K-REACH: The 2024 registration deadline is getting closer – Act now!
On the 1st of January 2015, the “Act on Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals” (K-REACH) came into force with the aim of protecting the human health and the environment in South Korea. An important revision in 2016 culminated in the enforcement of the amended K-REACH regulation as of January 1st, 2019.
Under K-REACH, Chemical manufacturers and importers operating within or importing into South Korea must (late) pre-register and register phase-in substances to the South Korean Ministry of Environment (MoE) if they manufacture or import substances at ≥1 ton per year, unless exempted from K-REACH pre-registration and registration requirements. Additionally, they must report to the MoE non-phase- in substances manufactured in or imported into South Korea in quantities of at least 100 kg/year prior to their manufacturing or importing, as stipulated in Article 10 of the K-REACH regulation. Manufacturers or formulators located outside South Korea can appoint an Only Representative in South Korea for K-REACH compliance.
It is essential under K-REACH to distinguish between Phase-in and Non-Phase-in substances to ensure compliance and make informed decisions.
Phase-in and Non-Phase-in substances: A key distinction for 2024
Phase-In Substances: These are substances listed in the existing chemical inventory in South Korea, allowing (late) pre-registration and registration of substances by the designated deadlines.
Non-Phase-in substances: These are all substances excluding phase-in substances. If you have non-phase in substances, the registration requirements will be more demanding, necessitating the submission of extensive analytical data. Also, pre-registration is not possible for non-phase-in substances. To check the status of your substances, use the following link:
If your substances fall under the non-phase in category, it is crucial to act now! Please note that non-phase-in substances must undergo K-REACH registration before being introduced to the South Korean market.
Upcoming K-REACH Registration deadlines:
Registration deadlines for phase-in substances as follows:
- December 31, 2024: Substances at ≥100 t/year.
- December 31, 2027: Substances at ≥ 10 t/year.
- December 31, 2030: Substances at ≥ 1 t/year.
(Late) Pre-registration of substances is still possible for phase-in substances under certain conditions with annual volumes as mentioned above.
Note that the pre-registration and registration deadlines for phase-in substances at ≥ 1000 t/year and for CMR substances of at least 1 t/year have passed as follows:
- June 30, 2019: Pre-registration deadline for substances at ≥1000 t/year.
- December 21, 2021: Registration deadline for CMR substances of at least 1 t/year and substances ≥ 1000 t/year.
If you intend to introduce CMR substances of at least 1 t/year or substances with annual volumes at ≥ 1000 t/year, you must complete the registration of these substances before they are placed on the South Korean market.
Where are we today?
In 2022, the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) presented data at a Korea Chemicals Management Association (KCMA) seminar, revealing that over 11 900 substances were registered under K-REACH, considering duplicated substances. Additionally, according to KCMA – over 350 registrants of phase in substances for 1-10 and 10-100 t/year have proactively completed their registrations well ahead of the applicable registration deadline.
Prepare for the 2024 K-REACH deadline:
If your company deals with non-phase in substances affected by the 2024 registration deadline, the time to act is now! If your company deals with phase-in substances at ≥ 100 t/year, you can still (late) pre-register them – if you have not done it yet – and continue with the K-REACH registration process to be completed before 31.12.2024.
REACHLaw In South Korea
REACHLaw is happy to support you with the complexities of the K-REACH (late) pre-registration and registration requirements as your Only Representative via our office in Seoul or as your service provider.
For more information and support, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Act now to secure your compliance and unlock your business opportunities in South Korea.
Note, there is only one year left until the K-REACH 2024 registration deadline!