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).
- 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. 2019-129. Any comments are welcome before 3 Apr 2019.
- Takehome: South Korea’s Existing Chemicals Inventory (KECI) was updated to include 44,478 substances. The KECI will not be appended in the future.
- Takehome: Amendments regarding SDS submission and CBI application have been passed and incorporated into the revised K-OSHA as Law No. 16272 on Jan 15th, 2019. The new SDS rules will come into force two years after promulgation. South Korea’s National Assembly finished the...
- Takehome: Two lists of 672 substances subject to priority management under K-REACH were issued. Notification of products containing the priority management substance is required if the quantity is above 1t/y and the content exceeds 0.1% w/w The first list will...
- Takehome: The CMRs subject to registration by 31 Dec 2021 have been designated and notified by the MOE. Pre-registration is necessary to be eligible for the registration grace period. On 28 Dec 2018, South Korea's Ministry of Environment issued a list of 364...
- Takehome: Eight new substances were listed as toxic chemical substances after hazard evaluation under K-REACH. Transitional measures were provided for control of these toxic substances. On Dec 19th, 2018, South Korea's National Institute of Environmental...