Launch of the China Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) National Platform, Qingdao, China on June 27 2017


The Government of China, with the support of UN Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS), will launch its National Multi-Stakeholders Platform on Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) on June 27, 2017. This event is taking place as the Sub-Forum 1 of the 2017 Qingdao Forum on International Standards.

The ceremony will be led by  Mr. Tian Shihong, Administrator,  Standardization Administration of China (SAC), Mr. Liu Yuhua, Director-General, International Trade,  Mininstry of Commerce (MOFCOM), Mr. Ji Zhengkun, President, China Association of Standardization (CAS) and Mr. Bonapas Onguglo, on behalf of UNFSS.

Today VSS are a popular market-based tool for businesses and stakeholders aiming to transform commodity production, supply chain management and consumption patterns into more sustainable ones. Complying with VSS can increase marketability of green exports in the growing and lucrative “sustainability” markets in the region/world. Complying with VSS can also advance sustainable production methods in the field, and contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In view of the importance of VSS and the wide impact VSS has on international trade, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) and the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) are working together to build the Chinese National Platform on VSS. The platform aims at facilitating dialogues on VSS, carrying out research, providing services, popularization and promoting activities on VSS.

The UNFSS with its five UN agencies (Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and International Trade Centre (ITC)) support the launch of the China VSS National Platform. The UNFSS, founded in 2013, is an inter-agency framework that aims at enhancing developing countries’ participation in the international dialogue on VSS. The UNFSS members work collaboratively towards supporting producers, businesses, NGOs and the government in developing countries to better assess the contribution of VSS to sustainable development goals.

New national multi-stakeholder platforms on VSS in India (launched March 2016), Brazil (May/June 2017) and China reflect the increasingly proactive stance that business and government actors from these countries take up on the issue. The launch workshop in Qingdao will bring together stakeholders from China and other developing countries, representing government agencies, companies, international organizations and think tanks.

UNFSS summary report of the Launch

Summary Report

Official Press release:



Qingdao Forum Standardization

China Standardization Journal

Local media coverage:

Media 1

Media 2

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Video of the launch event:


The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) is a joint initiative of 5 UN Agencies (FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO) that seeks to address these challenges. It is a demand-driven forum for intergovernmental actors to communicate among each other and engage with key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard-setters, certification-bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on VSS and their potential contribution to facilitate market access, strengthen public goods and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the UNFSS focuses on potential trade or development obstacles VSS may create, with particular emphasis on their impact on SMEs and less developed countries.