China will implement 5 new standards regulating household use sanitary items/paper including sanitary napkin, tissue, diaper and household adsorbent papers. To deal with trade stresses in high priority consumer goods sectors, China also plans to accelerate technical manufacturing capacities through implementation of new regulation, standards, enforcement and supervision which should positively affect quality and safety of: maternal, children , older and handicapped supplies, household appliances, consumer electronics, household decorations, costumes and ornaments, cosmetics and household chemicals, educational and sporting goods, cultural artifacts, food and food-related products.
On 6 Jun 2018, Chinese SMAR and SAC issued the Standardization Announcement 9 of 2018 to promulgate 393 national standards and 7 English translated standards, of which 5 standards are for household paper products including sanitary napkin, tissue, diaper and household paper adsorbent polymers, etc. This move is one of the achievement of the “Improvement Plan for the Standardization and Quality of Consumer Products”, aimed at boosting domestic consumer market by strengthening technology legislation for priority consumer products including maternal, child, older and handicapped supplies, household appliances, consumer electronics, household decorations, costumes and ornaments, cosmetics and household chemicals, educational and sporting goods, cultural artifact, food and its related products.
In 2006 and 2008, China had released 3 national standards for sanitary napkin, tissue and household paper adsorbent polymers. In this promulgation, quality indicators and inspection methods are adjusted:
GB/T 8939-2018 Sanitary napkin(pad)
1 Jul 2019
GB/T 20810-2018 Tissue(including base paper)
GB/ 22875-2018 Diaper and high absorbent polymers in sanitary napkin
GB/22875-2008, GB/ 22905-2008,
1 Jan 2019
GB/T 36420-2018 Safety evaluation on chemicals and raw materials for household paper and paper products
GB/T 36392-2018 Coated paper and paperboard for food packaging
- GB/T 8939-2018 Sanitary napkin (pad). Formaldehyde and migrating fluorescence matters are newly added as product quality indicators. Performance will be measured by absorption rate instead of permeating amount and testing methods for absorption and adhesion strength are added or adjusted accordingly;
- GB/T 20810-2018 Tissue (including base paper). Tissue(including base paper)- Formaldehyde, migrating fluorescence matters, heavy metals and ash content are newly added into product quality index while bursting strength, dispersibility and desquamation rate are designated as important physical property parameters. The new standard also makes technical adjustment on product categorization, brightness, tensile strength, softness, dust count and statistical deviation.
- GB/T 22875-2018 Diaper and high absorbent polymers in sanitary napkin. Criterion for residual monomers has been elevated and testing method for absorption rate, volatile and extractable matter content and yellow index have been added or adjusted;
- GB/T 36420-2018 Safety evaluation on chemicals and raw materials for household paper and paper products. The standard is developed for the safety control of chemicals and raw materials for household paper production.
The consumer product improvement plan was developed to address the technical capacity issues associated with China’s domestic manufacturers. China’s traditional reliance on its “low quality, high volume, made for export” domestic manufacturing paradigm no longer matches its overall economic plans. As China retrofits its economic engine and realigns drivers of economic growth towards domestic consumption it needs to ensure that domestic manufacturers are capable of producing products which match primary drivers of consumer purchasing preference i.e. safety and quality. Unfortunately for China, for certain industries Chinese consumers believe that imported products are both safer and higher quality. China’s game plan is to shape consumer purchasing preferences, improve the reputation of domestic products and ultimately address trade pressures through regulatory reform as follows:
- Develop new national standards to ensure production of products which satisfy safety and quality demand. By matching the standards adopted in the regulatory frameworks of China’s global counterparts and chief trade competitors (and by ensuring meaningful enforcement and supervision of these standards), China can foster growth of its domestic sector.
- International standards will be used as a reference but localized to meet the unique conditions of China’s industries. Quality indexes will be adjusted accordingly but overall 95% of the quality indicators will be equivalent to international standards.
- The qualification rate should be kept above 90% for national quality inspection;
- Product quality competitiveness index should be maintained at 84 or above.
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