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Cabinet Approved the Draft Cabinet Order Partially Amending the Order for Enforcement of the High Pressure Gas Safety Act Aiming to improve and maintain the safety level and further promote innovation

Safety and environmental technologies concerning high pressure gas continue to advance, and products and inspection methods using new technologies are being steadily developed and introduced. Under such circumstances, the High Pressure Gas Safety Act, which regulates the production and sale, etc. of high pressure gas, has been amended to have it function as a more efficient and effective set of regulations, with the aim of improving and maintaining safety levels and further promoting innovation.

Specifically, the amendment brings about (i) the exclusion of products using only a small amount of high pressure gas (such as airbags) from the scope of application of the Act, (ii) simplified procedures for using new refrigerants with minimal flammability and less environmental load, and (iii) extension of validity period of self-inspections for manufacturing plants that voluntarily take highly advanced security measures such as by incorporating IoT.

1. Outline of the Draft Cabinet Order

(1) Exclusion of products using only a small amount of high pressure gas (such as airbags) from the scope of application of the Act

Products that use only a small amount of high pressure gas (150L or less), such as airbags and analyzers, and pose a low risk are excluded from the scope of application of the Act. This amendment is expected to facilitate the diffusion of new high-performance products.

(2) Simplified procedures for using slightly flammable new refrigerants with less environmental load

New refrigerants with minimal flammability that have a low global warming potential are categorized as inert gas, and a person who intends to use such gas as high pressure gas and who files a notification is exempted from obtaining permission for some of the matters that had required permission. This is expected to promote the use of safe and environmentally friendly refrigerants.

(3) Extension of validity period of self-inspections for manufacturing plants that voluntarily take highly advanced security measures such as incorporating IoT

Regarding petroleum refining plants and other businesses that voluntarily take highly advanced security measures, such as constant monitoring of equipment and prediction of abnormalities through the use of IoT and big data, the period during which self-inspections are considered to be valid without the need for prefectural inspections is to be extended from five years to seven years. This will promote the introduction of highly advanced voluntary security measures by businesses, leading to a further improvement of security levels.

2. Enforcement dates

(1) and (2) will commence on November 1, 2016, and (3) will commence on April 1, 2017.

Release date

October 25, 2016

Division in Charge

High Pressure Gas Safety Office, Commerce, Distribution and Industrial Safety Policy Group

Related Information

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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