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Chinese Government Suspends Ban on Cyanide-Gold Plating
Oct 3, 2013
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China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has postponed the implementation of regulations that would have eliminated cyanide-gold plating at the end of 2014. The process is used to make electronics products for consumer products and other industries.

A proposed requirement for the elimination of auric potassium cyanide gold electroplating and potassium aurocyanide gold plating processes was issued in February 2013 in the Catalogue of Products Subject to Industrial Restructuring (2011 edition, as revised).

IPC, a global association serving he interconnect industry, along with the China Printed Circuits Association, and other industry associations, helped in the effort to persuade the Chinese government to suspend the regulation.

"We are pleased that the Chinese government has recognized the technical requirements of the gold plating application process in electronics," says John Mitchell, IPC president. "The global electronics industry depends on gold plating materials to produce reliable and functional aerospace, telecommunication, defense, consumer and transportation products."

IPC and other industry associations met with NDRC on May 17, 2013, to discuss concerns about the ban. Participants provided NDRC with technical information and data on the sophisticated technical requirements of gold plating application in electronics, and highlighted the need for careful evaluation of an alternative. Participants also explained treatment and control technology currently in use worldwide to provide environmental safety for cyanide gold plating in electronics.

After the meeting, IPC took a lead role in collecting and organizing supporting technical information requested by NDRC.

In its Sept. 23, 2013 notice suspending the revision, NDRC cited the importance of gold plating materials in a variety of high technology electronics, the worldwide use of cyanide-gold plating processes, and the concerns regarding the validity and availability of gold potassium citrate (non-cyanide) plating processes.

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