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China Releases GB 18218-2018 to Adjust Regulation concerning Major Hazard Installations for Hazardous Chemicals

  •   5 Dec 2018
  •    Nora Wang
  •    495
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    On November 19, Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation and Standardization Administration announced the release of the revised Identification of Major Hazard Installations for Hazardous Chemicals (GB 18218-2018). It will come into mandatory effect on March 1, 2019.

    Compared to the previous version GB 18218-2009, the key changes to GB 18218-2018 are presented as follows:
     

    • Scope of the standard

    It is specified in GB 18218-2018 that the standard does not apply to offsite transport of hazardous chemicals.

    • Definition of “hazardous chemicals” and “major hazard installations”

    In line with Regulations on the Control over Safety of Hazardous Chemicals (State Council Decree No. 591), hazardous chemicals in GB 18218-2018 refer to highly toxic chemicals and other chemicals which are toxic, corrosive, explosive, flammable or combustion-supporting and can do harm to the human body, facilities and the environment. The new document defines major hazard installations for hazardous chemicals as units which engage in long-term or temporary production, storage, use or operations of hazardous chemicals and where the quantity of hazardous chemicals is equal or greater than the threshold quantity.

    • Major hazard installation unit

    In GB 18218-2009, a major hazard installation unit refers to a (a set of) production device, facility or site, or several (sets of) production devices, facilities or sites, in one production and business operation entity, which are within a distance of 500 meters of each other; while in GB 18218-2018, the 500m threshold is removed and the document divides major hazard installations into two types of unit, namely production unit and storage unit.

    • Classification criteria of hazardous chemicals

    GB 18218-2018 employs the classification criteria of hazardous chemicals stipulated in the GB 30000-2013 series on China GHS classification and labelling of chemicals.

    • Content in tables

    The Table 1 (“Names and threshold quantities of hazardous chemicals”) in GB 18218-2018 contains 85 hazardous chemicals, 7 more than those in the previous version, and both Table 1 and 2 (“Categories and threshold quantities of hazardous chemicals which are not included in Table 1”) involve several modifications and improvements to classification of hazardous chemicals.

    • Identification index of major hazard installations

    GB 18218-2018 provides further clarifications on the actual quantity of hazardous chemicals (which is determined based on their maximum design quantity), how to treat mixtures of hazardous chemicals, and the procedure of identification of major hazard installations for hazardous chemicals.

    • Grading index of major hazard installations

    GB 18218-2018 stipulates the grading index and methodology of major hazard installations, which is absent in GB 18218-2009, referencing the Interim Provisions on the Supervision and Management of Major Hazard Installations for Hazardous Chemicals (revised 2015).

    ChemLinked is working on a detailed comparison between GB 18218-2018 and GB 18218-2009, as well as the translation of the revised standard.

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