Updates of GHS Standard in Korea (MoEL Notice No. 2020-130)

Since January 16th, 2021, there have been some important updates regarding Korean GHS. GHS in Korea was previously regulated by MoEL No, 2016-19, however, this regulation has been updated to MoEL Public No.2020-247 (MoEL Notice No. 2020-130).  The changes outlined in MoEL Notice No. 2020-130 apply mainly to SDS submission and the CBI application process.

If an enterprise is an existing SDS holder before January 16th, 2021, they must ensure their SDS is updated to include these new features to maintain compliance. Fortunately, the Korean authorities have announced a series of grace periods to provide enterprises with the opportunity to update their SDS. These grace periods will depend on the tonnage band of the substance.

MoEL Notice No. 2020-130

The key updates of this new regulation include:

1) Criteria for CBI application, whereby prohibited substances requiring permission, hazardous substances subject to management, harmful factors subject to measurement of work environment or special health examination and substances having a physical hazard, health hazard or environmental hazard may not be eligible for CBI.

For CBI Claim, they need to provide sufficient evidence supporting the trade secret claim, including non-publicity, secrecy protection and economic usefulness.

2) At least one out of 48 categories of use to choose from when they submit the SDS via the portal 

3) The concentration for substitute chemicals is required as a range, whereby, if the concentration is below 25%, the range can be +/- 10% and if the concentration is equal or above 25%, the range can be +/- 20%.

4) Updated classification and some statements, whereby there is a new hazard category for flammable gases i.e., pyrophoric gas, category 3 for aerosol, category 4 for flammable liquids and some hazard/precautionary statements have been updated

5) A single SDS can be used for enterprises with multiple products with the same components. The change in the content should be less than 10 percentage points (%P) and have similar hazard statements. The exceptions include circumstances whereby those components are perfumes, flavouring and pigments.

6) Cut-off limits for health and environmental standards, in the range of 0.1 % to 1% across 13 categories.

7) The MSDS number, on the upper side of the front page on the SDS, is submitted to MoEL via the submission portal and the CBI authorisation number and expiry date, if applicable, should be stated on the SDS under the component table in section 3.

8) Although Korea has adopted standard 16-section SDSs of UN GHS 4th revision, if necessary, 1A, 1B, 1C for skin corrosion/irritation, 2A, 2B for serious eye damage/eye irritation, and 1A, 1B for respiratory or skin sensitization are not mandatory

SDS Submission and Grace Period

a) If you are an enterprise importing or manufacturing hazardous chemicals into Korea for the first time, you will need to submit a compliant SDS before manufacture/import to Korea.

b) If you are an enterprise who has been importing or manufacturing hazardous chemicals into Korea before the updated regulation came into force, you must update and submit your SDS before the applicable grace period. The suitable grace period depends on the tonnage of the substance.

  • ≥ 1000 ton: by 16/01/2022
  • 100 – 1,000 ton: by 16/01/2023
  • 10-100 ton: by 16/01/2024
  • 1-10 ton: by 16/01/2025
  • <1 ton: by 16/01/2026

c) For chemicals which are not hazardous, submission obligation is not mandatory to comply with, but ingredient information may still be required to provide to MoEL.

d) The SDS submission shall be processed by Korean importers/ manufacturers. To foreign manufacturers, they can appoint local Only Representative to process it.

CBI Application

Under the new regulation, 1) generic chemical names and the concentration information along with supporting data are required by MoEL, 2) harmful chemicals (criteria mentioned above) may not be eligible for CBI application.

In the same way as SDS submission, it shall be processed by Korean importers/ manufacturers/ Only Representative appointed by foreign manufacturers.

CIRS can assist you Korean GHS compliance by offering our OR service in Korea, authoring SDS, submission of SDS to MoEL and CBI application/extension. Please contact us at service@cirs-reach.com  for more information.

Author

Ms. Julie Harrington, CIRS Ireland