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).
- On May 25th, 2018, South Korea National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) published on its website a batch of 13 toxic chemicals (from 2018-1-842 to 2018-1-854) that are newly finished for the toxicity approval.
- On May 30th, 2018, South Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) issued a revision forecast to some articles of the implementation decree and the implementation rules for K-REACH.
- On Jun 1st, 2018, South Korea authority announced the list of the Priority Existing Chemicals (PECs) for which the joint registration dossiers have been submitted under K-REACH.
- On Jun 1st, 2018, South Korea authority published the latest list of the leading registrants of the Priority Existing Chemicals (PECs) that are subject to registration under K-REACH. Up to May 31st, 2018, a total number of 346 PECs already have lead registrants.
- On May 30th, 2018, South Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) issued a legislation forecast of some implementation decrees for the Act on Safety Management of Household Chemical Products and Biocidal Products (K-BPR).
- Korea NIER announced updates on GHS Classification List for 9 toxic chemical substances.