China has officially adopted a unified system of mandatory national standards, which supersede any previous local or industry standards. The change was formally enacted as the revised Standardisation Law of the People’s Republic of China, with this ruling by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee coming into effect as of January 1, 2018.
Overall, the new legislation integrates the existing national standards, industry standards and local standards, while ensuring that all such standards are in line with five prevailing principles – protecting consumer wellbeing, ensuring property safety, maintaining national security, minimising environmental damage and facilitating the effective delivery of economic / social objectives. The law also provides a rigorous framework for the setting of such standards.
In particular, the new regulations have been designed to ensure the consistency of standards across a variety of sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, services and the activities of social enterprises. With these standards now set, mainland enterprises are henceforward prohibited from producing, distributing, importing, promoting or otherwise providing any product or service that does not comply with this new regulatory regime.