Thailand launches hazardous substance licensing tool


Thailand’s Department of Industrial Works (DIW) has launched an online hazardous substance single submission (HSSS) tool to help companies more quickly obtain licences to use type 3 hazardous substances.

When the tool is fully operational, companies will be able to submit the documents required online, said Piyatida Pukclai, Asia Pacific regulatory policy director at consultancy knoell. Type 3 substances are those that present a higher degree of hazard.

“Companies will no longer need to collect a physical copy of the licence from the DIW office,” Dr Pukclai added.

When the tool is complete, the authorities will turn their focus to the development of the country’s chemical inventory.

“Although the authorities planned to focus on the inventory this year, due to the outbreak of coronavirus Covid-19, the budget for this year might be reallocated to other purposes, so it is unclear when they will complete it,” said Dr Pukclai.

Thailand currently only has a preliminary existing chemicals inventory in place, containing around 16,000 substances. While it has been online since 2016, the final version has been delayed for many years.

Completing the inventory is essential to the development of the new national chemicals law, said Dr Pukclai.

“The hazardous substance team from the existing Hazardous Substance Act is working in parallel with the chemical law team from the proposed new Act on the development of the inventory,” she added.

When the inventory is complete, companies will be able to use the HSSS tool to search it.

Delays to chemical law

Meanwhile, progress on the country’s draft chemical law has been delayed due to the coronavirus Covid-19, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Yaowares Oppamayun told Chemical Watch.

Thailand’s National Committee on Chemical Management Policy is now set to consider a second draft of the proposed new chemical law in July.

“Initially, the draft was planned to be placed before the Committee at the end of last year or early this year, but due to the situation with coronavirus, it has been postponed until July,” said Ms Oppamayun.

If the National Committee approves the draft, it will move to the Cabinet. At this point, the Cabinet could make additional revisions and conduct further public hearings before it is passed to parliament to be considered and passed into law.

“Because of the delays arising from the virus, it is unlikely that the draft will be fully approved this year but the FDA is hoping it will be completed for implementation next year,” said Ms Oppamayun.

After the law is approved, there will be a 180 day transition period.

“We are currently also developing the details on the creation of the national chemical agency and we’re in discussion over which ministry the agency will sit under. The detailed proposal will be put to the national committee at the July meeting,” said Ms Oppamayun.

Chemical Watch, 16 April 2020