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On April 2, Korea's National Assembly passed legislation similar to a series of European Union regulations, including the RoHS, WEEE and ELV (End of Life Vehicles) directives. The regulation goes into effect Jan. 1, 2008.

But while the Act Concerning the Resource Recycling of Electrical/Electronic Products and Automobiles has elements of the EU directives, it is also unique, according to Michael Kirschner of Design Chain Associates. Like EU’s RoHS Directive and China’s legislation, he says, the regulation omits a detailed scope (certain classes of automobiles and electronics initially equivalent to that of Korea’s preexisting Act on thecentration limits, design for environment requirements, and so on. Presidential Decrees and Ordinances from the Ministry of the Environment will define these concepts.

Items to be specified in the next step of legislation include precise definitions and lists of “Electrical and Electronic Equipment”; “Automobile,” and “Hazardous Substances” and their threshold limits and a Mandatory Annual Recycling Objective for Automobiles, along with evaluation methods. Test Methods of Hazardous Substances will be published. And an individual or collective scheme for recycling will be set up, among other actions.

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