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Technology // Tinplate

New China tinplate standards announced

Thursday, 05 October 2017

The China government has issued a new tinplate national standard for 'cold-reduced electrolytic tinplate' that will come into effect from 1 June 2018 and will be harmonised with other global tinplate standards.

The new standards were jointly issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ) and the Standardisation Administration of China (SAC) and will replace the existing standards implemented in 2009.

The main changes are:

1. The nominal thickness range of single cold-reduced electrolytic tinplate has been widened to 0.14mm~0.80mm from 0.15mm~0.60mm.

2. New chemical composition limits for various categories of plated steel have been specified

3. Impurity limits for tinplate used in food, medicine and beverage packaging have been set at less than 0.03% arsenic by weight and a total content of cadmium and lead content of not more than 0.01% by weight.

4. New standard methods of measuring Pb content in coating layers of tinplate.

ITRI View: The new regulation poses a significant threat to many smaller tinplate producers, who will find the new technical requirements hard to meet. The original standards were introduced at a time when the tinplate industry in China was booming but in recent years the sector has been struggling with overcapacity, intense competition and low profitability. These new standards will be seen as a major step forward by larger producers who have been lobbying on the basis of food health issues to pressurise smaller producers with inferior technology. The environmental and health benefits of the new standards also fit well with the Chinese government's recent drive for environmental improvement in the industrial sector.

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