Government Inspections Continue to Disrupt Factory Production in China

September 5, 2017 | As the key holiday production season approaches, The Toy Association is advising members to contact supply-chain partners in China to gauge the likelihood of disruptions due to ongoing factory inspections by the Chinese government.

To date, related industries have reported significant disruptions to factory operations because of government inspections. As part of a new plan to cut airborne and other pollution, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has said that it will increase its inspections over the next six months – a move that will continue to disrupt production and shut down factories in various regions of the country.

The Ministry reported in June that nearly 14,000 companies (70 percent) failed to meet environmental standards for controlling air pollution. The most recent round of inspections focused on Jilin, Zhejiang, and Shandong provinces, with many factories shutting down as a result.

The government has promised to close twice as many factories this fall and winter, when atmospheric conditions are least favorable. Most of the inspections have focused on potentially heavy polluters such as metal plating and glass-finishing/decorating factories, but the scope may widen this winter to include any operations that are coal- or fuel-oil-fired. Inspections have rotated between regions, and have not yet affected the key toy-producing province of Guangdong, which might be targeted in the future.   

The Toy Association is advising members to carefully consider their product suppliers for compliance with all local and national standards and to make necessary adjustments to avoid production and shipment delays. Members may reach out to The Toy Association’s Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs, should any issues arise.