South Korea

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.  


Korea GHS

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).

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    South Korea Proposes New Biocides Law

      February 23, 2017    Nadine He

    On 12 Jan 2017, South Korea’s Ministry of Environment notified the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade under World Trade Organization (WTO) of a draft proposal on a new biocides regulation, named as “Act on Safety Management of Consumer Chemical Products and...
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    List of K-REACH Lead Registrants Published for 285 PECs

      February 8, 2017    Nadine He

    The K-REACH Task Force published on 31 Jan 2017 a list of lead registrants (LRs) for 285 priority existing chemical substances (PECs). The LR election results were published with the name of LR in Korean, chemical name in English, CAS No. and the date of LR...
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    South Korea Consults on Seven Substances into KECI

      February 7, 2017    Nadine He

    South Korea’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) issued the MoE Notice No. 2017-31 on 25 Jan 2017, consulting on 7 non-toxic chemical substances (Given No. 2016-3-7186~2016-3-7192). Any comments are welcome before 20 Feb 2017.
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    South Korea Notifies WTO of K-REACH Revision

      January 19, 2017    Nadine He

    On 9 Jan 2017, South Korea’s Ministry of Environment notified the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade under World Trade Organization (WTO) of a proposed revision to the Act on Registration and Evaluation of Chemical Substances (K-REACH).
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    South Korea to Update GHS Classification List

      January 12, 2017    Nadine He

    Korea National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) is now consulting on updates to the GHS Classification List. Published on 29 Dec 2016 by NIER Notice No. 2016-397, the classification information, pictograms, signal words, hazard statements and M factors...
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    South Korea Consults on 23 New Toxic Chemical Substances

      January 10, 2017    Nadine He

    Published on 6 Jan 2017 by MoE Notice No. 2017-1, South Korea’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) is now consulting on 23 toxic chemical substances (Given No. 2017-1-750~2017-1-772) until 31 Jan 2017. If no objection is submitted, these substances will be officially...