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Environmental Innovation: Japan Strengthens the Global Chemical Substance Supervision

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On November 8, 2023, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of the Environment jointly published the public consultation results for its revision to the Chemical Substance Control Law, which started on September 15. The consultation drew extensive attention and various suggestions were submitted.

Main contents

1. Clarify the products prohibited for import: Surface treatment agents and modulation additives under Article 7, Table 11 under the Amendments to CSCL shall be classified as products prohibited for import to ensure the accuracy of regulatory implementation.

2. Regulation of products: Products containing PFHxS or its isomers or salts that may lead to environmental pollution, such as firefighting equipment, shall be designed as products subject to technical standards and labeling obligations. This approach aims to prevent environmental pollution and ensure the sustainability of product manufacturing and use.

3. Strengthen regulatory standards: Supervise related chemical substances more comprehensively by collecting international cases and regulating them in accordance with the strictest standards. Relevant departments will make efforts to collect information to better formulate reasonable regulations.

4. Controversy over the effective date: The three ministries stated that despite the possibility of an earlier effective date, it will be implemented as initially planned, after the spring of 2024 to prevent potential problems in the supply chain and other areas.

Future Direction

The results of the public comments have attracted significant attention. Relevant departments have committed to carefully considering suggestions from the public and actively promoting the revision to ensure that the regulations are scientific, reasonable, and feasible. Additionally, they emphasize their commitment to ongoing collaboration with the international community in a joint effort to achieve effective regulation of chemical substances.

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