K-REACH Product Notification

Little Pro on 2015-12-31

This article is no longer valid due to K-REACH amendement. This article has been replaced by How to Understand Priority Control Substance and Product Notification Requirement.

Product and product of risk concern are unique concepts under K-REACH. They are regulated in different ways in order to better protect consumers from exposure to hazardous chemicals with health risks. Product containing hazardous chemical substances may require notification while product of risk concern needs to comply with relevant safety and labelling standards.

Definitions of Product, Product of Risk Concern and Hazardous Substance

'Product' is a unique concept under K-REACH. A product means a mixture or an article used by an end user or a component of the mixture or the article that may expose consumers to chemical substances. It mainly refers to chemical consumer products.

'Product of risk concern' means any of the chemical products announced by the Minister of Environment (MoE) as the products are likely to risk people's health or the environment. The first list of announced products of risk concern includes 8 types of products: cleaning agents, synthetic detergents, bleaching agents, fabric softeners, coatings, adhesives, fragrances, and deodorants.

Product Notification

Notification Criteria
  • A product contains a hazardous substance in a concentration above 0.1% w/w; and
  • Total volume of the hazardous substance manufactured/imported exceeds 1t/y.
Required Information
  • Name of hazardous substances;
  • Content;
  • Hazards; and
  • Uses in a product.

"Hazardous chemical substance" means any of the published toxic substances, substances subject to permission, restricted substances, and prohibited substances that can be searched on NIER's website. It currently includes thousands of substances.

Exemptions from Product Notification

There are two types of exemptions. One type does not require prior confirmation while the other one requires companies to apply for prior confirmation on exemption.

Exemptions not requiring confirmation.
  • Articles that do not contain any substances intended to be released during its use;
Exemptions requiring prior confirmation
  • Exposure to humans or the environment can be excluded when a product is normally used;
  • A hazardous substance has already been registered for the use in a product.

Management of Product of Risk Concern

For productes identified as products of risk concern, the MoE will annouce their safety and labelling standards. No person shall sell or donate a product not meeting the safety and labelling standards announced.

In April 2015, the MoE issued its Notice No. 2015-41 setting safety and labelling standards for 8 types of products designated as products of risk concern: cleaning agents, synthetic detergents, bleaching agents, fabric softeners, coatings, adhesives (including glues), fragrances, and deodorants. More info about those new standards can be found here.

Any person who intends to manufacture or import a product of risk concern for which the safety standards and labelling standards are not announced shall submit data on chemical substances in such product to the Ministry of Environment and obtain his/her approval pursuant to Ordinance of the MoE.

Provision of Information for Product Containing Hazardous Substances

Any person who transfers a product containing a hazardous chemical substance reported shall prepare and provide information such as the name, uses and conditions of the chemical substance in the product, to a person who acquires the product.

The person who transfers the product is also obligated to provide information on the safe uses of the product upon consumers' request.

Alert: Major K-REACH Amendments

Jan 2017, K-REACH has recently gone through some major amendments. Some info on this page is no longer accurate. For the latest updates of K-REACH amendments, please click here.

Reference & Resource

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 Tags: Topics - KoreaREACH-like Regulation and Registration