K-REACH: South Korea Finalizes Criteria for the Designation of Candidate Substances Subject to Authorization

Aug. 15th, 2022

South Korea to introduce the new regulation for designating substances subject to authorization under K-REACH in line with the adopted amendments to K-REACH Enforcement Rules.


On July 29, 2022, South Korea\’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) published MoE Ordinance No.997 to announce the adoption of Article 34(2) into the K-REACH Enforcement Rules, which clarifies the criteria for the designation of candidate substances subject to authorization. It will come into force on October 15, 2022. However, the supporting Regulation on Designation, etc. of Substances subject to Authorization, which was drafted in line with Article 34(2) in February 2022 hasn\’t been finalized.

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The concept of \’substances subject to authorization\’ has been proposed in K-REACH since 2015, however, there are no regulations promulged to specify how to designate and manage them. A new Article 34(2) was proposed to be added to the K-REACH Enforcement Rules on February 18, 2022 by MoE Announcement No. 2022-90 to clarify the criteria for the designation of candidate substances subject to authorization. In line with the Article 34(2), the MoE notified WTO on February 18, 2022 the draft Regulation on Designation, etc. of Substances subject to Authorization (hereinafter referred to as Regulation) and then issued it on February 22, 2022 by the MoE Announcement No. 2022-91 for public comments.

The draft Regulation contains 13 articles and 2 annexes (Annex 1 Criteria for the Priorities and Approval of the Selection of Candidate Substances; Annex 2 Main Contents when Submitting Opinions on the Candidate Substances). MoE will review the Regulation and make improvements every three years, from January 1, 2023.

Main Procedures for Designating Substances Subject to Authorization

Step 1 Designation of candidate substances

A candidate substance subject to authorization will be designated considering the following criteria stipulated in Article 34(2) of the draft amendments to K-REACH Enforcement Rules:

  • Hazards (equivalent to that presented by a priority management substance);
  • Total circulation amount in South Korea;
  • Users of the substance exposed to (only workers or general consumers); and
  • International regulations on the substance

Step 2 Public consultation on each candidate substance

The MoE publishes the list of candidate substances subject to authorization with the following information, including chemical name, circulation amount, relevant overseas regulations, and the schedule for soliciting public comments on each candidate substance, etc. According to the schedule, the MoE conducts detailed surveys on the distribution of each candidate substance, reviews its risks, makes the results public to all, and carries out a consultation regarding the hazards, specific uses, alternatives substances and technologies, etc.

Step 3 Discussion with stakeholders (manufacturers, importers, downstream users, etc.)

The MoE prioritizes candidate substances based on the feedback of the public consultation. Then, the MoE will discuss with the stakeholders regarding uses that can be exempted from authorization, the grace period, the content threshold for mixtures subject to authorization, etc.

* It should be noted that the MoE prohibits stakeholders who participate in the discussion to disclose confidential business information (CBI) that may be obtained when reviewing the submitted data in the process of designation of candidate substances.

Step 4 Designation and public announcement of the substances subject to authorization

After deliberation by the Chemicals Evaluation Committee, the MoE designates and publicly announces the substances subject to authorization (with the information that has been discussed in Step 3).

Other Amendments to K-REACH Enforcement Rules

Besides the addition of the new article-Article 34(2), there are some other amendments to the K-REACH Rules as per the MoE Announcement No. 2022-90. Including:

1. Data requirements for registration will be simplified (some environmental hazard test data will not be required) if a new substance is manufactured or imported between 0.1t/y and 1 t/y and falls into any of the following conditions:

  • Water solubility is < 1mg/liter; or
  • Be manufactured/imported only for intermediates and process regulators purposes.

2. Overseas manufacturers/importers who require CBI protection will not have to provide names or CAS numbers of relevant new chemicals while applying for exemption confirmation if they submit the corresponding SDS.

The draft amendments to K-REACH Enforcement Rules and the draft Regulation are under consultation until March 30, 2022. Once approved, both will come into force on October 15, 2022.

The official documents can be downloaded here:

Reprinted from: ChemLinked

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