China plans to make it compulsory for companies to have environmental pollution liability insurance if they fall under eight business categories. As a result of this, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the CIRC have jointly released a proposed guideline on environmental pollution liability insurance, which is open for public feedback until July 10.
Within the guideline, eight categories of companies – including those engaged in the extraction of petroleum and natural gas; the gathering, storage, utilisation and disposal of hazardous wastes; and the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients – will be required to buy environmental pollution liability insurance, CCTV reported.
In addition, the new rule also clarifies what the insurance must cover, including personal injury, property damage and environmental impairments, as well as emergency treatment and clean-up costs. The guideline also requires insurance companies to issue an environmental risk assessment report before signing insurance contracts.
Insurers will be exempt from providing compensation in cases where damages are caused by natural disasters, environmental pollution crimes, illegal discharging of pollutants, or unaddressed environmental safety hazards, as well as other cases deemed worthy of exemption.
Those that fail to buy the insurance could face fines of up to CNY30,000 (US$4,400).