Downstream users to face penalties for using unregistered substances in South Korea


South Korea’s parliament has approved a partial amendment to K-REACH that extends culpability for using unregistered substances to downstream users and sellers.

The amendment, approved by the National Assembly on 13 April, will come into force on 14 October.

Until now K-REACH has not outlined any sanctions on downstream users and resellers of these substances.

Instead it has focused on manufacturers and importers, which have been subject to fines, business closures and possible imprisonment.

Registration responsibility

Under K-REACH, companies manufacturing or importing 100kg or more a year of new substances, or one tonne or more a year of existing substances, have had to register with the Ministry of Environment (MoE) before starting the activity. Failure to do this can result in penalties or bans.

The latest amendment – to Article 13, clause 1 – will extend these rules to “downstream users, manufacturers, importers or sellers”.

And under this, the MoE can also ban these parties from manufacturing, importing, using or selling unregistered substances. If a downstream user incorporates such a substance into a product then it may be subject to recall.

The precise sanctions on downstream users and sellers will be subject to changes in the enforcement rules, which have yet to be finalised.

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Chemical Watch, 29 April 2021