China Updates Solid Waste Pollution Law

On September 1, 2020, China’s revised law on the Prevention and
Control of Environmental Pollution in Solid Wastes (2020) Amendment) came into

The amendment was adopted by the 17th meeting of the Standing
Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of
China on April 29, 2020. It has brought into effect several changes, both in
terms of the management of solid waste and hazardous waste, and legal

The changes relating to general solid waste management include:

  1. Article 18 – construction employers must independently conduct
    inspections of facilities for the prevention and control of solid waste.
    Previously, these had been led by the local environmental protection department
  2. Article 22 – inter-provincial solid waste transfer must now be
    reported to the relevant ecological and environmental authorities
  3. Article 36 – ledgers must be established to enable traceability of
    solid waste. Also, the requirements for establishing and improving the whole
    process management system (generation to disposal) has been refined
  4. Article 37 – requirements in terms of qualifications, technical
    abilities, joint-liability, contracts and verification when others are
    entrusted with transportation, utilization and disposal of solid waste
  5. Article 38 – requirement added that units producing industrial
    solid waste should implement cleaner production audits according to law
  6. Article 39 – requirement added to include industrial solid waste
    in the pollution discharge permit system for supervision
  7. Article 48 – requirement added for the classification and
    placement of domestic waste

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The changes relating to the management of hazardous waste include:

  1. Article 78 – new requirements for hazardous waste generating units
    to establish a hazardous waste management ledger
  2. Article 81 – clarification that units involved in collecting,
    storing, utilizing and disposing of hazardous waste shall not store this waste
    for more than one year. If longer storage is required, those responsible can
    apply for an extension
  3. Article 82 – clarification of the requirements for completing and
    operating electronic or paper transfer forms for transferring hazardous waste
  4. Article 99 – new units for collecting, storing, transporting,
    utilizing and disposing of hazardous waste must be insured for environmental
    pollution liability

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The amendment also includes information on legal liabilities:

  • Article 122 – new consultation system for compensation of solid
    waste environmental damage
  • Penalties:

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  1. Generally increased
  2. New law enforcement measures – continuous penalties on a daily
    rate, administrative detention and seizure – also increased

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Amends Its Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes

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