How chemicals are classified in China?

As in the United Nations, chemicals are classified into two categories: Non-Hazardous and Hazardous type in China.

Importers may ask, why would I want to know how chemicals are classified?

That’s because that information is required when chemicals are declared in Chinese Customs before shipping.

The exact type of chemicals is required to be labeled accordingly on the carton by Chinese Customs, or the officials will not let them pass Chinese Customs or the relevant chemicals will cause Import clearance issues in destination Customs.

Non-Hazardous chemicals are treated as safe products, which can be shipped by air, courier, etc with the Certificate of safe transport for chemicals. no alarming or special labels are required as below:

hazardous type 1~2 labels
hazardous type 2~4 labels
hazardous type 5~7 labels
hazardous type 9 labels

You can see from the labels of the dangerous goods that those hazardous Chemicals are classified as below:

Class 1: Explosives

Division 1.1 Substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard.

Division 1.2 Substances and articles which have a projection hazard, but not a mass explosion hazard.

Division 1.3 Substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard.

Division 1.4 Substances and articles which present no significant hazard.

Division 1.5 Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard.

Division 1.6 Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard.

Class 2 Gases

Division 2.1 Flammable gases.

Division 2.2 Nonflammable nontoxic gases.

Division 2.3 Toxic gases.

Class 3: Flammable liquids

Class 4: Flammable solids.

The substance is liable to spontaneous combustion Substances which in contact with water emit flammable gases

Division 4.1 Flammable solids, self-reactive substances, and Solid desensitized explosives.

Division 4.2 Substances liable to spontaneous combustion.

Division 4.3 Substances which in contact with water emit flammable gases.

Class 5 Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides

Division 5.1 Oxidizing substances.

Division 5.2 Organic peroxides.

Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances

Division 6.1: Toxic substances.

Division 6.2: Infectious substances.

Class 7: Radioactive materials

Class 8: Corrosive substances

Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles including environmentally hazardous substances

The numerical order of the classes and divisions has nothing to do with the danger degree.

Many of the substances assigned to class 1 to 9 are deemed without additional labeling as being environmentally hazardous.

Wastes shall be transported under the requirements of the appropriate class considering their hazards and criteria in these regulations.

Wastes not otherwise subject to these regulations, but covered under the Basel convention may be transported on Class 9.

So if your chemical supplier tells you that a certain product is some type of hazardous chemical, you can cross-check each hazardous type and make sure you are not overcharged by their bluffing.

Any readers have different ideas, welcome to share your thoughts by comment below.

Leave a Reply