News

KOSHA: What are the implications to the industry from South Korea’s Occupational Safety and Health Act amendment on material safety data sheets?

South Korea’s Occupational Safety and Health Act (often called KOSHA) amendment on material safety data sheets (MSDSs) takes into force on 16 January 2021. Chemical manufacturers and importers shall prepare and submit an MSDS to the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MoEL). Besides, it becomes mandatory for a company to get a non-disclosure approval from the MoEL in the case where a company is reluctant to disclose certain chemical information in an MSDS. The following section outlines major changes in the amendment, affected stakeholders and its implications.

Major Updates

The KOSHA amendment implies changes in obligations and processes to prepare and submit an MSDS, which are summarized into four sections as follows: an MSDS preparation and submission; an MSDS provision; chemical information non-disclosure approval and only representative (OR) appointment.   

An MSDS preparation and submission

Chemical manufacturers and importers shall submit an MSDS for GHS classified chemicals or compounds (chemicals subject to MSDS) to the MoEL before manufacture and import. For non-GHS classified chemicals, they shall either include the name and content of chemicals in an MSDS or submit a confirmation document proving that chemicals are not GHS classified. In case of non-compliance, a penalty of not more than 5 million KRW (equivalent to 5,000 USD) will be charged.

Chemical manufacturers and importers are entitled to a grace period for an MSDS preparation and submission for a product that is already distributed on the market. The grace periods vary depending on the annual manufacture and import volume of the product.  

Volume

Deadline

Manufacture or import more than 1,000t/y

16th January 2022

Manufacture or import more than 100t/y and less than 1,000t/y

16th January 2023

Manufacture or import more than 10t/y and less than 100t/y

16th January 2024

Manufacture or import more than 1t/y and less than 10t/y

16th January 2025

Manufacture or import less than 1t/y

16th January 2026

The below table shows a summary of the comparison before and after the amendment.  

 

Before the amendment

After the amendment

Remarks

Subject

Hazardous and risky chemical or formulation, which is named as target chemical

GHS classified chemical or compound, which is named as chemical subject to MSDS 

Renamed the terms for clarification 

A person who transfers and supplies target chemicals

A person who manufactures and imports chemicals subject to MSDS

Change obliged subjects to write and submit an MSDS  

MSDS Contents

Name of a target chemical

Name of a product

Clear definition

Names and contents of all chemical composition

Names and contents of all chemicals subject to MSDS (GHS classified chemicals)

Applied international criteria of UN GHS

Not specified

Names and contents of all GHS non-classified chemicals shall be submitted (can be included in an MSDS)

 

Authority receiving MSDS

Not specified

Ministry of Employment and Labor

The authority is specified

 

An MSDS provision

Chemical suppliers shall provide an MSDS to their chemical recipients. Changes in the submitted MSDS shall be reported to the recipients accordingly. For those who failed to provide an MSDS to their chemical recipients, a penalty of not more than 5 million KRW (equivalent to 5,000 USD) will be charged. In case of negligence in reporting the changes of the MSDS, a penalty of not more than 300 million KRW (equivalent to 3,000 USD) will be charged.

Chemical information non-disclosure approval

Where a company does not want to reveal certain chemical information such as names and contents in an MSDS due to confidentiality reason, a pre-approval from the MoEL is required. For communication of the hazards and risks of such substances in the supply chain, alternative names for such substances and their composition shall be provided when submitting a pre-approval application. Once approved, it is valid for five years, which shall be renewed a month before the current approval period expires.

The authority shall inform the result of whether or not to approve an application within a month after the receipt of the application. Chemical substances used for R&D purpose have shortened and simplified process for the approval, for instance, the result shall be informed within two weeks of the application. A company objects to the authority’s decision can appeal within a month from the receipt of the decision, and then the appeal result shall be informed within 20 days.

Only Representative (OR) appointment

If overseas chemical manufacturers are reluctant to provide their chemical information to importers in South Korea, they can appoint an only representative (OR). On behalf of an overseas manufacturer, an OR submits an MSDS that includes chemical composition, its hazards, and risks; chemical information that is not GHS classified; and applies for MSDS non-disclosure approval.

