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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    K-REACH Prioritizes Reduction in Vertebrate Animal Testing

      April 19, 2018    Nadine He

    Amendments regarding reduction of vertebrate animal testing during generation of registration data have been passed and incorporated into the revised version of K-REACH as Law No. 15584 on 17 Apr 2018. The new requirements will come into force on 1 Jan 2019 as well...
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    South Korea to Update GHS Classification List

      April 12, 2018    Nadine He

    Published on 4 Apr 2018 by NIER Notice No.2018-84, South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) is now consulting on updates to the GHS Classification List.
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    South Korea Issues List of New Chemicals Registered in 2017 under OSHA

      April 4, 2018    Nadine He

    On 2 Apr of 2018, South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor (MoEL) issued by MOEL Announcement No.2018-139 a list of new chemical substances registered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) in 2017. 
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    K-REACH: List of Lead Registrants Published for 344 PECs

      April 2, 2018    Nadine He

    So far LR (lead registrants) election has been completed for 344 priority existing chemical substances (PECs) under Korea REACH. The whole list of 344 PECs is accessible here.
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    Korea BPR to Be Enforced from 2019

      March 29, 2018    Nadine He

    The Act on Safety Management of Household Chemical Products and Biocidal Products (K-BPR) was passed by the plenary session of the National Assembly on 28th of Feb and finally promulgated by the president on 20 March as Law No. 15511. The new law will enter into...
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    South Korea Consults on Hazard Evaluation Results of New Substances Registered under K-REACH

      March 23, 2018    Nadine He

    South Korea's National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) is now consulting on the hazard evaluation results of new chemical substances registered under K-REACH by NIER Notice No. 2018-43. Any comments are welcome before 4 Apr 2018.