Since the introduction of REACH system from the EU to tighten the safe management of chemical substances, Japan and China started to introduce similar system. Korea is the 7th largest chemical industrial country. However, the management of existing chemical substances and the risk management have not yet reached the satisfactory level. Korea finally had realized the necessity for introduction of similar system with REACH to response to international trend in reinforcing chemical substances management, strengthening domestic industrial competition and to protect national health and ecosystem by finally promoting the enactment of 「Act on registration, evaluation, etc. of chemical substances」(hereinafter referred to as "the Act"). the key contents of the Act is the follows. 

Report of on Manufacture etc. of Chemical Substances

Any person who intends to annually produce or import more than 1 ton of chemical substances shall report the purposes, manufacturing and imports of chemical substances every two years to provide information on the general status of chemical substances and the information will be used as basic data for selecting persons or businesses that are subject to prior registration.

Registration of Chemical Substances

Any person who intends to produce or import more than 1 tone of new chemical substances or existing chemical substances subject to registration shall submit hazard data (more than 1 ton), risk data (more than 100 tons) for registration. As for existing chemical substances, factors such as their domestic distributed quantity and hazards shall be considered to be designated and announced as subjects required to be registered preferentially as existing chemical substances and give registration grace period in consideration of burden of businesses. In order to prevent duplication of data, the registrant needs to submit certain registration application jointly (existing chemical substance to be registered), and registrant should also be allowed to utilize the data with consent from an owner to use.

Evaluation of hazard and Risk Assessment

Minister of Environment should evaluate hazard of the registered chemical substances and notify the results to the registrant, designate and announce any substance with toxicity as a toxic chemical according to certain standard. The minister should also conduct a risk assessment based on the evaluation of the hazards on chemical substances produced or imported more than 100 tons per year and notify the results to the registrants.

Designation procedures for toxic chemicals

Designation of Chemical Substances subject to Authorization

A risk concerned chemical substance is to be designated as an approved substance through risk assessment considering the purpose of use and degree of exposure. The substance which proved to pose risks is to be designated and announced as a restricted and prohibited substance. The designation of an approved substance is for high risk concerned substances including CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic to reproduction) and PBT (persistent, bioaccumulation, toxic substance) and these are planned to be designated by analyzing and reviewing ways to appropriately manage risk and alternativeness (economic feasibility). Restricted substances refer to substances that are restricted due to their risks posed on human health or the environment for specific purposes and prohibited substances refer to substances that are prohibited due to their risks posed on human health or the environment for all purposes.

Provision of Chemicals Information

Chemical substances information is sent to substance supply network to support sharing of information for lower users. Any person who transfers a chemical substance should provide information on hazard and risk to transferee.

As「The Act」has been introduced, industrial sectors are to produce and register substance information and a precautionary management system is to be built through restriction and prohibition of harmful substance uses. It is expected to be a ground to build an advanced management system of chemical substances.

Main system of 「The Act」


Last modified : 2013-10-29 18:08

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