All coatings products sold in China are required to meet the Compulsory Coatings Standards

After years of continuous effort, there are more than 400 coatings and related standards in China, including national and industrial standards, which form a complete standard system. Of these standards, 58% are general, basic and method standards, and 39% are product standards.

The compulsory coatings standards in China come from technical committees (SAC/TC) and administrative departments, and can be classified into national standards (labeled as GB) and industrial standards (labeled as JC, abbreviation of the building materials industry). If there are no corresponding national standards, the related industry organization can develop standards for application under administrative approval. Standards developed by different industry organizations are labeled with different letters.

SAC/TC5 (National Technical Committee 5 on Paints & Pigments of Standardization Administration of China) is a professional technical committee for coatings, and a technical counterpart of the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee for Paints and Varnishes ISO/TC35. SAC/TC5 organized the development and modification of most of the coatings standards in China’s coatings standards system. Other technical committees, like SAC/TC 195 and administrative departments like the Ministry of Health (MOH) of the PRC, have contributed to the compulsory standards system as well. Generally, coatings standards promulgated for more than five years are regularly reviewed. SAC/TC 5 organizes experts annually to review the current standards. Experts evaluate the progress, effectiveness and applicability of standards, and suggest if they should be continued, modified or abolished.

GB 21177-2007 and GB 19457-2009, safety standards for inspection of hazardous properties and packaging, have been developed by SAC/TC 251, which manages the dangerous chemicals. All other standards specify the requirements for coatings products including:

  • wood coatings (solvent-/water-based);
  • architectural coatings (interior/exterior/waterproof coatings);
  • coatings for toys;
  • automotive coatings;
  • drinking water tank coatings of shipbuilding;
  • fire-resistant coatings;
  • inner coatings of food containers; and
  • radioactive luminescent paint.