The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China officially promulgated China's Standardization Law on November 4, 2017. The original Chinese version can be accessed on the China legislature site. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has been closely monitoring the rollout of the reform of China's standardization system, and has actively engaged the Chinese government throughout the process of updating the standardization law.
The Standardization Law serves as the legal underpinning for China's system, and its revision (the first since 1988) is a major component of China's ongoing standardization reform initiative. ANSI's comments on the revisions issued in March 2016, May 2017, and September 2017 are available on the Institute's Sharepoint library.
ANSI has prepared a reference translation for the final law, which tracked the changes since the last draft, as a courtesy available to ANSI members only.
Changes in the standardization law from the version released in September 2017 mainly comprise restructured provisions. There are some promising additions such as the state encouraging the extensive seeking of comments in the development of standards (Article 4), and the clarification that standards would be reviewed every five years (Article 29). However, ANSI believes that more can be done in addressing the following concerns which were conveyed in earlier comments:
- Referencing and upholding the World Trade Organization (WTO)'s Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement;
- Limiting and focusing the self-disclosure requirements for so-called "enterprise standards";
- Including more language on fair and open participation in standards development activities;
- Clarifying the circumstances under which one type of standard might become another type of standard; and
- Referencing the copyright law.
With the law entering into force in 2018, ANSI will continue to reiterate these concerns to the Chinese government through ANSI's China program and will continue to monitor the overall implementation of China's standardization reform.