Korea K-REACH to Come into Force in January 2015

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Courtesy of Courtesy of SGS

From 1 January, 2015, all new substances and priority substances that are manufactured or imported in a quantity of more than 1 ton/year are required to be registered with the MOE. The hazard evaluation is mandatory for all registered substances and risk assessment is also required for substances over 100 ton/year.  This Act aims to protect human health and the environment.

K-REACH is a chemicals management system based on the EU REACH regulation and it is aimed “to protect human health and the environment from the risk of the use of chemical substances”.(1) It involves risk assessment as well as safety labeling standards.

The main provisions of K-REACH are:

   1. Registration and reporting of chemical substances
   2. Hazard / Risk Assessment
   3. Communication of information on chemical substance
   4. Management of risk in concerned products.

Registration and Reporting of Chemical Substances

Registration is an obligation for a new chemical and priority substances of more than 1 ton / year per manufacturer or importer. Reporting is an obligation for a new chemical and existing chemicals that are in a quantity of more than 1 ton/year per manufacturer or importer (a downstream user is exempted from reporting).

Risk Assessment

A substance manufactured or imported in a quantity of more than 100 tons/year is obliged to undergo risk assessment by 1 January 2015. 

The deadline is extended for a substance that is in a quantity of 10-100 tons / year:
   i. 1 January 2017 (70 tons/year)
   ii. 1 January 2018 (50 tons/year)
   iii. 1 January 2019 (20 tons/year)
   iv. 1 January 2020 (10 tons/year)

Supply Chain Communication

A manufacturer or importer of a registered chemical is obliged to provide the registration number, name of chemical, hazard information and safe use information to their customer.

A downstream user is obliged to provide exposure information, safe use information etc. when requested.

Risk Management for Concerned Products

Notification is an obligation if the hazardous chemical is intended to be released in the finished article and the quantity of the substance is more than 1 ton/year per manufacturer or importer. The information required is the name and concentration of the chemical, hazard information and its application in the product.

For ‘Risk concerned products*’, the MOE will provide guidelines for safety labeling. Product without safety labeling standard must be approved by the MOE.

The “Risk concerned products’ are:

   i.Consumer products (detergent, air freshener, adhesive, polish, synthetic detergent, bleach etc.)
   ii.Biocide (repellent, disinfectant, preservative etc.)

By establishing the K-REACH, the MOE increases the competitiveness of the chemical management industry relative to other international chemical management systems.  Companies should prepare themselves for the systematic management of information on chemicals, including Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), reduction of risks and prevention of accidents.

K-REACH Objectives

   - To establish the life-cycle of the chemical management process through registration and evaluation of chemicals.
   - To strengthen the competitiveness of the business industry in relation to global chemical management requirements.

About SGS REACH Services

SGS will follow up and inform interested parties as developments on K-REACH regulation (http://www.sgs.com/en/Consumer-Goods-Retail/Quality-Health-Safety-and-Environment/Product-Safety/REACH.aspx) occur. Their expertise combined with consultancy services and experience in consumer product supply chains provides a central point of contact for global solutions.


(1)Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals Act (http://likms.assembly.go.kr/law/jsp/law/Law.jsp?WORK_TYPELAW_BON&LAW_ID=A3466&PROM_NO=11789&PROM_DT=20130522&HanChk=Y)

If you would like to learn more about how SGS can support your K-REACH compliance activities please contact the SGS experts.

Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services
HingWo Tsang
Senior Technical Services Manager
SGS Hong Kong Ltd.
5-8/F, 28/F, Metropole Square, 2 OnYiu Street, SiuLek Yuen
Shatin, NT, Hong Kong, China

t: +852 2774 7420
Email: cts.media@sgs.com
Website: http://www.sgs.com/en/Sustainability.aspx

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75 000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1 500 offices and laboratories around the world.

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