South Korea’s K-REACH Amendments Require Pre-Registration for Existing Chemical Substances

Posted on: February 19, 2019

by June Kang

At the end of December 2018, South Korea’s Ministry of Environment (MOE) announced amendments to the Decree and Regulation of K-REACH (known formally as the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals).  These amendments took effect on January 1, 2019.  They are a result of the K-REACH amendments announced in October 2018 and establish the details necessary to legally enforce the amended Act.

The major amendments are highlighted below.

  • Registration is mandatory for all new chemical substances that are manufactured or imported at 0.1 metric ton or more per year (Article 10 of the Act).
  • Notification is required prior to manufacture or import of less than 0.1 metric ton of new chemical substances per year.
  • All existing chemical substances manufactured or imported at 1 metric ton or more per year are subject to registration by stage. A pre-registration must be completed by July 1, 2019 for the grace periods below to apply.
  • The grace period for each stage is scheduled based on the volume and hazard. It is scheduled to complete registrations by 2030.

∙ December 31, 2021 – CMR substances (carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction) manufactured or imported 1 tonne/year or more and existing substances manufactured or imported 1000 tonne/year or more (approximately 1100 substances)

∙ December 31, 2024 – Existing substances manufactured or imported 100 tonne/year or more (approximately 1100 substances)

∙ December 31, 2027 – Existing substances manufactured or imported 10 tonne/year or more (approximately 2000 substances)

∙ December 31, 2030 – Existing substances manufactured or imported 1 tonne/year or more (approximately 2300 substances

  • MOE Notification No. 2018-232 designated 364 existing substances that cause or may cause a CMR-related disorder. As noted above, manufacturers and importers of these substances (≥ 1 metric ton/year) must complete registration by December 31, 2021.
  • MOE Notification No. 2018-233 designated 672 Priority Control Substances. Under the amendment, manufacturers and importers of any product containing PCS (> 0.1% and > 1 metric tonne/year) that can be released into the environment must notify MOE prior to manufacture or import.
  • Polymer compounds are subject to notification, except for polymers exempted as low-concerned under the Act.
  • Provisions of Risk-Concerned Products under K-REACH have been moved to the Safety Control Act of Household Chemical Products and Biocidal Products, also known as K-BPR.
  • Approval is required from the MOE when claiming substance information as CBI on the (M)SDS for substances are classified as hazardous.
  • The administrative process for data protection has been improved for industry.
  • Data requirements have been reduced for the substances not classified as hazardous in accordance with GHS. Non-hazardous substances may require as few as 15 test results rather than all 47.

References (in Korean only):

[MOE Press Release] Prior Approval System for Biocides and Mandatory Registration System for Chemicals Substances Circulated in Korea, announced on December 28, 2018; [보도자료] 살생물제 사전승인, 국내 유통물질 등록 제도 시행 (2018년 12 월 28일자 보도)

The Decree of the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals announced on December 24, 2018 as Presidential Decree No. 29413;  화학물질의 등록 및 평가 등에 관한 법률 시행령 (대통령령 제29413호, 2018. 12. 24., 일부개정)

The Regulation of the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals announced on December 28, 2018 as MOE Ordinance No. 790; 화학물질의 등록 및 평가 등에 관한 법률 시행규칙 (환경부령 제790호, 2018. 12. 28., 일부개정)

Never Miss an Update:

UL’s global Regulatory Assurance Team contains more than 50 regulatory analysts worldwide, serving customers in six continents, with multi-lingual support in more than 30 languages. Our team can help you navigate the complex, ever changing regulatory landscape to understand and execute your compliance obligations.

For all of the latest regulatory news and the most important industry updates, sign up for our fortnightly Regulatory Round-Up Newsletter.


South Korea

Ministry of Environment (MOE)

Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals



Chemical Substance Registration


The views, opinions and technical analyses presented here are those of the author, and are not necessarily those of UL LLC. All content is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without prior authorization from UL. While the editors of this site may verify the accuracy of its content from time to time, we assume no responsibility for errors made by the author, editorial staff or any other contributor.