1 Jan. 2019, the Act on Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (the amended K-REACH) officially took effect. Enterprises’ obligations under this Act would be changed tremendously. For instance, the amended K-REACH introduced pre-registration, which would affect the regulatory compliance work of related enterprises.
In accordance with the requirements of the amended K-REACH, manufacturers/importers that manufactured or imported at least one ton per year of an existing substance between 2016 and 2018, the manufacturers/importers shall submit application for pre-registration between 1 Jan. 2019 and 30 Jun. 2019. Enterprises that have completed the pre-registration may enjoy a corresponding registration grace period based on the tonnage band as well as the hazards of substances.
Enterprises that have not completed pre-registration or registration cannot continue to manufacture/import/export substances exceeding 1 ton/y after 1 Jul. 2019. If related enterprises illegally manufacture/import/use substances, the responsible enterprise or responsible person may be imposed imprisonment of no more than 5 years or a fine not exceeding 100,000,000 won, depending on the number of illegal activities and the seriousness of consequences.
In order to fulfill the obligations under the amended K-REACH such as pre-registration, registration and products notification, overseas enterprises may entrust a Korean legal entity as its only representative.
Enterprises may submit application for pre-registration through REACH-IT system. To complete pre-registration, related enterprises need to provide the following information: substance identification information, annual manufacturing/import volume, substance classification and labeling information, substance uses and range of application.
South Korea’s Ministry of Environment (MOE) suggests that it is better to determine the pre-registration volume based on the average export tonnage between 2016 and 2018. That is to say, if an enterprise respectively exports substances in volumes of 20 tons, 50 tons and 120 tons between 2016 and 2018, enterprises may choose to complete pre-registration of substances between 10 t/y and 100 t/y. But as the exported volume exceeded 100 ton in 2018, the enterprise can also choose to complete pre-registration of substances between 100 t/y and 1000 t/y to ensure that the supply is sufficient.
It is important to note that if an oversea enterprise completes pre-registration by entrusting an OR, the overseas enterprise would better enter into a contract and power of attorney (POA) in advance with the OR. According to the requirements of the amended K-REACH, the OR needs to submit an OR confirmation to Korean authorities online before carrying out the pre-registration work. Besides, OR also needs to submit the substances entrusted by the oversea enterprise for confirmation. Generally, the OR examination takes 7 working days. For this reason, related enterprises shall prepare the pre-registration in case of missing the pre-registration deadline.
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