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 12 Oct 2018, South Korea’s MoE issued a notice (No. 2018-764) seeking feedback on proposed registration/notification exemptions under the revised K-REACH (effective on 1 Jan 2019).
- Takehome: 15 chemical substances were listed as toxic. Chemical name or concentration threshold were updated for 3 toxic substances that were previously designated. Additional transitional measures were provided for control of these substances.
- Takehome: 544 CMRs are drafted for K-REACH registration before 30 Jun 2021. Pre-registration is required before 30 Jun 2019 (accounting for full registration grace period). In a significant move, South Korea's Ministry of Environment issued a draft list of 544...
- Takehome: Two lists of substances subject to priority management are drafted for consultation until 1 Nov 2018. Production notification is required for these substances of CMR, PBT, EDCs, STOT, etc. As planned the lists will be implemented in 2019 and 2021...
- According to the statistic data from South Korea’s chemical authority, up to Sep 13th, 2018, the registration dossiers of 340 priority existing chemicals (PECs) under K-REACH have been submitted to the authority. 288 of them have been reviewed and approved.
- On Jul 31st, 2018, South Korea’s chemical authority announced the list of 351 Priority Existing Chemicals (PECs) for which the leading registrant (LR) have been elected under K-REACH.