On 25th September, 2020, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued a notice on the strengthened regulations related to paraquat-related businesses. The notice stipulates that only paraquat manufacturers with a paraquat technical concentrate production license and pesticide registration for overseas sales are allowed to produce paraquat. According to Announcement No. 269 issued by the ministry in this June, paraquat produced by paraquat technical concentrate manufacturers can only be exported and cannot be sold in China.
According to the notice, before 1st November, 2020, the ministry will check the production qualifications and conditions of paraquat technical concentrate manufacturers. If a manufacturer does not have a production license, its paraquat technical and formulation registration certificate for overseas trade will be revoked.
The production license of manufacturers that are no longer eligible to produce or have no intention of continuing production will also be revoked. If manufacturers have a production license for paraquat technical but are no longer eligible to produce the chemical are still continuing production, they will be ordered to make the corrective measures within a given time limit, and failure to complete their correction after the due date or if eligibility conditions still cannot be fulfilled will lead to their production license for paraquat technical concentrate being revoked.
By 15th November, 2020, provincial agricultural administrations governing existing manufacturers with a pesticide registration certificate to produce paraquat for export purposes will report, to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the results of their status monitoring of paraquat technical concentrate production licenses.
Paraquat is very toxic to human beings and there is no specific antidot, with mortality rates from oral poisoning being extremely high. Paraquat has been banned or restricted in more than 20 countries. Since 1st July, 2014, China cancelled the registration and granting of production licenses for paraquat AS, having also stopped production. However, the production of paraquat AS is allowed exclusively for export purposes. On 1st July, 2016, the sale and use of paraquat AS in China was banned.
Image source: “Chinese flag” by Philip Jägenstedt is marked with CC BY 2.0.