China special equipment quality and safety responsibilities of production entities is undergoing review by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR).
The SAMR has drafted “Administrative regulations for the supervision of the implementation of the main responsibility for quality and safety in special equipment production units”.
The aim is to press production entities involved in the design, manufacture, installation, transformation and repair to reinforce the quality and safety responsibilities of the main person in charge of production of special equipment destined for the China market. The provisions also aim to standardize the activities of quality and safety management personnel.
With the increasing production and use of special equipment, market regulators have noted that:
- some production units are still not fully staffed with quality and safety management personnel,
- the responsibilities of its main responsible personnel are unclear, and
- quality and safety controls are not in place.
This all leads to situations where substandard products enter the market and form potential risk hazards.
From the statistics of 2021 alone, accidents caused by quality and safety defects arising from equipment production, maintenance and overhaul, installation, and dismantling processes amounted to 14.29% of the total number of reported accidents.
In light of this, the supervisory bodies hope to strengthen the implementation of the main responsibility of the production units by means of new “provisions.”
Although this provision is still at the consultation stage, it can be seen that the market regulator has begun to innovate the concept of supervision, from “regulation” to “supervision,” gradually changing.
Taking production of pressure vessel units as an example, this new “provision” specifies that production units should be equipped with a “Director of Quality and Safety” and a “Quality and safety officer.” And to establish a dynamic management mechanism based on product safety risks, the implementation of daily control, weekly inspection, and monthly management review.
In addition, the responsibility for product quality and safety of special equipment is divided between specific responsible persons.
This self-monitoring will be essential to post-licensing supervision and inspection carried out by market regulators. At the same time, implementing the above mechanism by the production unit will be considered a vital factor for determining its subjective fault, the offense’s circumstances, and the penalty level when investigating and punishing violations.
In other words, the market regulator hopes to work towards a shift from management by administrative supervision to strengthening self-regulation of special equipment production units. This is also in line with the shift from “post-event investigation” to “pre-event prevention,” which officials have always advocated.
From the point of view of production licensing, these new “provisions” will inevitably bring about new self-regulatory requirements for companies that obtain/renew their China manufacturing licenses, especially concerning their quality assurance systems following the Chinese technical specifications TSG 07-2019.
The draft provisions include provisions in specific chapters on the following special equipment:
- Pressure vessels
- Gas Cylinders
- Pressure Pipelines
- Lifting Machinery
- Passenger Cableways
- Large-scale Amusement Facilities
- Dedicated Motor Vehicles in Yards (Factories).
To read the full provisions on China special equipment quality and safety responsibilities – click here.
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