271 - 11/02 - Suspended Import of Ammonium Nitrate

We have been advised that on September 30, 2002, the General Office of the State Council issued a Notice (GBF(2002)52) that banned the sale of ammonium nitrate as a fertilizer, and  suspended the import of ammonium nitrate into China.

This action was due to several recent criminal actions and accidents which involved civil explosions.

Ammonium nitrate is the main raw material for the production of civil explosives as well as an agricultural fertilizer, and is very likely to be privately made into an explosive. Potash chlorate is often mixed into smoke and fire agents by law-breaking individuals to produce fireworks and firecrackers, which often gives rise to major accidents. In order to put an end to the illegal production of explosives using ammonium nitrate, and to prevent explosion accidents caused by fireworks and firecrackers from happening, rigid control and management of ammonium nitrate and potash chlorate is now being imposed.

 As of the date of promulgation of the above Notice, ammonium nitrate and potash chlorate is listed in the List of Names of Civil Explosives, and their sales, purchases and use shall be managed in the same way as civil explosives. Sales of ammonium nitrate as fertilizer and mixing potash chlorate into smoke and fire agents to produce fireworks and firecracker is banned. At the same time, import of ammonium nitrate and potash chlorate has been suspended.

We advise  members to inform their commercial departments accordingly and to seek further up to date advice from their local agents.

Source of Information:  

Tony Kennedy (Specialist, London)

Danny NG (Loss Prevention Dept, Hong Kong)

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