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South Korea’s cabinet passes biocides law and amended K-REACH

On 8 August the South Korean government cabinet passed the new biocides law (K-BPR) and the K-REACH amendment from last December. This paves the way for both to be submitted to the National Assembly for adoption.

It is expected that the amended K-REACH will come into force on 1 July 2018 and the K-BPR on 1 January 2019.

However, detailed deadlines for K-REACH registration will be defined in subsidiary rules. The Ministry of Environment (MoE) says these will be created and prepared this year and will be published in 2018, after discussion with stakeholders.

Some information to help companies with the new rules, however, has been published.

To support small and medium enterprises facing the new laws, only the test data showing levels of hazard will be required for submission for existing substances whose hazardousness is unknown. To ensure it can continue to support SMEs, the MoE intends to survey the activities of those companies that manufacture or import small amount or multiple products.

It will also consider postponement requests for the preparation of toxicity data for existing biocides ahead of the 1 January 2019 deadline. A limited grace period to use such substances is expected.

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