Hazmat Grace Period Ends in South Korea


South Koreas grace period for companies that failed to perform a mandated assessment of chemicals they supply will expire Nov. 21.

Under the former Toxic Chemical Control Act, the national government had required hazard assessments on new chemicals – those that were neither designated as eligible for distribution and use before 1991 nor exempted afterward under the TCCA.

The TCCA was replaced in January by the Korean Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals, known asK-Reach, which maintains a similar requirement for hazard assessment. However, the government allowed a temporary exemption from that requirement for companies manufacturing or importing more than 0.1 metric ton per year of new chemicals for the period 2005-2014, provided that they instead made a voluntary report to the Ministry of Environment.

Voluntary reports include registration forms and other required dossiersthat are sent tothe National Institute of Environmental Research for inspection. Companies submitting those reports have been exempted from punishments that can range as high as fines of 50 million won (U.S. $44,146) and prison terms of five years.

In less than a month, the exemption from hazard assessments for those suppliers will expire.

We operated this leniency policy to prevent chemicals produced or imported without hazard assessment being traded under the table even after the launch of K-Reach, Ministry of Environment official Lee Byung Hwa said in a press release. Once the voluntary reporting period ends, all violations of the chemical regulations will be strictly punished according to law.

Related Topics

Asia    Korea, Republic Of    Region    Regulations    Regulations Specs & Testing