The Act on Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals “K-REACH” came into force on the 1st of January 2015. In July 2015, the Korean Ministry of Environment (MoE) announced 510 priority existing substances (PECs) to be registered by the 30th of June 2018. Due to some shortfalls found in the operating chemical management system, in March 2018 the MoE decided to amend K-REACH regulation by introducing a pre-registration system and improving the registration system of existing substances. The amended K-REACH regulation will enter into force on 1 January 2019.
According to the amended K-REACH regulation, manufacturers and importers in South Korea of new chemical substances of at least 0.1 tonne per year or of existing chemical substances that are imported or manufactured at quantities of at least 1 tonne per year shall pre-register and register their substances to the South Korean Ministry of Environment, according to the following criteria:
- From 1 January 2019, new substances and designated substances that are manufactured/imported in South Korea in quantities of at least 100 Kg per year must be registered to the MoE prior to manufacture/import
- New substances that are manufactured or imported in South Korea in quantities of less than 100Kg/year do not need to be registered but be notified to the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER)
- All existing designated substances (so-called PEC substances) were required to be registered to the MoE by the 30th of June 2018
- All existing substances manufactured/imported in quantities equal to or above 1 tonne/year have now the obligation to be pre-registered between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2019, via the Korea Environment Corporation (Keco) online system to the MoE. Companies taking this opportunity will benefit from extended registration deadlines foreseen for existing substances. If companies miss the pre-registration deadline then they are required to K-REACH register their substances prior to manufacture or import
- All existing substances manufactured/imported in quantities equal to or above 1 tonne/year must be registered to the Ministry of Environment in South Korea via the Keco IT tool and by the applicable registration deadline as follows:
- 31 Dec 2021: > 1000 t/year or CMR substances > 1t/year
- 31 Dec 2024: > 100 – 1000t/year
- 31 Dec 2027: > 10 – 100 t/year
- 31 Dec 2030: > 1-10t/year
In addition, the amended K-REACH regulation requires manufacturers and importers of consumer products to submit a product notification to the MoE if such products contain at least 0.1 wt-% of priority control substances per year in each individual product.