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Contact Nicobar Group at nuclear@nicobargroup.com for an English version of the safety equipment list and a free 1 hour phone consultation on whether your equipment needs to be certified under HAF604 or not, as well as advice on how to get started.

HAF604/HAF 604 Certificate Background

Keywords: HAF604 certification, HAF604 requirements, HAF604 regulation, HAF604 application, HAF604 English

HAF stands for "he anquan fagui" (核安全法规) and translates as "nuclear safety laws". Chapter 6 of the HAF was first published in 2007 and specifically deals with the oversight and management of safety related equipment in China's civil nuclear industry. Chapter 6  includes 4 sections:

HAF601 - Certification for Domestic Suppliers of Nuclear Safety Equipment
HAF602 - Certification for NDE Personnel to inspect Nuclear Safety Equipment
HAF603 - Certification for Welding Technicians to work on Nuclear Safety Equipment
HAF604 - Certification for the Import of Nuclear Safety Equipment

Most foreign companies only need to be concerned with HAF604, unless your company also has a Chinese factory. 

HAF604 is Required:

For foreign firms seeking to provide nuclear safety components or services to the Chinese nuclear market, obtaining HAF604 registration is a necessary prerequisite procedure .  In many cases it will be necessary to obtain HAF604 certification before participating in any bid issued by a Chinese nuclear power plant that relates to safety components. Generally speaking, an HAF604 certificate is required for the design, manufacture, or installation of most safety components for a nuclear power plant in China. Additionally, company HAF604 certification is required for the provision of non-destructive examination (NDE) services to Chinese nuclear power plants (HAF602 is required for the personnel; HAF604 is required for the company).

In the past, many USA companies came to China as part of the AP1000 supply chain and were able to use their ASME Stamp to sell to Chinese buyers. This is no longer possible. If an American company wants to sell nuclear safety equipment in China, a HAF604 certificate is required.  

What is "Safety Class" in China?

The definition of "safety equipment" is a key component of determining the HAF604 obligation. In China, nuclear safety equipment is split into two major categories: electrical and mechanical. The classes of equipment that must be certified if they are to serve a safety-related function include electrical equipment that is Class 1E and mechanical equipment that is categorized as Class I, II, or III. The definitions of 1E and Class I, II and III equipment roughly follow the definitions respectively set forth by the IEEE and ASME, with some important exceptions. The most recent revision of the Chinese industry nuclear safety equipment list was published in April 2016. It contains 19 types of general-use mechanical equipment and 9 types of general-use electrical equipment, as well as 5 types of safety equipment specific to fuel post-processing activities.

If your company intends to produce these safety-class components from a domestic Chinese factory, or has already entered into a joint venture with a Chinese firm, you may need to pursue registration under HAF601 rather than HAF604. HAF601 is the Chinese regulation that serves as the domestic counterpart to HAF604. Domestic Chinese enterprises must pursue registration under HAF601 in order to provide safety-related equipment to the Chinese nuclear marketplace.

HAF604 Challenges

A big issue for foreign companies is lack of information and clarity regarding the HAF604 certification process. Most of the relevant explaining materials are in Mandarin and the Chinese nuclear regulator can be difficult to communicate with.  The whole application will usually take at least 10-16 months and there is a huge amount of information required by the NNSA for review. The entire application must be in technically accurate Chinese and cover in-depth your manufacturing/design capabilities, personnel qualifications, service history for similar products, proof of demand from Chinese customers, and capability to implement the most stringent quality control procedures. Many companies have found their applications to drag on for months or even years while internal stakeholders struggle to pull together all the materials and keep the project team focused on the end goal. 

Get Help From the Experts

Any company considering an application for HAF604 registration can stand to benefit from the support of a trusted and specialized partner for HAF604 work. Nicobar Group is positioned right here on the ground in China and is completely dedicated to the mission of supporting foreign firms in their interactions with Chinese power plants, EPCs, and regulators.  Nicobar Group offers total package support for HAF604 application, including application preparation and review, translation of technical specifications, onsite inspection support and assistance for regulator inquiries. We've worked with a variety of companies to handle their needs for both new registrations as well as re-certifications and we've previously worked with the US Department of Commerce to inform and educate Western companies as to the requirements of the HAF registration. We are able to apply all of our lessons learned over the years to ensure your application process goes as smoothly as possible. 

If you aren't sure how to get started with HAF604, need more information about HAF604 requirements, or aren't sure whether your products need to be HAF604 certified or not, then Nicobar is the best place to start with your inquiry.  We're also happy to provide a free HAF604 English version translation of the regulation document, translated by bilingual Western staff or a current list of the nuclear safety equipment in China - just send us an email to get started with a free consultation.

Reach out at nuclear@nicobargroup.com and you'll have a response within 24 hours, guaranteed.

 

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