China Slaps VOC Tax on Coatings


Coating manufacturers worldwide will help subsidize the cleanup of China's notoriously foul air through a new tax on Volatile Organic Content in paints and coatings.

Implementation details are still being worked out, but the new regulations took effect Feb. 1 and "directly affect coatings companies," the American Coatings Association told its members this week.

The ACA's International Affairs Committee has been watching the developments in China for months.

In May, the coating manufacturers' association warned members that the Chinese government had been developing regulations "rapidly over the last two to three years, due to public pressure against the rapidly deteriorating air quality."

The top initiative then under consideration was the VOC limit and tax on solvent-containing products, ACA reported.

What's Changing

The new regulation, known formally as “Finance Tax (2015) Notification on Imposing Consumption Tax on Battery and Coating Products,” was developed jointly by the Ministry of Environment Protection, the Ministry of Finance, and the National Development and Reform Commission.

Published at the end of January, the regulations impose on coatings manufacturers a four percent tax on the invoice price of any coating whose ready-to-spray VOC level exceeds 420 g/L, according to ACA.

In addition, new vehicle OEM facilities are already required to use only waterborne or low-VOC coatings.

China Coatings

Coatings production is booming in China, driving new environmental regulations and practices, China Coating reports.

Although the regulations had been under discussion for months, "the immediate implementation ... leaves coating suppliers and their customers little time to adapt formulations or administrative processes to the now-official requirements," ACA said.

The tax will be collected by local tax authorities, and VOC levels will be verified by provincial level Quality Inspection Authorities, but many other implementation details are not yet known, ACA said.

'Share in the Responsibility'

Chinese coating makers support "the ambitious goal of the new tax to help reduce pollution in China," said Lianying Sun, executive director of the China National Coatings Industry Association (CNCIA).

In a statement reported by ACA, she added: “Our industry welcomes the opportunity to continue to contribute its expertise in order to make the new regulation as effective as possible.

© / beijinghistory

With 25 million tons emitted annually, the "impact of VOC pollution on physical health and life safety of the public is indispensable," China's Ministry of Environmental Protection writes.

"Industry across China must share in the responsibility to support the long-term sustainability of China’s development.”

China Coatings

A new English-language version of the longtime journal of the Chinese coatings association offers context for the new regulations and insights into what may lie ahead for coating makers.

The third and latest issue of China Coatings delves into the VOC emissions issue in depth and references a new environmental program by coating makers called "Beautiful China, We are in Action."

China Coatings Show

A new English-language journal aims to introduce China's century-old coatings industry "to the world." The China Coatings Show, set this year for June 30, drew about 17,000 visitors in 2012.

The issue features an article by the Ministry of Environmental Protection detailing the staggering air pollution that has accompanied China's rapid industrialization, urbanization and huge spike in energy consumption.

As a "key precursor" to fine particulate matters, low-level ozone and other secondary pollutants, VOC content is a key piece of the pollution puzzle, the ministry says.

"Toxic VOC" levels account for about 30 percent of all pollutant emissions in China, with about 25 million tons emitted annually and growing, the government says.

China Coatings

Concern over VOC emissions has driven down limits in architectural coatings over the past decade.

"[T]he impact of VOC pollution on physical health and life safety of the public is indispensable."

Learn More

China Coatings also includes an article on interpreting the country's environmental labeling standard for waterborne coatings (primarily, architectural coatings) and a discussion of waste gas emission and treatment during coatings manufacturing and painting.

To subscribe, email The journal's URL is, but repeated efforts to access the site Thursday (Feb. 19) were unsuccessful.

ACA says it will continue to monitor the Chinese developments for its members. Meanwhile, for more information, contact ACA's John Hopewell.



Tagged categories: American Coatings Association (ACA); Asia Pacific; Coating Materials; Coatings manufacturers; Emissions; Environmental Protection; North America; Regulations; Solventborne coatings; VOC content; VOC emissions; Waterborne coatings

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