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China's 2019 National Standardization Work Plan Highlights Priority Sectors


Notable Key Themes Identified

On February 25, the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) released Main Points of National Standardization Work in 2019, (aka work plan). The work plan was the result of China's national standardization work conference, annually held to bring together Chinese standardization sector policymakers and professionals to review the past year accomplishment and define priorities for the upcoming year. More information on the 2019 Standardization Work Plan is available here in Chinese. State Council's news release on the conference is available here.

The work plan, which was released prior to China's annual legislative sessions, aims to improve economic and social development, enhance the quality and safety of products and services, and strengthen standardization work. The work plan guides the following actions in the implementation of the Standardization Law and other adjacent initiatives.

Several key themes are of particular note

First and foremost, the work plan reiterates China's commitment to integrate international and domestic standards by sharing information and establishing domestic and overseas demonstration zones for standardization pilot activities, particularly among the countries along the "Belt and Road" route. Importantly, the work plan includes an article to emphasize China's commitment to formulate and publicly release standards in accordance with WTO rules and principles. Since the promulgation of the Standardization Law in 2017, ANSI has urged China to reference WTO principles directly at the outset of the law. ANSI applauds China's continued effort to align standards formulation work with internationally recognized guidelines, and ANSI will continue to encourage China to rely on a robust and open consensus standards development process to achieve its stated goals on the work plan.

The work plan reassures China's commitment to build a versatile and advanced standards system. It proposes a blueprint to accelerate the formulation of mandatory national standards in sectors where safety and health issues are not been fully addressed in China, such as children's products, household appliances, and cosmetics. Importantly, it demonstrates China's objective to strengthen the manufacturing standard system and strive to reach 90% conversion and adoption rate of international standards in key areas.

Built upon the stated goals described in the Standardization Law, the work plan also promotes standards disclosure in key pilot sectors, such as poverty alleviation, disaster relief, education, and safety. It also continues to build a supervision and monitoring mechanism to oversee the implementation of association standards and enterprise standards self-declaration disclosure.

The work plan aims to streamline and optimize national standards by reducing numbers of mandatory standards and integrating sectoral and local standards. Besides outlining the hierarchical relationship among ministerial-level standards management, the work plan also strives to strengthen local standards management and to eliminate the standards that are restricting market competition. As one of the tactics to convert and integrate standards, the work plan will continue to promote civil-military integration and to increase the level of the common use of civil and military standards. This also includes efforts to facilitate the use of civilian standards in national defense and army development, and transform advanced and applicable military standards into civil standards.

Looking ahead to the new year, the growing complexities of standardization activities in China will generate more think tanks, research centers, and service complexes to support a well-rounded eco-system for China's standardization activities. Although this push has gone mostly unnoticed, ANSI anticipates that China will adopt an "industry-university-research" collaborative model to craft standards, which has been successfully adapted to many Chinese initiatives in biotechnology and manufacturing sectors. This model helped China to achieve mutual benefits between enterprises and universities as well as research institutes and produces a synergistic innovation impact that each sector cannot accomplish alone.

As China is in the midst of far-reaching reforms, ANSI will continue to monitor China' implementation plans to the Standardization Law and to ensure its ambitious long term goals are met to lay the groundwork for a mutually beneficial trading relationship for the United States and the global community.

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Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]