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).
- Takehome: In South Korea, the localization of semiconductor materials has been heatedly discussed, and MoE's environmental regulations are considered to be the main resistance to localization. MoE published an explanation that environmental regulations have...
- Takehome: The List of hazardous factors was updated for children’s supplies. The MoE will conduct risk assessment of children’s supplies on the hazardous factors. Restriction or prohibition will be imposed on the children’s supplies based on risk assessment...
- South Korea’s pre-registration of existing chemical substances ended on 30 June 2019. The Ministry of Environment (MoE) then issued on Jul 8th a notice which grants registrants a chance to directly supplement or update the submitted information by Jul 19th, 2019...
- Takehome： Japan announced that it will remove South Korea from the “whitelist” in the Export Trade Management Order through an amendment act, and South Korea’s imports from Japan will lose preferential treatment. The export of fluorinated polyimides,...
- In accordance with the requirements of the amended Act on Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals of Korea (K-REACH), notification of products containing priority management substances (including hydrates) is required before manufacture or importation.
- On June 14, 2019, the Chemical Safety Support Team (https://www.chemnavi.or.kr/) under the South Korean Ministry of Environment gave explanations on the pre-registration of polymers in existing chemical substances.  (1) For polymers with the same monomers (...