What is K-REACH?
The Act of Registration Evaluation of Chemicals, also known as K-REACH, has been enforced since January 1, 2015 and amendment came into force on 1 January 2019. K-REACH has been established with being inspired by EU REACH to strengthen the management of chemical substances as well as products containing chemicals. Main purposes of the act are registering chemicals that are imported and manufactured in Korea and evaluating the hazards and risks of the substances.
Under K-REACH, a new chemical substance (not listed under KECI – Korean Existing Chemical Inventory) without tonnage limit and existing chemical substances more than one ton per year, that are produced or imported, must be registered. For existing chemicals above one ton, pre-register is required by end of June 2019 in order to be granted a grace period of the existing chemical registration.
K-REACH Regulation: http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=31605&lang=ENG
Obligations under K-REACH
Existing Chemical Substances: Pre-registrtaion and Registration
All existing chemical substances manufactured or imported at ≥ 1 tpa are subject to pre-registration before 30 Jun 2019. The manufacture/import volume can be determined based on the records in year 2016 to 2018. Late pre-registration is applicable to chemicals manufactured or imported over 1 tpa for the first time after the deadline and before the corresponding phase-in registration deadline.
Pre-registration before 30 Jun 2019 is necessary to be eligible for the phase-in registration grace period. Phased-in registration of existing chemicals should be complied with based on tonnage band by 2030. However, designated CMR substances with a volume of over 1 tpa should be registered as a priority by 2021. The phase-in deadlines will be set based on tonnage band, as below;
- the substances ≥ 1,000 t/y and those identified as CMR ≥ 1 t/y are to be registered by 31 December 2021;
- the substances included in the 100-1,000 t/y range must be registered by 31 December 2024;
- the substances included in the range 10-100 t/a are to be registered by 31 December 2027;
- the substances included in the 1-10 t/y range must be registered by 31 December 2030.
However, for the 510 PECs that were published on 1 Jul 2015, they were subject to joint registration before July of 2018. They are not eligible for pre-registration/late pre-registration and are not subject to the phase-in registration grace period. PECs (≥ 1 tpa) should be registered immediately before manufacture/import.
New Chemical Substances: Notification and Registration
The Korea Existing Chemicals Inventory (KECI) contains more than 44,000 chemicals that were domestically circulated in South Korea prior to Feb 2, 1991 or those published by MoE after hazard evaluation under TCCA after Feb 2, 1991. Those not listed in the KECI are regarded as new chemical substances subject to new chemical registration.
All new chemical substances regardless of tonnage are required to be registered. However, for new chemical substances < 100 kg/y, they only require notification rather than registration. In addition, registration under K-OSHA should also be complied with as before for new substances ≥ 100 kg/y.