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China Revises Marine Environment Protection Law

Tue, 19 Dec 2023
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 24 Oct. 2023, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislature, promulgated the newly revised “Marine Environment Protection Law” (hereinafter the “Law”, 海洋环境保护法).

This Law was originally enacted in 1982 and has been revised in 1999, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2023.

The highlights of the Law are as follows:

  • The scope of the Law includes (1) navigation, exploration, exploitation, production, tourism, scientific research, and other activities conducted within the maritime areas under Chinese jurisdiction; (2) any entities engaged in activities affecting the marine environment within the coastal land areas; (3) acts and entities outside the maritime areas under Chinese jurisdiction that cause pollution or ecological damage within the maritime areas under Chinese jurisdiction.
  • Any entity or individual engaged in activities affecting the marine environment shall take effective measures to prevent and mitigate marine environmental pollution and ecological damage. A discharger of pollutants shall disclose information on the discharge of pollutants in accordance with the law.
  • Entities that need to discharge industrial or medical wastewater directly into the sea shall obtain a pollution discharge permit and pay an environmental protection tax.
  • It is prohibited to discharge oil, acid, alkali, and highly toxic wastewater into the sea.
  • No entity may dump any waste into the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China unless they have applied for and obtained a dumping permit.
  • The dumping of waste from outside China into the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China is prohibited.



Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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