China to restart pesticide EC production permit


China started to implement the Pesticide EC Harmful Solvent Limit Standard on the 1st March, which is an indication of restart of authorization of pesticide EC producer and release of production permit for pesticide EC producer. “The implementation of the Standard stipulates a limit to the harmful solvent contained in the pesticide EC, which regulates the pesticide EC market and reduces second time pollution while in the meantime allows for fulfillment to pesticide demand”, said by an industry expert.

Among the over 20,000 pesticide formulations registered in China there have been more than 13,000 liquid formulations products using various organic solvents, of which the number of pesticide EC products amounts to 9,000 being the largest group of products that use organic solvents. Statistics shows that China consumes above 350,000 tons of organic solvents each year, including roughly 300,000 tons of light aromatic solvents like xylene,tolueneand benzene. Other solvents such as methanol, N, N- dimethyl sulfoxide (DMF) are also in wide use, with amount of methanol being used up to 50%. The use of large amount of these substances causes latent danger to work safety, people health and ecological environment, as well as safety risk during transportation due to the low flash point of methanol. 

In order to contain the abused use of harmful solvent in pesticide EC, Chinese Ministry of Industry & Information Technology, since 2006, step by step suspended the authorization of pesticide EC producer and release of production permit.

It is understood that over recent years some technical achievements have been accomplished in Chinese pesticide industry in respect of substitutions of harmful solvent by relatively safe solvent, such as the use of heavy aromatics to replace light aromatics like xylene and toluene, the use of rosin-based vegetation oil, methyloleate and fatty acid methyl ester to replace partly the chemical synthesized solvent. However these measures are taken only in part and not promoted to the whole industry in a systematic way. Now the implementation of the new standard has effectively made up the insufficiency, which will greatly elevate the technical level of formulations technology and promote the sustainable development of the industry.

According to the requirement of the new standard, the pesticide EC producers that newly obtain the production permit must strictly comply with the limit requirement as defined in the Standard while the enterprises that have obtained production permit before shall be applied the same standard at the time of renewal of the production permit. The whole process of the implementation of the new standard is expected to be completed in 3 years by which time the limit to the use of harmful solvent will cover the whole industry. It is estimated that in 3 years’ time the amount of use of the 5 kinds of solvents subject to limited use will be reduced by above 90%.