NCEC announces partnership for chemical emergency response service in China

Published:  28 November, 2013

The new service by UK National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC) and China’s National Registration Centre for Chemicals (NRCC) goes live in December and aims to help companies comply with China's regulations on the safe management of hazardous chemicals.

These regulations have presented a significant challenge to manufacturers and importers of chemicals in China. In particular, those registering hazardous chemicals with the State Administration for Work Safety (SAWS) have begun to face a “two strikes” policy, under which emergency response systems judged to be non-compliant have resulted in companies not being allowed to trade their products in China. This partnership agreement provides security to companies operating in China that they can be certain of compliance with Chinese regulations. As such NCEC can now provide the only true global telephone emergency response service, all via one contract.

‘We are pleased to have made an agreement with NCEC for joint operation of a global emergency telephone number service,’ commented NRCC’s emergency response director Yuan Jiwu. ‘We have worked closely with NCEC since 2008 to share knowledge and expertise in the operation of a national emergency response centre and we see this partnership as a positive and natural step in our continuing co-operation.’

Until now, chemical companies operating in China have been required either to implement their own 24-hour expert advice line on a fixed domestic Chinese phone line, or to appoint an accredited agent such as NRCC-SAWS to provide this service on their behalf. The historic partnership between NCEC and NRCC now allows multinational chemical companies to access a professionally managed, expert monitored 24/7 emergency telephone number service operated by Ricardo-AEA’s NCEC.

‘NCEC has been providing its global emergency response service in China for the last 15 years,’ commented Dan Haggarty, NCEC development manager. ‘This latest development keeps us at the leading edge of global emergency response and allows chemical companies to manage and control their outsourced service via a single global contract. It provides access to the expertise of both NCEC and NRCC, avoiding costly duplication of effort in managing two service providers and guaranteeing compliance with global emergency response regulations.’

The risks of chemical companies continuing to operate in China without adequate compliance measures in place was further emphasised by Nathan Chen, director of NCEC’s service partner in China, Reach24h: ‘Chinese authorities are continuing to implement regulations for the safe management of chemicals and are continuing to develop their enforcement activities. The risk for chemical companies not complying with the regulation is continuing to grow. Not only can companies be prevented from trading in China, but they can suffer failure of registration or delayed shipments hindering normal business activities. The partnership between NCEC and NRCC is an ideal mechanism for companies seeking an affordable and easy route to compliance.’

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