Law for chemical products in living

Law for chemical products in living
Yang-won Suh
Issue Date
Ministry of Environment, Korea Environment Institute
Series/Report No.
Korea Environmental Policy Bulletin : vol.16 issue2 2019(No.48)
1-15 p.
The Ministry of Environment (MOE) announced the enactment of 「Act on Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Safety」 in March 2018, which will come into effect in 2019. The Act aims to solve problems caused by limits in the control over risk-concerned products in accordance with the 「Act on Registration and Evaluation, etc. of Chemical Substances」 and the absence of strict control system for biocides such as humidifier disinfectant. Its main elements are as follows. For ‘Consumer Chemical Products (non-biocidal but general chemical products)’, the MOE has transferred relevant provisions from the 「Act on Registration and Evaluation, etc. of Chemical Substances」 (hereinafter referred to as “ARECs”) to the 「Act on Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Safety」. The MOE has also replaced its terminology from ‘Products of Risk Concerns’ to ‘Consumer Chemical Products subject to Safety Check’. To improve the legal basis, the government has consolidated current MOE Public Notices regarding self-inspection & child-resistant packaging into the Act, and has expanded the scope of its control from household chemical products to those used in office and public facility. In order to improve each phase of its control, the MOE has made survey and product reporting systems and reinforced risk assessment, safety standards, self-inspection and market monitoring systems. In the mean time, the MOE has introduced a pre-approval system for biocides (active substances and biocidal products). In case of new products, active substances in biocides or biocidal products can be placed on the market only after their safety is proven based on results of hazard and risk assessments. When using biocidal products for additional purpose besides primary function like antibiotic filter, only approved biocidal products can be used. With this system, the control takes a step from “No Data, No Market” toward “No Safety, No Market” so that non-approved biocidal products cannot be even placed on the market. If previously distributed active substances and biocidal products are reported to the government, the government will give them a grace period and impose an obligation to produce hazard and risk data during the grace period. When deciding grace period which is differentiated within maximum 10 years, the MOE considers production or import volume, and intended use. Unreported active substances and biocidal products shall be expelled one year after the Act comes into effect. In order to control consumer chemical products and biocides after placing on the market, non-compliant products will be expelled from the market immediately and strict penalty is imposed on business operators: for example, prohibition of production, import or sales; obligation to withdraw the products from the market; announcement of violation; and penalty. In the aspect of information provision, the law includes provisions to disclose the information on biocides to the public and develop relevant IT system.

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