The South Korean government recently adopted the Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Safety Act (K-BPR) as well as certain amendments to the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (K-REACH). The K-BPR and the amendments to K-REACH will become effective on January 1, 2019. They were enacted to address the need for preventative measures identified by the Korean government during its investigations of the recent tragic incidents involving chemicals, including toxic humidifier disinfectants and chemical spills. Set forth below is a summary of certain key provisions of K-BPR and the recent amendments to K-REACH.

K-BPR

The K-BPR focuses on (i) products that utilize biocides, such as humidifier disinfectants, which must be pre-approved and be deemed safe for human health and the environment before being distributed in the market, (ii) ensuring the safety of consumer chemical products that are used in homes, offices and public area facilities, and (iii) the implementation of a post-management system where sanctions will be imposed for violations of safety standards.

Recent Amendments to K-REACH

Certain of the key amendments to K-REACH relate to (i) the registration by 2030 of all existing chemical substances to the extent one ton or more per year is manufactured or imported, (ii) the registration of certain new chemicals and notification of others, and (iii) the obligation to provide information to the downstream user of certain designated hazardous substances.