• Author: ChemistryViews.org
  • Published: 28 May 2016
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Korea-REACH

South Korea's Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (AREC), also known as Korea- or K-REACH, entered into force in 2015. K-REACH is overseen by the Korea Chemical Management Association (KCMA) and the Korea National Cleaner Production Centre (KNCPC). Jee-Yoon Lee, Vice Chairman of the KCMA introduced K-REACH at the Helsinki Chemicals Forum (HCF). KCMA consists of over 1,400 members from various chemical industries.

K-REACH focusses on the registration and evaluation of substances. In addition, the Chemicals Control Act (CCA) controls hazardous substances and responds to chemical accidents in South Korea. As K-REACH, CCA entered into force in 2015. K-Reach and CCA emerged from the Toxic Chemical Control Act (TCCA) which came into force in 1991.

K-REACH closely mirrors REACH and has adopted many of the same concepts including pre-registration, registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemical substances. The South Korean Ministry of Environment (MoE) is responsible for the registration and evaluation of chemical substances. K-REACH requires manufacturers, importers, and sellers to report information about substances (>1 t/year) to the MOE. Companies have to report the volume and uses of substances they manufacture and/or import ("annual report"). Hazardous chemicals substances have to be notified ("product notification").

The chemical industry is one of the largest industries in South Korea. Petrochemicals is with 36 % the largest segment. Based on industry capacity for ethylene, polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP), South Korea ranks fourth in the world. It is surpassed by China, the US, and Saudi Arabia.


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