Korean public interest in chemical safety has been higher than ever. The public has been hearing news reports that continue to raise health and safety risks of certain household and industrial products (e.g., humidifier sanitizers, air fresheners, filters used in air purifiers or air conditioners). Meanwhile, South Korea's environment authority, the Ministry of Environment ("MOE"), has been taking active consumer protection measures, such as product recalls. Specifically, the MOE recently conducted a comprehensive inspection of "potentially risky products." Based on the data gathered, the MOE is preparing an amendment to the regulations to: (i) expand the list of regulated products; and (ii) strengthen the safety and labeling standards applicable to these products.  

Potential Impact on Chemical Regulatory Compliance:  

In light of the above MOE activities, regarding the overall management of chemicals by companies doing business in Korea, we expect stronger monitoring and enforcement by the regulators, making chemical regulatory compliance more important than ever for the affected companies.  

  • In particular, the "Central Environmental Investigation Team" (task force) was recently created. 
  • Environmental authorities, such as the MOE, have been accumulating vast data through their independent investigations and statutory reporting requirements. 
  • Considerations for Companies and Their Business Partners:  

Accordingly, companies are advised to ensure they are fully compliant with the various requirements under K-REACH and the Chemicals Control Act, including those relating to chemical confirmation, registration of new chemical substances, hazardous substance business licenses, declaration of hazardous substance subcontracts, appointment and declaration of hazardous substance managers, and hazardous substance handling standards and facilities standards.  

In addition, we believe it would also be useful to ensure that your business partners are up-to-date on their chemical regulatory compliance to prevent any disruption in the supply chain

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