restricted use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products (hereinafter, the “Self-declaration”). By choosing Self-declaration, enterprises can carry out the conformity assessment flexibly by reporting compliance results through production process control, critical point control, standard-based management, type test or other ways.
Q: What is the purpose of the public service platform for the restricted use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products?
A: To carry out, monitor and manage the conformity assessment, a database platform and website is necessary. It is used to manage the information related to the conformity of products listed in the Catalogue, manage the supplier’s conformity declaration for the hazardous substances in the products, and release the self-declaration. This platform is established by MIIT and SAMR, through which enterprises and certification authorities can submit relevant information for the conformity assessment. The conformity assessment results are available to the public, administrative departments and law enforcement departments.
Ⅱ. Enterprise executive
Q: What is the specific form of conformity assessment label for restricted use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products (hereinafter, the label)? What colour should the label be? Where to put the label? How to get the vector of the label? Are there any specifications about the size of the label?
A: The enterprises that choose self-declaration can check the announcement of SAMR for the specifications of the label. Those who choose to perform the voluntary certification can find the specific pattern of the label in the detailed implementation rules issued by the certification authorities engaged in the voluntary certification.
According to Article 6 in the Administrative Measures for the Use of Labels on Green Products (Announcement No.20 of SAMR in 2019), enterprises can independently choose to use or display their labels on the product, nameplate, packaging, attached documents (such as instructions and quality certificate), operating system, online-sales platform or other places, regardless of the manufacturing techniques of the label, printing or compression moulding. The label should have a white background and with the green SDoC logo on it. The vector image of the basic pattern for the label can be downloaded from the online platform for green product label information (www.chinagreenproduct.cn). The label can be scaled up or down while maintaining its clarity.
Q: Can the conformity assessment label replace the original environment-friendly use period label or e label that are required in the Measures for the Administration?
Q: If an enterprise chooses Self-declaration, is it necessary for them to submit related information to the platform for information about the green product label mentioned in the Administrative Measures for the Use of Labels on Green Products?
A: No. The enterprises do not need to submit the information again if they have already done so during the self-declaration process on the public service platform for the restricted use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products (hereinafter, the Public Service Platform). Technically, the information can be transferred automatically between the two online platforms.
Q: Can the conformity assessment labels be put on products that are not included in the Catalogue?
A: No. According to the Administrative Measures for the Use of Labels on Green Products, the products that are not included in the Catalogue cannot bear conformity assessment labels, but can choose to use relevant labels in accordance with regulations of related certification authorities.
Q: According to Article 9 in the Administrative Measures for the Use of Labels on Green Products, after the submission of related information on the Public Service Platform, will the enterprises get a QR code?
A: Yes. After the voluntary certification or the self-declaration, a QR code will be available for enterprises to download online.
Q: Do the subjects of the self-declaration need to be divided into manufacturer and sales company? If an enterprise has more than one independent legal entity, should the enterprise submit the conformity assessment information of all its products together, or submit separately for products from different legal entities?
A: The self-declaration must be submitted by the supplier, who refers to the producer or authorized representative.
Q: The signature of the legal representative and the official seal are required for the self-declaration. Can enterprises use electronic signatures instead? What about other convenient ways to submit the signature?
A: Yes, as long as the seal or signature is legally effective.
Q: Can the authorized legal person decide its own authorized signer for self-declaration?
Q: Is it necessary to affix an official seal on the test report that serves as the supporting technical document for an enterprise’s Self-declaration?
A: Yes. The person in charge should sign and seal the report.
Q: Can the Self-declaration and its supporting technical documents be written in English? Can the test report that serves as a supporting technical document be issued by an overseas laboratory?
A: No. The Self-declaration and its supporting technical documents, including the test report, shall be written in simplified Chinese. The report can be issued by international testing institutions that have corresponding technical capabilities.
Q: Can the testing compliance report from EU RoHS 2.0 be submitted as the supporting technical documents for Self-declaration?
A: Yes, as long as the supporting technical documents provided by enterprises meet the requirements of the conformity assessment.
Q: Are the number and type of supporting technical documents for Self-declaration determined by enterprises themselves? Are there any example documents?
A: Enterprises can decide what documents to submit. There are no example documents.
Q: Are supporting technical documents indispensable for Self-declaration? Are these documents only available to the regulatory authorities and enterprises themselves?
A: Yes. The supporting technical documents are indispensable and can only be seen by the regulatory authorities and enterprises themselves.
Q: Enterprises are required to fill in the product model for Self-declaration. For products with many models (such as computers), is it possible to use the model numbers that are used for CCC certification by filling in model ABC-XXXX (X stands for 0-1 number)?
Q: Is there a term of validity for Self-declaration? Do enterprises need to update the declaration?
A: No. The Self-declaration that meets all the requirements is valid permanently.
Q: Do the documents submitted need to get approval for Self-declaration?
A: No. The process of Self-declaration is completed after the submission of the conformity assessment information on the Public Service Platform.
Q: Are there any other detailed rules for Self-declaration?
A: No. Enterprises only need to follow the Rules for Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity.
Ⅲ. Certification authorities
Q: How can the certification authorities that are responsible for the Voluntary Certification accept the testing and certification results of the components and materials submitted for certification?
A: Enterprises can check the implementation rules of Voluntary Certification formulated by each certification institution, which shall be interpreted by each institution itself.
Q: Is there a format for the testing report issued by certification institutions responsible for the Voluntary Certification?
A: No, there is no one single format that is required. Each certification institution has their own format.
Q: How much will institutions charge for the Voluntary Certification?
A: The certification institutions engaged in Voluntary Certification shall develop their own certification fee standards, which shall also be made public.
Q: Is the Voluntary Certificate issued by one certification authority still valid in another authority?
A: Yes. There are many voluntary certification authorities, so the certificate will be valid among different authorities in accordance with relevant regulations.
Ⅳ. Supervision and management
Q: How to supervise and manage the Implementation Arrangements for the products listed in the Catalogue?
A: It is stipulated in the fifth part of the Implementation Arrangements that in accordance with laws and their respective duties, market supervision departments at all levels, industrial and information management departments and other relevant departments shall supervise and manage the restricted use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products, as well as the conformity assessment activities and results. They are also responsible for the timely release of the supervision and inspection results.
SAMR and MIIT shall accept reports about violations of the Implementation Arrangements by all parties engaged in the conformity assessment, and then investigate those cases in accordance with the law.
The administrative penalty of the enterprises involved will be publicized via the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System and Public Service Platform.
Q: According to the Implementation Arrangements, suppliers have to submit conformity assessment information on the Public Service Platform within 30 days before a product enters the market. Does this also apply to imported products?
A: Yes, enterprises should finish the conformity assessment for the imported products within 30 days of entering the Chinese market.