Key affected stakeholders and implications

The KOSHA amendment on MSDS as outlined above will be enforced from 16 January 2021.

Chemical manufacturers and importers are obliged to submit MSDSs to the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MoEL). When there are changes in MSDSs, they shall revise and share them with their chemical buyers.

The deadlines for an MSDS submission depend on the volume of the chemicals they manufacture and import, for instance,

  • the volume over 1,000 tons per year shall submit their MSDSs to MoEL by 16 January 2022
  • the volume above 100 tons below 1,000 tons per year by 16 January 2023
  • the volume above 10 tons below 100 tons per year by 16 January 2024
  • the volume above 1 ton below 10 tons per year by 16 January 2025
  • the volume less than 1 ton per year, by 16 January 2026 respectively

When companies are reluctant to disclose chemical information due to confidential reasons, non-disclosure approval from MoEL is required. They need to prepare technical information such as alternative names of the substances. Such companies shall be aware that substances having high risks and hazards might not be approved for non-disclosure approval.

Overseas manufacturers and exporters can appoint an OR to fulfil obligations under the KOSHA.

Relevant Services provided by GPCKOREA

  • Regulatory compliance support
  • Technical assistance for an MSDS preparation
  • Only Representative to fulfil various obligations under KOSHA

 

Updated: 17 July 2020

K-REACH: What are the next steps after pre-registration?

The first registration deadline under K-REACH is by 31 December 2021, which applies to those who manufacture and import existing chemical substances exceeding 1,000 tons per year, or carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reproductive toxins (CMR) at more than 1 ton per year.

16,905 substances were pre-registered by the end of the pre-registration deadline according to the Ministry of Environment (MoE) in South Korea. The next step after the pre-registration is to join a Chemical Information Communicative Organization (CICO, corresponding to SIEF in EU-REACH) of a pre-registered substance and prepare registration. The following section explains how to comply with K-REACH registration and affected stakeholders. 

How to comply with K-REACH registration

K-REACH requires registration for all existing chemicals manufactured and imported in quantities exceeding 1 ton per year. Joint registration is mandatory under K-REACH unless a business is authorized by the MoE for individual registration. Joint registration refers to forming a consortium consisted of several potential registrants to submit all necessary dossier for chemical substance registration under K-REACH.  

Businesses who want to register their chemicals shall join a CICO through CICO online platform, where they can form a consortium and elect a Lead Registrant (LR). The role of LR and active members in a CICO is to decide essential rules needed for a CICO management and prepare dossier required for registration. Besides, they pay for the costs to prepare dossier and consortium management, which will be reimbursed when passive members join the consortium.

After the pre-registration deadline, several CICOs have been formed to prepare joint registration. Besides, some CICOs already selected their Lead Registrant (LR) and proceeded data gap analysis to identify data requirements for registration of their pre-registered substances.

To register a chemical substance before the registration deadline, it is recommended to join a CICO of a concerning chemical substance as soon as possible, especially when a business wants to join as an active member. Potential registrants shall prepare information on their substances and communicate with all the downstream users to collect all the required information.

Affected stakeholders and implications

By 31 December 2021, existing substances manufactured and imported at more than 1,000 tons and CMRs at more than 1 ton per year shall be registered. As a first step, manufacturers and importers join a CICO of a concerning chemical substance. Then gather the required information on the substance, including downstream users company information and their use of the substance.

Late pre-registration is possible for those who manufacture and import existing substances in quantities exceeding 1 ton per year for the first time after the pre-registration deadline. It is possible until 12 months before the relevant grace period deadlines for registration.

Overseas manufacturers and exporters can appoint GPCKOREA as an only representative to fulfill obligations under K-REACH.

Relevant Services provided by GPCKOREA

  • Regulatory compliance support
  • Only Representative to fulfil various obligations under K-REACH

 

Updated: 17 July 2020

K-BPR: What are impacts of the South Korea’s Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Safety Management Law amendments to the industry?

