May 14, 2019 by Rhiannon Smith

Now that the registration phase of EU REACH has passed, many companies are looking at their global supply chains. wca has experience with a range of different global legislations and, while most of our REACH focus has been on the EU so far, there are similarities between EU REACH and REACH-like regulations in other regions.

Like many companies, much of our focus has been on the fast approach pre-registration deadline for Korea REACH. Under K-REACH, pre-registration is required for Existing Substances (those with a KE number) by 30 June 2019 if they are manufactured in or imported to Korea at ≥ 1 tpa, with full registrations to be submitted by the end of the relevant grace period (2021, 2024, 2027, 2030 depending on tonnage band). The process for pre-registration is simple, with no administrative or data fees, but it is required to maintain market access during the grace period. If you do not have a valid pre-registration in place by 30 June 2019, manufacture and import should be stopped and a full registration needs to be completed before manufacture and import of the substance can (re)start. There is currently no process for late pre-registration!

Before you submit your K-REACH pre-registration, you should confirm if your substance is exempt from K-REACH. Like EU REACH, there are a number of exemptions that apply. However, just because your substance may be exempted under EU REACH, that does not mean that your substance is automatically exempted under K-REACH! There are different types of exempt substances under K-REACH, those that are exempted automatically (for example those controlled by other regulations, e.g. military uses, medicines, etc., similar to those under Article 2 of EU REACH, or with very low risk, e.g. substances not released from articles, low hazard substances equivalent to EU REACH Annex V, etc.) and those that require exemption confirmation (either annually, only on first manufacture/import or as part of the R&D plan, for example those which are exported entirely, used in scientific testing and R&D, surface treated substances, intermediates, polymers of low concern, etc.).

Were your substances exempt under EU REACH? Are you interested in a market in Korea? Companies should review their supply chains and look at whether their substances could potentially meet the exemption criteria under K-REACH.