Korea establishes K-REACH with enforcement in January 2015
On 22 May, 2013, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of South Korea established the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals Act (Korea REACH or K-REACH). From 1 January, 2015, all new substances and priority substances that are manufactured or imported in a quantity of more than 1 tonne/year are required to be registered with the MOE. The hazard evaluation is mandatory for all registered substances and risk assessment is also required for substances over 100 tonne/year. K-REACH is a chemicals management system based on the EU REACH regulation and it is aimed “to protect human health and the environment from the risk of the use of chemical substances”. It involves risk assessment as well as safety labelling standards.
The main provisions of K-REACH are:
Registration & Reporting of Chemical substances
Registration is an obligation for a new chemical and priority substances of more than 1 tonne/year per manufacturer or importer. Reporting is an obligation for a new chemical and existing chemicals that are in a quantity of more than 1 tonne/year per manufacturer or importer (a downstream user is exempted from reporting).
Hazard / Risk Assessment
A substance manufactured or imported in a quantity of more than 100 tonne/year is obliged to undergo risk assessment by 1 January 2015. The deadline is extended for a substance that is in a quantity of 10-100 tonne/year:
● 1 January 2017 (70 tonne/year)
● 1 January 2018 (50 tonne/year)
● 1 January 2019 (20 tonne/year)
● 1 January 2020 (10 tonne/year)
Communication of information in the supply chain
A manufacturer or importer of a registered chemical is obliged to provide the registration number, name of chemical, hazard information and safe use information to their customer. A downstream user is obliged to provide exposure information, safe use information etc when requested.
Management of Risk in Concerned products
Notification is an obligation if the hazardous chemical is intended to be released in the finished article and the quantity of the substance is more than 1 tonne/year per manufacturer or importer. The information required is the name and concentration of the chemical, hazard information and its application in the product. For ‘Risk concerned products’, the MOE will provide guidelines for safety labelling, product without safety labelling standard must be approved by the MOE.
By establishing the K-REACH, the MOE increases the competitiveness of the chemical management industry relative to other international chemical management systems. Companies should prepare themselves for the systematic management of information on chemicals, including Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), reduction of risks and prevention of accidents.
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