17 Jun 2013

What should Manufacturers, importers and sellers of new or existing chemical substances into South Korea should be aware of today?

The South Korean Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (K-REACH) was adopted by the National Assembly on April 30 and published in the official Gazette on May 22, 2013. K-REACH is scheduled to be implemented on January 1, 2015 and will require the mandatory registration and notification of manufactured and imported chemical substances, substances with potential to be hazardous to human health or the environment, and products containing hazardous substances.

Manufacturers, importers and sellers of new or existing chemical substances into South Korea should be aware that, depending on volume information and whether the substance is deemed to be of concern to human health or the environment, volume and use reporting as well as registration and notification of the substance to the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) may be required before manufacture or importation of the substance will be permitted. Exemption opportunities are available in certain circumstances.  There also are obligations for suppliers of registered substances to provide information on those substances to downstream users and distributors.

What are your obligations?

The regulatory requirements for notification of new or existing chemical substances under K-REACH include use information, classification and labeling, physical-chemical data, and handling instructions (including control measures for substances with volume thresholds >10tpa). Test plans may be submitted in lieu of test information, and there are opportunities for joint registrations if multiple users have interest in the same substance.

The deadlines for registration of substances under K-REACH are based on tonnage bands and classification of substances, with greatest tonnage (>100 tpa) and most hazardous substances taking top priority. The deadline for registration of this first wave of substances is January 1, 2015, with subsequent deadlines in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 for lower volume thresholds. There is still an obligation for manufacturers and importers to provide updated information to the MoE, following registration, if there are any changes to volumes, uses, hazards or risks.

Do you have questions about K-REACH or other related topics? Share your comments or questions below and our expert, Joyce Borkhoff, will get back to you.

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