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The central government and many local governments in the People’s Republic of China are initiating various plans and regulations to control volatile organic compounds (VOC) in China. Regulations have been developing rapidly over the past two to three years due to public pressure against the rapidly deteriorating air quality.
The American Coatings Association’s (ACA) International Affairs Committee is monitoring these developments closely and through the International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC), gathering information from fellow IPPIC member China National Coatings Industry Association (CNCIA) to keep its members apprised.
The central government is planning to set a VOC limit for solvent-containing products – a tax will be applied to coatings in excess of this VOC limit. CNCIA is currently in a dialogue with the government trying to classify different products with different VOC limits and a proposal is expected to be released by the end of 2014.
The Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning is discussing a plan for integrated management for surface coatings VOCs. This will cover coatings in seven industrial segments: protective (infrastructure), automotive, shipbuilding, containers, furniture, OEM and electronics. VOC limits will be set for each industry. The academy is expected to have a complete and comprehensive plan for implementation by 2017 or 2018.
The Shanghai Environment Bureau is creating the Emission Standards for Paint, Ink and Allied Products Manufacturers (DB31/xxx-2014) to control emissions from factories. This standard will be applied both for existing factories and new factories, with slightly different control criteria.
Together with the Chinese Ministry of Environment, universities and some academic institutes, CNCIA is also investigating VOC emissions from coatings for automotives, ship buildings, containers, furniture, industrial equipment, coil, bridges etc. The project will start this year and is expected to last three years. At that time, a full recommendation of VOC limits for each type of coating will be made.