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: Current Status of PECs Joint Registration

      February 6, 2018    Nadine He

    The registration deadline for 510 priority existing chemicals (PECs) subject to K-REACH joint registration is 30 Jun 2018. As the deadline approaches, more and more lead registrants (LR) have submitted PECs joint registration dossier.
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    South Korea Updates Safety and Labelling Standards for Risk Concerned Products

      February 5, 2018    Nadine He

    South Korea’s Ministry of Environment revised the Designation of Risk Concerned Products and the Safety and Labeling Standards (hereafter referred to as “standard”) and published it by MoE Announcement No.2018-12 on 22 Jan 2018. It came into effect immediately....
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    K-REACH: 343 PECs Finished LR Election

      January 31, 2018    Nadine He

    Updated on 31 Jan 2018, 343 priority existing chemical substances (PECs) subject to K-REACH joint registration have finished their LR election. The whole list is accessible here.
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    South Korea to Update Hazard Evaluation Results of New Substances Registered under K-REACH

      January 30, 2018    Nadine He

    South Korea's National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) is now consulting on the results of hazard evaluation of new chemical substances registered under K-REACH by NIER Notice No. 2018-5. Any comments are welcome before 12 Feb 2018.
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    Revised K-REACH Scheduled to Pass in Next Plenary Session of National Assembly

      January 30, 2018    Nadine He

    Since consensus wasn’t reached during the National Assembly on 23 Nov 2017 at its regular plenary session, the K-REACH proposal hasn’t been passed as planned before the end of 2017. Fortunately, the proposal was included into an extraordinary meeting of the National...
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    South Korea Appends Existing Chemical Inventory

      January 17, 2018    Nadine He

    Published on 15 Jan 2018 by MoE Announcement No.2018-11, 54 non-toxic chemical substances (Given No. 2017-3-7206 ~ 2017-3-7259) were officially added to South Korea's Existing Chemical Substance Inventory (KECI).