- NDRC released the Guidance Catalogue for Industrial Structure Adjustment, which will enter into effect on 1st January 2020.
- The rubber and plastics industry will transform its direction under the influence of the new Catalogue.
Update: The Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalogue (2019)  has been approved and released by NDRC on 30th October, and it will replace the 2011 version to take effect from 1st January 2020. Compared with the draft, ordinances revolving chemical-related industries are basically unchanged.
(First published on 14th May 2019) On 8th April, China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued a notice  seeking public feedback on the new version of Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalogue (Draft) , which consists of three categories, namely, the Encouraged, the Restricted and the Eliminated, representing the government’s attitudes towards different technologies, equipment, products and industries. In the new version of the Catalogue Draft, the ordinances for the chemical industry have changed a lot. If the proposed changes articulated within the draft are finalized and implemented we expect a significant impact on the rubber and plastics industry.
The Catalogue is an important basis for guiding investment direction, government management of investment projects, and formulating and implementing policies of fiscal, tax, credit, land, import and export. Historically the revision of the Catalogue tends to precipitate progress within the manufacturing sector and offers a roadmap on development direction. Since it has been eight years since the last time NDRC revised the Catalogue, great changes have taken place.
Some new materials have been added to the Encouraged Category, such as mPE, produced by using MAO as polymerization catalyst and is better than traditional PE in many aspects. Another important addition to the Encouraged Category is α-olefin, a key raw material used in the production of lubricant additives for which China is currently heavily reliant on imports. Meanwhile, SEPS and TPV, two new kinds of thermoplastic elastomer, replace SIS in the Encouraged Catalogue.
For the synthetic rubber industry, soluble styrene-butadiene rubber is still in the Encouraged Category, but the capacity requirement has increased from 30,000 tons/year to 50,000 tons/year. Additionally, the range and capacity requirements for new projects of butyl rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber, and other products have changed a lot, too. The silica industry, which produces important reinforcing agents for rubber products, is not restricted any more in the Draft, as well as the fumed silica industry.
At the same time, PCBs, PeCB, PBB6, PBDEs, PFOS and some other chemicals appear on the Eliminated Category for the first time, according to the requirements of the national master plan to implement international conventions. When it comes to the plastic products, ultra-thin plastic bags with a thickness less than 0.025 mm, polyethylene agricultural mulch with a thickness less than 0.01 mm, and toothpaste and rinse-off cosmetics with plastic beads are also newly added to the Eliminated Category.
In addition to reflecting the replacement of new and old technologies, the government's determination to support high-tech industries and implement sustainable development can be seen from the changes in the Catalogue. Of course, there are many ordinances affecting other sectors of the chemical industry that have been revised within the draft, more detailed information can be found on the China NDRC website or alternatively Chemlinked can provide you with more information.