News 26 Apr, 2021

Ban on transportation of highly toxic chemicals in Yangtze River basin

James Oliver
James Oliver
Loss Prevention Officer

The Yangtze River Protection Law, ratified by Chinese authorities, was adopted on 26 December 2020. The law came into force as of 01 March 2021. It will prohibit the transportation of acutely toxic chemicals and other dangerous chemicals along the Yangtze River Basin.

The Yangtze River Protection Law applies to the whole Yangtze River Basin. However, Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) issued a notice on 18 February 2021, which has furthered the Yangtze River Basin's protection notice by stating that the protection law includes Shanghai controlled waters. The Shanghai controlled section of Yangtze River defined within the Regulations on the Ships' Routeing System in Shanghai Section of Yangtze River, where the mainstream waterway of the Yangtze River is between the longitude line 122°29'38.6 "E and the Shanghai harbour limit (31°30'52.4 "N / 122°18'56.9 "E; 31°37'34.4 "N / 121°22'33.0 "E).

All terminals within the Shanghai section of the Yangtze River are not allowed to handle highly toxic chemicals; it mainly includes the relevant wharfage within the jurisdiction of the Wusong MSA, Baoshan MSA, Chongmin MSA and Pudong MSA. The map to the right shows the jurisdiction area of Shanghai MSA and the boundaries of the Shanghai controlled section of the Yangtze River.
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Any breach of the Yangtze River Protection Law with the carriage of any of the listed prohibited acutely toxic chemicals and other dangerous chemicals will result in confiscation and incur a fine of not less than CNY 200,000, however not more than CNY 2,000,000. Those persons found directly responsible will sustain penalties not less than CNY 50,000, however not more than CNY 100,000.

Local authorities will advise when declared chemical cargoes are on the list of banned chemicals for sea transportation to assist vessels in complying with the Yangtze River Protection Law.

We recommend that Owners seek advice from a chemical expert if doubt occurs on whether the intended shipment of chemical cargoes to Shanghai / Yangtze River ports may be on the prescribed catalogue of highly toxic chemicals or other dangerous chemicals. Members can source Chemical experts via their local protecting Agent or the Club's local correspondent network in China.

The two reference catalogues for consultation are the Hazardous Chemicals List (2015 Edition) and the Prohibited Dangerous Chemicals by Inland River (2019 Edition).

The Hazardous Chemicals List (2015 Edition) lists 149 products of "highly toxic" chemicals, and the Prohibited Dangerous Chemicals by Inland River (2019 Edition) lists 228 products in any format and 85 products forbidden in bulk form of other dangerous chemicals that are prohibited.

Full details of the new regulation in China, including the Shanghai MSA notice, can be seen in the Huatai Marine Circular 03/2021.

Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention department.