▷ The Ministry of Environment makes the second voluntary agreement for consumer safety with 19 manufacturing, importing and distributing companies for consumer chemical products and two civic groups.
▷ The companies promised to reduce the use of harmful components, the civic groups promised to ensure consumers' rights and related social communications, and the government promised to support the implementation of the agreement.
The Ministry of Environment (Minister Cho Myung-rae) and Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (President Nam Kwang-hee) will sign the 'Second Voluntary Agreement on Safety Control for Consumer Chemical Products' with 19 manufacturing, importing and distributing companies of consumer chemical products and two civic groups in Korea, at Hotel President in Jung-gu, Seoul on June 25th.
* Participating companies (19) : LION KOREA, Lotte Shopping/Lotte Mart, Boryung Medience, Bullsone, B&D Life Health, Sangwon, DAISO, Aekyung, AJ, LG Household & Health Care, Oxy-Reckitt Benckiser Korea, Woongjin Coway, Yuhanclorox, EMART, cleanhouse, Fuco, Pigeon, 3M, and Homeplus
** Civic groups (2) : The Korean Federation for Environmental Movement, Environmental Justice
Unlike the first agreement (February 28th, 2017 to February 27th, 2019), the second agreement will be signed by civic groups as well, which is a meaningful participation toward building a stronger foundation for cooperation between companies, civic groups and the government for the safety control of consumer chemical products.
The second agreement aims to create a virtuous cycle for a voluntary product safety framework in the market for the safety control of consumer chemical products through cooperation between companies and civil society. It is one of the following measures of the inter-governmental 'Reinforcement Plan for the Management of Chemical Substances and Chemical Products', announced on January 31st this year.
During the agreement period (June 25th, 2019 to June 24th, 2021), the signatory companies, civic groups and the government will work together for the following targets: ① to introduce and implement the harmfulness evaluation tool for the ingredients of consumer chemical products, ② to promote revealing of all ingredients in consumer chemical products, ③ to improve the exchange and refund system of products violating the related standards, and ④ to expand corporate responsibility for the safety of consumer chemical products.
Each participating company will develop a detailed implementation plan and submit it to the government by the end of August this year. Each company will also share their implementation performance on a quarterly basis.
The civic groups will participate in the development of the harmfulness evaluation tool, as well as share their efforts and performances regarding their voluntary product safety control systems while promoting social communication on the issue.
The Ministry of Environment and Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute will support the implementation of the agreement by providing a guideline for ingredient harmfulness evaluation and improving the existing ingredient regulation guideline as well as the consumer chemical products ingredient dictionary.
"For the last two years, thanks to the 18 participating companies, the first voluntary agreement achieved good results, including revealing all of the ingredients of 1,125 consumer chemical products and publishing the dictionary of 1,004 components in consumer chemical products," stated Director Han Jun-uk, Chemical Product and Biocides Division of the Ministry of Environment. "Based on the previous performances, we expect the second agreement to create a virtuous cycle in which companies expand their responsibility for product safety and in which civil society promotes the companies' efforts."