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6 Apr 2018

Preventative Measures Following the Toxic Humidifier Disinfectant Incident: Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Safety Act and the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals

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C&F LEGAL UPDATE + 2018.04.

Preventative Measures Following the Toxic Humidifier Disinfectant Incident:
Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Safety Act
and the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals

The South Korean government recently adopted the Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Safety Act (K-BPR) as well as certain amendments to the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (K-REACH). The K-BPR and the amendments to K-REACH will become effective on January 1, 2019. They were enacted to address the need for preventative measures identified by the Korean government during its investigations of the recent tragic incidents involving chemicals, including toxic humidifier disinfectants and chemical spills. Set forth below is a summary of certain key provisions of K-BPR and the recent amendments to K-REACH.

K-BPR

The K-BPR focuses on (i) products that utilize biocides, such as humidifier disinfectants, which must be pre-approved and be deemed safe for human health and the environment before being distributed in the market, (ii) ensuring the safety of consumer chemical products that are used in homes, offices and public area facilities, and (iii) the implementation of a post-management system where sanctions will be imposed for violations of safety standards.

Prior to K-BPR K-BPR
Management of Biocides
- Lack of management of biocides
- Distribution in the market without prior safety inspections
- All biocidal substances and products require prior approval from the Ministry of Environment before distribution in the market
Management of Consumer Chemical Products
- Uniform safety standards
- Covers domestic (household) products
- Requires re-evaluation of safety standards every three years and compliance with safety and labelling standards if designated as products subject to safety confirmation
- Covers household, office and public area facilities’ products
Post-Management
- Incomplete sanctions and penalties
- One-time enforcement
- Stronger enforcement of penalties, including fines and charges
- Build a systematic and periodic monitoring system

Recent Amendments to K-REACH

Certain of the key amendments to K-REACH relate to (i) the registration by 2030 of all existing chemical substances to the extent one ton or more per year is manufactured or imported, (ii) the registration of certain new chemicals and notification of others, and (iii) the obligation to provide information to the downstream user of certain designated hazardous substances.

Pre-Amendment Post-Amendment
Registration of Chemical Substances
Must register:
- designated existing chemical substances (if one ton or more annual manufacture/import volume); and
- new substances regardless of volume
Must register:
- all existing substances (if one ton or more annual manufacture/import volume) by designated grace periods; and
- new substances (if 100 kg or more annual manufacture/ import volume) prior to manufacture or import
Notification of Chemical Substances
- None but see registration requirement above for new substances
- Must provide notification of new substances (if less than 100 kg annual manufacture/ import volume)
Notification Requirement
- Must provide information on hazardous chemicals only in regards to registered chemicals
- Must provide information on substances designated as hazardous chemicals, regardless of whether they are registered

We will continue to monitor relevant developments. Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to request more information regarding the K-BPR or K-REACH.

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CONTACT

Yoon, Hee Woong Kim, Ki Young
+82-2-528-5237 +82-2-528-5222
hwyoon@yulchon.com kykim@yulchon.com
Lee, Jin Kook Kim, Nina H.
+82-2-528-5386 +82-2-528-5294
jklee@yulchon.com ninakim@yulchon.com
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