K-REACH and Chemical Control Act came into simultaneous effect on the 1 Jan 2015 replacing their predecessor the TCCA. These new regulatory frameworks establish a more effective chemical regulatory management scheme in Korea. The OSHA mainly regulates chemical substances that pose risks to employees to ensure workers’ health and safety in workplace.
The Act on Registration and Evaluation, etc. of Chemical Substances (K-REACH) was passed by the National Assembly on 30 Apr 2013 as Law No.11789. It came into force on 1 Jan 2015. K-REACH follows the basic concept of EU REACH which South Korea has adapted to meet the demands of its own chemical management program regulating the registration and evaluation of new and existing chemical substances.
The K-REACH subordinate statutes, the Presidential Decree (also known as the Enforcement Decree) and the Ministerial Decree (also known as the Enforcement Rules) detail management of chemicals and downstream products, and specify and elucidate the registration requirements and any possible registration exemptions, etc.
South Korea’s Chemicals Control Act (CCA) was issued as Presidential Decree No. 11862 on 4 June 2013 and came into force on 1 Jan 2015. The CCA Enforcement Decree and Enforcement Rules, known as the main supporting documents, specify the regulatory provisions throughout the chemical chain of custody including initial market access, distribution, handling and disposal of chemicals. The CCA strengthens the licensing management for businesses including risk management and preparation of off-site impact analysis report.
South Korea’s Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) ensure proper compliance with workers’ health and safety in workplace. Companies should register new chemical substances under OSHA as well as K-REACH. The new requirements for new chemical management under Korea OSHA have been effective on 1 May 2016. OSHA also requires any person who transfers or supplies a chemical substance or preparations to classify the chemical if classification criteria are applicable and to prepare SDS and labels accordingly.
Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) on April 6 of 2016 published the revised Standards for Classification and Labeling of Chemical Substances and Material Safety Data Sheet by Public Notice No.2016-19, which entered into force immediately. Transitional measures are granted under which classification, labeling and SDS prepared in accordance with the previous version of Public Notice No.2013-37 are acceptable until April 6, 2017.
By adopting the hazard category “hazardous to the ozone layer” and revising some of the hazard statements and precautionary statements, the new standards update the 2013 standards (MOEL Public Notice No.2013-37) to align with UN GHS Rev.4 (2011).
- Takehome: Under new amendments to the CCA regulation, Korea will implement a new chemical information verification and declaration system. The authority will assign a universal tracking number for declared chemical products to manage their movement...
- The revised Act on Registration, Evaluation, etc. of Chemical Substances (K-REACH) entered into force on Jan 1st, 2019. Previously, simplified registration was applied to new chemical substances in quantities less than 1 t/y (2015.1.1~2019.12.31) or less than 0.1...
- South Korea’s Provisions for Statistical Survey on Chemical Substances was revised and published by MoE’s Announcement No.2019-96 on May 31st, 2019. The amendments came into effect immediately.
- The amended K-REACH requires all existing substances that are manufactured or imported in quantities at or above one tonne per year to be registered. Existing chemical substances pre-registered before Jun 30th, 2019 will be granted a grace period to complete full...
- Takehome: MoE has proposed a new chemical safety management program based on findings that indicate the current requirements as mandated by the Chemical Control Act (CCA) are inadequate to ensure safety during handling/treatment of hazardous chemicals,...
- Takehome: South Korea MOEL conducted investigations into 51 Daewoo E&C construction sites and published the investigation results.