September 2013, Korea’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) formed a special Task Force (TF) for the preparation of K-REACH’s subordinate statutes. The task force consisted of industry stakeholders, government officials, and some experts. MoE is now working hard preparing the subordinate statutes based on the TF's interim conclusions, which will support the implementation of K-REACH. MoE will hold a public hearing on 27 Dec 2013 and may introduce the drafts of the subordinate statutes on the same day. Please note the information provided below is only an interim conclusion drawn from the latest TF meetings and may be subject to change in the final documentation.
K-REACH stipulates that the manufacturers, importers and sellers of existing chemical substances at or above 1 ton/year or new chemical substances should report annually to the MoE the volume and usage information etc. However, sellers which trade directly with consumers such as supermarkets are not subject to reporting obligations. Substances in mixtures (excepting impurities below a threshold) should be reported regardless of the concentrations of the individual components. The K-REACH requirements are different compared to those of Japan’s CSCL, under which annual reporting is mandatory only for manufacturers and importers of general chemicals and priority assessment chemical substances (PACs) of 1 ton or above. 10% threshold for general chemicals in mixtures and 1% for PACs apply separately.
R&D substances will be exempt from registration under K-REACH, which has been confirmed by the MoE, though it hasn’t been announced. Under K-REACH there is no low-volume exemption for new chemical registration, instead such case will be subject to simplified registration (Chemlinked news 15 Nov 2013). The tonnage threshold for simplified notification is still undecided. It is planned to have more data requirements for high concerned polymer or polymer used for consumer products and biocides.
Product notification is required if there is a hazardous chemical substances present in the product which exceeds a volume of 1 ton per year. The hazardous chemical name, content and hazard information, used in the product should be notified to the MoE. The 0.1% weight ratio threshold of hazardous substance was deleted from the final K-REACH. However, implementation is currently being reconsidered in subordinate statutes in order to be consistent with the requirements under EU REACH. Information of the notified hazardous substance such as chemical name and safe use information etc. are required to be passed to downstream users and sellers, while the ingredients and its content information are not subject to communication due to CBI concern.