K-REACH, the analogue of the European REACH in South Korea, whose amendment came into force on 1 January 2019, requires companies that import or produce at least 1t/y of an existing chemical or at least 100 kg/y of a non-existent chemical to register the substance itself.

By June 30, 2019, companies must “pre-register” these existing substances at the Korean Environment Corporation (KECO), based on their danger and volume, in order to obtain a transition period to complete the registration.

The main purpose of pre-registration is to identify the substances that companies manufacture or import. This will allow companies to form and manage consortia for the registration of substances in common, which is particularly significant for consortia that deal with substances manufactured or imported in volumes of 1,000 tons or more, which must be registered by 31 December 2021.

Overseas suppliers who do not wish to disclose information on substances to national importers due to concerns about CBI can pre-notify via directly appointed representatives (OR).

Pre-registration must be submitted through Keco’s chemical information processing system (K-REACH IT). Substances <100 kg / a require only a notification and must not pass through the hazard assessment.

Polymer registration requires less data on the properties of the polymer, e.g. acid/base stability test, and residual monomer contents test than normal (non-polymer) registration.
If a company does not pre-register, the environment ministry can order a suspension of production, import or use of the substances.

The deadlines for registration are as follows:

  • 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.

References: https://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_mobile/viewer.do?hseq=48870&type=sogan&key=16

PDF: https://www.lawbc.com/uploads/docs/English_translation_-_Korea_REACH__Act_on_Registration_and_Evaluation_e.pdf