China NHC Further Simplifies Provincial Approval of Drinking Water Related Products

China improved the provincial approval on existing drinking water related products by introducing a new streamlined timeframe, reducing documentation requirements and introducing reducing requirements on testing laboratories and generation of testing data.

China NHC Further Simplifies Provincial Approval of Drinking Water Related Productssubject to hygienic approval at provincial level, aimed at optimizing administrative procedures and helping reduce the burden of enterprises manufacturing water dispensers, water purifiers, water disinfectors, water distribution device and treatment units, as well as pipes, pipe fittings, coating materials, chemical treatment agents and disinfectants used for drinking water purpose.

The most notable progress is the annulment of NHC accreditation requirements for testing facilities and oversight on product sampling and sample sealing. Manufacturers may either conduct the product tests themselves or delegate the tests to a CMA qualified lab. Manufacturers are allowed to sample the products themselves and submit the sample and product test report along with other materials to provincial health department for approval. Manufacturers need to sign letters of commitment, undertaking the legal liability for the authenticity of the test report and sample submitted (will also impact credit rating under enterprise credit system).

The amendment also shortened the duration of each stage of stage of compliance assessment by authorities. Technical review will be reduced from 60 working days to 30 working days and on-site inspection will be reduced from 10 working days to 5 working days. The total time limit will be only 20 working days counted from intitial acceptance to final decision.

If the documents and information can be verified at other administrative departments, the applicant is exempt from submitting such materials. 8 types of repeated/duplicative application forms and documents and 2 credentials were deleted from the data requirement.

Similar to disinfectant/disinfector regulations, China adopts 2 separate management systems for new and existing drinking-water-related products. Products using new material, new technology, and new chemical material need to be approved at national level. The technical review and risk assessment are conducted by the Review Broad of New Disinfection and Water-Related Products formed by NHC.

The difference between provincial management on existing disinfection products and water-related products is that the provincial approval on disinfection products has been canceled. Producers only need to complete a series of tests and compile the test report into the hygiene and safety assessment report and then file the assessment report at the provincial department. Product legality can only be verified through a public IT system in each province. For existing water-related products, each product approved will be issued with an approval document and a unique approval number, which will be displayed on product the package and label.

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