On 5 May, SAMR published the Administrative Measures for the Use of Green Product Labelling. This regulation will come into effect on 1 June 2019.
On 22 November 2016, the State Council issued the Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Developing a Unified Standard, Certification and labelling System of Green Products, according to which “[d]eveloping a unified standard, certification and labelling system of green products is an inevitable requirement of promoting green, low-carbon and circular development and fostering a green market”. The document set main objectives of the system as “[a]ccording to principle of unified catalogs, standards, assessment and labels, existing environment-friendly, energy-saving, water-conservation, recyclable, low-carbon, renewal, organic, etc. products will be integrated as green products. By 2020, a systematic, advanced, open, and unified standard, certification and labelling system of green products shall be preliminarily established……and the objectives of one product category, one standard, one list, one-time certification and one label shall be accomplished.”
Hereafter, other involved authorities also released supportive documents to enable the establishment of such the unified standard, certification and labeling system of green products. In April 2017, CNCA published the Administrative Measures for the Certificating and Labelling of the Green Product (Draft for Comment) to regulate the certification and labelling of green product, of which the pattern of the green product label was confirmed by Announcement on Issuing the Label for Certificated Green Product released in March 2018. On 28 December 2017, MIIT, MOHURD, SAC, CNCA and former AQSIQ jointly released Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Standardization, Certification and Labelling of Green Building Material, incorporated the certification and evaluation system of green building materials into the unified standard, certification and labelling system. In December 2018, CNCA called for opinions on the draft of Administrative Measures for the Use of Green Product Labelling (hereafter “Administrative Measures”) and the final edition was officially published in May 2019.
The usage of green product label is divided into three categories by the Administrative Measures:
- Certification bodies certify the products listed in the national unified “Green Product Certification Catalogue”;
- 2. Certification bodies certify the products that are promoted by SAMR together with relevant departments of the State Council to be unified, and are with green attributes such as resources, energy, environment and quality, etc.;
- Green attributes conformity assessment activities, including self-declaration, promoted by SAC jointly with relevant departments of the State Council.
For the first usage, SAMR published the first batch of Green Product Evaluation Standard List and Product Catalogue in April 2018, involving 12 types of products. For the second usage, there are certification schemes for environmental protection, energy saving, water saving, low carbon, pollution control, renewable energy/new energy products, restriction of the use of organic and harmful substances, etc., at present.
In the first two usages, the Administrative Measures requires the certification bodies to obtain the approval of SAMR, and to report the certification information to the platform of Green Product Labelling Information Platform. In this regard, no big difference between the regulation and its earlier draft for comments. As for the third usage, the detailed requirements on it was totally deleted. So, for the products whose conformity assessments need to be done via self-declaration or other methods, the use of green product label and the reporting of compliance information are still uncertain.