The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the PRC (AQSIQ) and Standardisation Administration of the PRC (SAC) published the national mandatory standard for infants and children textile products GB 31701-2015 on 26 May 2015. This is the first mandatory standard for infant and children textile products in China and came into force on 1 June 2016.
For chemical safety requirements, the standard includes the restriction of six phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, DNOP) and two heavy metals (lead and cadmium). For mechanical safety requirements, the standard provides detailed regulations on textile around children’s head, neck, shoulder, waist and other areas. For instance, string around the neck area is not allowed for garments for children under the age of seven. In addition, textile accessories are to have high tensile strength with no sharp edges or points. The standard also includes requirements for minimum levels of flammability on infants and children textile products.
The standard categorises infant and children’s textile products according to their age group:
Infants under 36 months and
Children between 3 and 14 years old.
The standard also classifies infant and children’s textile products according to the different levels of safety requirements:
Grade A: textile products for infants
Grade B: textile products that have direct skin contact
Grade C: textile products that have no direct skin contact
It is a regulation to include the safety classification on all infant and children textile products. Infant textile products are to have an additional label that indicates the product is for infant use.
A transition period of two years has been set up for the implementation of the standard, starting from 1 June 2016 till 31 May 2018. During this period, products produced before 1 June 2016 and compliant with the old standards are allowed to be sold in the market. Testing institutions can continue to inspect according to the manufacturing company’s implemented standards.
The transitional period is to help companies fulfill the requirements of the standard, GB 31701-2015 by 31 May 2018. Starting from 1 June 2018, all infant and children textile products in the market will follow the requirements of the national mandatory standard.
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