On April 24, 2013, the South Korea National Assembly Environmental and Labor Committee passed the Act on Registration and Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances, commonly known as Korea REACH or K-REACH.
On April 30, 2013, the National Assembly enacted K-REACH, and it is now scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2015.
Every five years, the Minister of Environment (MOE) will establish a basic plan for the registration and evaluation of chemical substances, notification of products containing hazardous substances, and safety management of risk concerned products.
When establishing or revising a basic plan, the MOE shall deliberate with the Chemical Substance Evaluation Committee after the consultation with the head of central administrative agency in advance.
The basic plan shall include the following:
Method and plan to conduct registration • hazard examination • risk assessment of chemical substances, notification of products containing hazardous substances, and risk assessments of risk concerned products.
Matters related to development of technologies required for registration of chemical substances, notification of products containing hazardous substances, and evaluation • assessments of hazard • risks.
Matters related to investigation • research on hazards risks of chemical substances and products containing hazardous chemical substances, safety management of risk concerned products, and international cooperation.
Matters related to activities of industries to prevent damage to public health or environment caused by chemical substances or risk concerned products, and safety support and training for workers and consumers; and
Other matters necessary for the promotion of chemical registration and hazard examination • risk assessment.
The MOE shall conduct a hazard assessment. If this hazard assessment is to be used to support registrations in other countries, the person will need to request permission from the MOE.
The results of the hazard assessment are to be published and toxic substances identified.
A Safety report/risk assessment is required for substances ≥ 10 tons/yr or is deemed necessary from the hazard assessment. Although not explicitly defined, carcinogens, mutagenic, and reproductive/development (CMR); and persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) will likely be targeted.
Substances registrations are to be performed based on the following manufacture/import volume:
≥100 tons – Jan 1, 2015;
≥70 tons after two years – Jan 1, 2017;
≥50 tons after three years – Jan 1, 2018;
≥20 tons after four years - Jan 1, 2019; and
≥10 tons after five years – Jan 2, 2020
The MOE is granted the authority to ensure risk minimization, where necessary.
The MOE is granted the authority to perform risk assessments on risk concerned products.