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On June 10, 2022, the European Commission revised the definition of nanomaterials in a new Recommendation. As a deliverable of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, the new Recommendation supports a coherent EU regulatory framework for nanomaterials, helping to align legislation across all sectors. It is expected that different individual sectors will update their internal definition according to the revised definition after the new Recommendation is implemented. Each sector will proceed in accordance with its own timetable.
On June 3, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan identified four substances that pose a risk of respiratory issues or skin absorption to workers on exposure. The Ministry recommends that companies that produce or process these substances should take precautionary measures under the Industrial Safety and Health Act (ISHA), including alleviating or preventing workers’ exposure to these substances by improving ventilation conditions, as well as providing personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Columbia released the Circular Letter 018 (Circular 018 in Spanish) on June 1, 2022. In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 2.2.7B.2.2. of Decree 1076/2015, and amended provisions of the Decree 1630/2021, “Under the Decree 1076/2015, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development is established as the sole regulatory sector, which is in charge of the comprehensive management of chemical substances for industrial use, including risk management and other measurements”, the Information Application for the National Inventory of Chemical Substances for Industrial Use and its processing instructions are available to the interested parties.
On May 24, 2022, ECHA conducted a public consultation on 5 chemical substance expected to be or have been proposed to include in the list of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Comments can be made before July 19, 2022. Once these substances are officially listed in the Stockholm Convention, the European Commission will make amendments to the POPs Regulation according to the Stockholm Convention. The implementation of the POPs Regulation is expected to exert an influence on the manufacture, use and export of products containing these substances. Therefore, enterprises shall take appropriate measures as early as possible.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor of South Korea released the proposed amendment to the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) for public consultation on April 25, 2022, planning to add eight reproductive toxic substances to the list of “hazardous substances subject to management”.
May 14, 2022, the proposed Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations 2022 were published in Canada Gazette followed by a 75-day public consultation period. The comments can be made before July 28, 2022. These proposed regulations would repeal and replace the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations 2012 on the day the final regulations come into force.
The State Administration of Market Regulation and the State Standardization Administration announced that two national recommended standards, namely the “Degradability and Identification Requirements of Biodegradable Plastics and Products” (GB/T 41010-2021) and the “Biodegradable Drinking Straws” (GB/T 41008-2021), shall be implemented from June 1, 2022.
May 2022, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (known as the RoHS-Directive), which recommended to add Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBP-A) and medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs) into the List of RoHS Restricted Substances. If this draft is approved, the number of the RoHS Restricted Substances will be increased from 10 to 12. The European Commission is planned to adopt the it in the fourth quarter of 2022 and the restriction measures of these two substances shall be subject to the final decision of the Commission.
On April 29, 2022, the South Korean Ministry of Environment issued the Specifications on Consumer Chemical Products Labelling and Advertising Language (Draft) to collect public comments by June 7, 2022. This Draft was drawn up under the provision of Paragraph 1, Article 34 of the Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Safety Act (also known as the K-BPR), aiming at regulating consumer chemical packaging and advertising language, and preventing business fraud, thereby further protecting the health and safety of consumers.
In January 2022, the RCEP Agreement entered into force, covering 10 ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. After RCEP comes into effect, more than 90% of the trade of goods in the region will eventually achieve zero tariffs, which involves the chemical industry with more than 1,000 tariff numbers of RCEP origin rules, benefiting the import and export trade of chemicals. Within the RCEP coverage, most countries, including China, have adopted GHS classification and labelling systems, which requires the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and labels of chemicals to comply with the GHS-related regulations and standards of each country and region.