Measures for the Quality Supervision and Management of Highway and Waterway Projects(Mainland China)

Joyce Wen

The Ministry of Transport promulgated the Measures for the Quality Supervision and Management of Highway and Waterway Projects (the “Measures”) on September 4, 2017 to enhance the supervision and administration of highway and waterway projects to ensure their quality. The Measures primarily pertain to the duties and obligations of quality management, supervision and administration, as well as legal liabilities.  Please see below for details.

  1. Scope of application

The Measures primarily apply to the supervision and management of highway and waterway project quality. “Highway and waterway projects” refer to reviewed, approved or recorded new, renovation or expansion construction projects involving highway or waterway infrastructure.  The quality of such projects refer to the general requirements found in law, regulations, rules, technical standards, approved design documents and project contracts on the safety, suitability, economics and aesthetics of such projects.  All units engaging in the development, survey, design, construction, supervision, testing and inspection of highway or waterway projects are collectively referred to as “Business Units,” which are governed by the Measures.

  1. Duties and obligations for quality management

Under Article 7 of the Measures, the duty on quality implementation of highway or water projects is permanent. Organizations engaged in development, survey, design, construction or supervision shall specifically indicate in writing the persons responsible for corresponding project items and the quality of such items.   Relevant personnel of the Business Units shall assume responsibility of the quality of the project for the time of reasonable use of such project.  Business Units for waterway projects will all assume corresponding quality management responsibilities and obligations.

  1. Supervision and management

Under Article 20 of the Measures, a quality supervision and management system shall be implemented for highway and waterway projects. Transportation authorities and the quality supervision entities retained by such authorities for development projects shall perform quality supervision and management scientifically, orderly and fairly pursuant to laws, regulations and mandatory standards.

The quality supervision entities retained by the transportation authorities shall review reports submitted by the construction units, perform verification tests on the project quality, and issue its review opinions on the project delivery quality.

  1. Legal liabilities

Under Articles 39 through 45 of the Measures, relevant penalties such as fines, revocation of licenses and lowered qualification levels may be imposed upon the following circumstances: The survey or design units fails to conduct the survey or design pursuant to the mandatory project development standards; the design unit fails to conduct the project design based on the results of the survey; the construction unit fails to conduct the construction based on project design drawings or technical construction standards; the construction unit fails to inspect the raw materials, composite materials or elements and accessories; the construction unit fails to return to work or perform its maintenance obligations, or delays in performing its maintenance obligations; the supervisory unit makes falsifications and lowers the project quality; the supervisory organization signs off on unqualified development projects, construction materials, equipment and other elements and accessories and equipment as if they were qualified; if the unit setting up a temporary lab on the job site falsifies data and reports; and a developer fails to handle the project quality supervision formalities pursuant to applicable requirements.