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New Standard on Major Hazard Installations for Hazardous Chemicals to Take Effect in March 2019

  •   31 Jan 2019
  •    Nora Wang
  •    1927
  •   Post a comment

    On November 19, 2018, 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. For details, see table below.

    • 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).

    For a more detailed comparison between the two versions, please see the table below.
     

     

    GB 18218-2009

    GB 18218-2018

    Scope of the standard

    The standard does not apply to transport of hazardous chemicals.

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

    Normative references

    GB 12268 List of dangerous goods

    GB 20592 Safety rules for classification, precautionary labelling and precautionary statements of chemicals – Acute toxicity

    GB 30000-2013 series on China GHS classification and labelling of chemicals (2-5, 7-16, 18)

    Definitions

    Hazardous chemicals: Chemicals which are flammable, explosive, toxic, and harmful and can do harm to the human body, facilities and the environment.

    Major hazard installations: Units which engage in long-term or temporary production, processing, use or storage of hazardous chemicals and where the quantity of hazardous chemicals is equal or greater than the threshold quantity.

    Hazardous chemicals: 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.

    Major hazard installations: 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

    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.

    The 500m threshold is removed, and major hazard installations are divided into two types of unit, namely production unit and storage unit.

    Content in tables

    Table 1

    General differences

    * 78 hazardous chemicals
    * Three columns 

    * 85 hazardous chemicals
    * Four columns 

    Specific differences

    * New additions like potassium nitrate, nitrocellulose solution, etc.

    * Deletions like fuming Sulphuric acid, etc.

    * Modifications to specifications of some chemicals

      -e.g. Ammonium nitrate fertilizer Ammonium nitrate fertilizer (with content of combustible materials≤0.2%)

    * Modifications to threshold quantities of some chemicals

       -e.g. Ammonium nitrate fertilizer: 1,000t 200t

    * Refined classification of nitrocellulose

       -five categories of nitrocellulose

    Table 2

     

    General difference

    9 categories of hazardous chemicals

    14 categories of hazardous chemicals

    Specific differences

    * New additions like unstable explosives, aerosols, self-reactive substances and mixtures, etc.

    * Modifications to threshold quantities of explosives, pyrophoric liquids and solids, etc.

       -e.g. explosives, except division 1.1: 50t →explosives divisions 1.2, 1,3 1.5 and 1.6: 10t

    * Refined classification of flammable liquids and organic peroxides

    * Modifications to specifications of toxic substances

    Identification index of major hazard installations

    * Ambiguity on the actual quantity of hazardous chemicals

    No mention of how to treat mixtures of hazardous chemicals

    * The actual quantity of hazardous chemicals is determined based on their maximum design quantity

    * Treatment of mixtures of hazardous chemicals

    * Annex A: Procedure of identification of major hazard installations for hazardous chemicals

    Grading of major hazard installations

    N/A

    Clarifications on grading index, methodology, and standards of major hazard installations

    Click here to access translation of the revised standard offered by ChemLinked.

    Reference Links

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