The Consumer Chemical Products and Biocide Safety Act amendment, often known as K-BPR, was promulgated on 24 March, and 26 May 2020 and will be enforced on 1 January 2021. The following section outlines a brief background of K-BPR and the significant changes from the recent amendment.

The K-BPR was enforced on 1 January 2019 and regulates safety management of consumer products and biocides. This is achieved by assessment or notification of consumer chemical products’ risks, authorization of biocidal chemical substances and products.

On 31 December 2019, 741 biocide active substances were announced by the Ministry of Environment (MoE). Unlike the EU-BPR, manufacturers and importers shall submit an ‘approval plan’ by 31 December 2020 to be eligible for grace periods. Once they submit the approval plan, they can manufacture and import their substances during the grace periods. Currently K-BPR has no rules for only representative (OR) and only the manufacturer or importer based in South Korea can submit the approval plan.  

Major updates

From 1 January 2021, non-Korean manufacturers and exporters of biocidal substances can appoint an OR based in South Korea to gain approval of the use of biocidal active substances, grace period reporting and new risk reporting.

The MoE will disclose information on the notified and approved consumer products including the product name, manufacturer or importer details and the main components of the product etc. Subsequent announcement has not been released yet, about how the information be circulated.

The amendment includes provision for minimizing vertebrate animal testing when producing test data required under K-BPR.

If biocidal products and treated articles contain a banned substance, one year of a grace period is applied to manufacturers and importers of biocidal products and two years for treated articles manufacturers and importers. In case where treated articles’ manufacturers and importers cannot comply with safety and labelling standards, the MoE grants one year to address this issue once they justify reasons.  

Consumer chemical products and biocidal substances used for research and development purposes do not require approval from the MoE. Besides, if required test data are already submitted under K-REACH after 1 January 2019, data submission for biocidal products will be exempted.

Affected stakeholders and implications

The K-BPR amendment as outlined above will be enforced on 1 January 2021.

Chemical manufacturers and importers shall submit an approval plan to gain grace periods.

Overseas manufacturers and importers can appoint an OR to fulfill obligations under K-BPR from 1 January 2021.

Relevant Services provided by GPC Korea

  • Regulatory compliance support
  • Only Representative to fulfil various obligations under K-BPR

 

Updated: 17 July 2020

K-REACH: Pre-announcement of legislation amendment

To reduce negative impacts from COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Environment (MoE) plans to skip some documents required for new chemical substance registration from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021. This applies to new substances manufactured and imported in quantities between 100kg to 1 ton per year. The MoE will notify the list of chemical substances that are subject to this temporary amendment.

Affected stakeholders and implications

Once the MoE confirms the list of the chemicals, concerning substance manufacturers and importers can skip to submit the required documents when registration.

 

Updated: 17 July 2020

K-REACH: 332 substances require prompt CICO establishment

A South Korea’s industry support group published a list of 332 substances that require prompt CICO establishment. These substances are the cases where pre-registrants of a concerning chemical have not selected a Lead Registrant (LR) or no activities have been observed. The reason why the industry support group released this list is due to concerns of not meeting registration deadline on 31 December 2021.

Manufacturers and importers of existing chemicals in quantities exceeding 1 ton per year shall register their chemical substances before grace periods. The grace periods depend on the tonnage of the manufactured and imported chemicals, which are described as below.

Substance type

Registration deadline

>=1000t/y existing substances

>=1t/y designated CMR substances

31 December 2021

100-1000t/y existing substances

31 December 2024

10-100t/y existing substances

31 December 2027

1-10t/y existing substances

31 December 2030

The list of 332 substances can be found on the right sidebar, ‘Downloadable Content’.  

Affected stakeholders and implications

Manufacturers and importers should initiate dossier preparation and communicate other co-registrants and LR in a CICO to register existing substances at more than 1000 tons per year and designated CMR substances at more than 1 ton per year by the registration deadline (31 December 2021).

 

Update: 17 July 2020


Total 5 Record : 1 Page : 1