The Act on Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals in Korea

It defines the requirements for reporting, registration and notification of manufactured and imported new and existing chemical substances as well as downstream products containing hazardous substances.

  • Existing chemicals are those listed in the Korea Existing Chemicals Inventory (KECI).
  • New products are those not listed in the KECI.
  • The KECI also includes a list of priority evaluation chemicals (PECs) which are considered a potential risk to human health and environment. The first PEC list was published by the Ministry of Environment (MoE) on July 1, 2015. None of the ExxonMobil Chemical hydrocarbon fluids are on the list. MEK oxygenated fluid and DINP and DIDP plasticizers are listed.

Manufacturers or importers of new chemicals and priority evaluation chemicals (PECs) shall submit registration to the MoE prior to manufacture and import. Companies established outside Korea, will rely on their Korea-based importer or Only Representative (OR) to carry out K-REACH registration.
Manufactures, importers and “ORs” will be responsible for:

  • Annual reporting
  • Registration
  • Information communication with downstream users and sellers
  • Product notification

K-REACH Timeline

K-REACH Timeline

Annual reporting

Manufacturers, importers or sellers of existing chemical substances in quantities at or above one ton per year and of all new chemical substances, regardless of the tonnage, must report substance tonnage and use to the MoE by June 30 every year.

Registration

Substances that are subject to registration:

  • All new chemical substances, regardless of tonnage
  • The priority evaluation chemicals selected from the Korean Existing Chemicals Inventory which are manufactured or imported in quantities at or over one ton per year
  • Substances that have been examined for hazardousness and published by the MoE, regardless of tonnage

Unlike the EU REACH, which covers all existing chemicals indiscriminately, K-REACH requires registration only for the PECs designated by the MoE.

A simplified registration requiring less data applies to new chemical substances in volumes below one ton per year (to be reduced to 0.1 ton/year after 2020).

Registration types:

  • Joint submission of registration dossiers on the same chemicals is mandatory under K-REACH, following the EU REACH principle of data sharing
  • Individual submission may be allowed by the MoE under certain conditions.

Transitional period:

  • For new chemical substances, there is no transitional period. They are subject to systematic registration prior to manufacture or import
  • For any PEC, there is a transitional period of three years from the publication of the priority list.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment is required for PECs and new substances manufactured or imported at or above a volume of 10 tons per year. Deadlines for submitting risk assessments depend on product volumes as shown in the timeline above.

Risk assessment will be performed by experts appointed by the MoE. Appropriate safety and labeling criteria will be issued by the MoE for the high risk concerned products based on the results of risk assessment.

Information communication with downstream users and sellers
 
K-REACH establishes a two-way communication system whereby suppliers should provide chemical information to recipients, and vice versa.

The manufacturer and importer of a registered substance or mixture containing a registered substance should provide registration number, chemical name, hazard and risk information, safe use information to the downstream user and seller – included in the SDS. Downstream users and sellers should also provide manufacturers or importers the use, exposure, volume of use or sale, safe use information, etc. upon request. If any change occurs, the update should be communicated to upstream and downstream parties within one month.

Product notification

Product notification to MoE is required for manufacturers or importers if the hazardous chemical substance contained in the product exceeds one ton per year and 0.1% weight ratio threshold.
If the hazardous substance has already been registered under K-REACH, the product can be manufactured or imported without production notification if the "Exemption Confirmation of Notification" from MoE is obtained in advance.

Differences with EU REACH

  • Registration of PEC and new substances do not require use-specific risk assessment reports.
  • Annual volume and use reporting for all imports and manufactured substances.
  • Priority existing chemical (PEC) registration.
  • Notification of risk-concerned consumer products.
  • Not all substances require full registration, only those on the PEC list.
  • No pre-registration in Korea.
  • Only representative (OR) can be appointed by the non-Korean supplier, regardless of whether it’s the original manufacturer or not.
  • There is no Substance Information Exchange Fora (SIEF) concept in K-REACH. Instead, there is an IT system developed by the Korean government for information sharing and exchange.
  • All registration information should be in the Korean language.
  • Official legislation will only be available in the Korean language.
  • There are no intermediate exceptions in Korea.

Compare REACH, AREC and other similar chemical management programs
To see further similarities and differences between EU REACH, AREC and the chemical management programs in force in Turkey and Taiwan, click here.

For more information on K-REACH, please click here.
If you need further assistance, please contact your ExxonMobil sales representative.



Page glossary

  • EU
  • Exposure
  • Hazard
  • Labeling
  • MEK
  • Mixture
  • Only Representative (OR)
  • PEC
  • Plasticizers
  • REACH
  • Risk
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety
  • SDS
  • SIEF
  • Substance