Under the new rules, which have a two-year transition period for full compliance, use of six plasticisers and two heavy metals—lead and cadmium—is banned. Further, apparel for infants and kids under 7 should not have rope or straps around the neck or head. There are also some specific requirements on use of accessories, for example, they should not have sharp points or edges, according to the National Standardization Technical Committee.
The standards classify products into three groups based on safety criteria. All textile and garment products for infants fall under the most stringent criteria, i.e. Class A. Class B standards are to be met by products designed for direct skin contact, while Class C requirements are applicable for those garments that are not intended for direct skin contact.
As per the guidelines, it becomes mandatory to attach the safety category label to the clothing, to help buyers take informed decisions.
During the two-year transition period till May 31, 2018, products manufactured till May 31, 2016 can be sold in the market. However, after the two-year period, all products being sold in China must meet the new standards.
“The standards are expected to guide manufacturers to improve the safety and quality of children's clothing to ensure infants' and children's health and safety,” said Li Jing, spokeswoman for the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. (RKS)
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