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China Releases Draft on Administrative Measures for Local Standards


As a key document to implement its standardization law, the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) recently released a draft of the "Administrative Measures for Local Standards" to amend the version released in 1990.

In China, local standards are often referred to as "provincial standards." They are developed when neither national standards nor industry standards are available, but unified requirements for safety and hygiene of industrial products are needed within a local area.

Although the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) did not comment on the draft, ANSI observed some noteworthy revisions and additions from the 2019 draft that was released for comment:

  • Alignment with the newly passed Standardization Law. After the promulgation of the updated Standardization Law, the draft suggests that industry and local standards are no longer compulsory.
  • Consideration of international norms and requirements. The draft requires that the standards shall be in line with the relevant requirements of international treaties and organizations in which China participates. Although the draft did not specifically mention the principles of openness, transparency, balance, and due process that are enshrined in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), the proposed language demonstrates China's commitment to improving its local standards development.

The draft mentions that the municipal-level agencies could publish local standards and texts on their websites and public standards service platforms, which will become available to the public free of charge. ANSI notes that the phrase "local standards should be published at no charge" infers broad application of this requirement, including when local standards are based on international and/foreign standards. Since the free publication of international and/or foreign standards presents a conflict when these standards are copyrighted, the simultaneous implementation of an alternative article to safeguard copyrighted contents of international and/or foreign standards is crucial.

Ensuring the coordination of applicable laws and standards in evaluating technical specifications of the proposed local standards is important to avoiding conflicting or duplicative requirements. ANSI will continue to monitor the development of these measures and will work with its Chinese counterparts on implementation and overall reform.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]