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From April to September 2022, the South Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor (MoEL) conducted self-check and inspections of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) in workplaces of enterprises manufacturing or importing chemicals. According to the results issued on November 3, 2022, half of the enterprises were found to have MSDS violations. The check mainly focused on the implementation status of the MSDS system and workers’ safety measures in enterprises that manufacture and import chemicals in large quantities.
On January 15, 2019, South Korea released the amendments to the Occupational, Safety and Health Act (known as OSHA). The amended OSHA came into force on January 16, 2020. In accordance with the amended OSHA, chemical substances or mixtures classified as hazards under the Korean GHS are required to submit MSDS to the Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor (MoEL) prior to manufacture/import.
On November 7, 2022, the Ministry of Emergency Management, in conjunction with other 9 ministries, released the amendments to the Catalog of Hazardous Chemicals 2015. According to the amendments, all diesel fuels, irrespective of their flashpoints, shall be considered as hazardous chemicals and subject to the management of administrative license for hazardous chemicals in China. Previously, only diesel with closed-cup flashpoint <= 60℃ was considered as hazardous chemicals.
On March 1, 2021, the Yangtze River Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China was officially implemented, in which Article 51 stipulates that highly toxic chemicals, and other hazardous chemicals that are prohibited in inland river by state regulations shall be prohibited from transportation in the Yangtze River Basin.
On October 20, 2022, South Korea made amendments to the guidelines on registration procedures for existing chemical substances. The guidelines provide specific pre-registration and registration procedures for substances that are identified as existing chemical substances under Article 3 of the Notice on Existing Chemical Substances (Notice No.2021-160) yet cannot be searched as existing chemical substances on the National Chemicals Information System (NCIS). The amendments mainly focused on the pre-registration and registration procedures of multi-component reactants.
From June 13 to July 4, 2022, Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) published a public consultation on the proposal to control 26 chemicals as hazardous chemicals because some of the 26 chemicals are highly toxic, polluting, and/or generate intractable waste that is difficult to manage and safely dispose of. During the consultation period, 52 feedbacks were received and suggestions on regulatory details were also collected. We have prepared a summary of the HS license/permit application and requirements.
On September 27, 2022, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) released the List of New Pollutants under Priority Control 2022 (Draft) for public consultation and comments can be made before October 28, 2022. Most of the substances in the List have already been regulated and restricted in many countries. Details can be checked via CIRS’s APCISS system.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment published the Draft National Technical Regulation on Thresholds for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Articles, Products, Commodities and Equipment (G/TBT/N/VNM/238-TBT notification) on September 15, 2022. The final date for comments shall be 60 days from its notification.
The Measures for the Environmental Management Registration of New Chemical Substances (MEE Order No.12) has entered into force since January 1, 2021. In accordance with its supporting document, the Guidelines for Environmental Management Registration of New Chemical Substances (hereinafter referred to as the “Guidelines”), polymers containing no more than 2% monomers or reactants of new chemical substances or belong to polymers of low concern can apply for records without quantity limitation if they are excluded in exemption circumstances.
On June 16, 2022, Vietnam published its chemical industry development strategy for 2030 and its vision towards 2040 (Resolution No. 726/QD-TTg). Under the strategy, the chemical industry in Vietnam will be developed into ten sub-branches: basic chemicals, petrochemistry, industrial rubber, pharmaceutical chemistry, fertilizers, plant protection chemicals, industrial gases, paint and printing inks, detergents, and batteries.