Japan wants to accelerate the testing and evaluation of substances, so it is reviewing its Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL), which took effect in 2011. A committee made up of delegates from three ministries (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), and Ministry of Environment) and representatives from the scientific community and industry is currently reviewing the law and developing a proposed agenda. The committee will present its results to the ministerial council. The committee’s report on planned revisions is to appear in March 2017.
The goals of the World Summit on Sustainability held by the UN in New York in 2015 drive the review. First, Japan wants to meet the goal of making risk analysis and evaluation more efficient and concluding evaluation of all hazardous substances by 2020. Second, it wants to designate all substances that pose a risk of long-term toxicity. And third, it wants to develop evaluation methods for substances that have not had any safety data to date.
Anyone who imports chemicals into Japan must observe the requirements of the CSCL, which are like those of REACH. One difference, however, is that the CSCL requires notification of a low-volume exemption (LVE) for imports smaller than one ton per year.
It’s also important to note that the CSCL applies only to general chemical substances, which are also defined in REACH Art. 3 (1). Food stuffs, nutritional additives, pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, and fertilizers do not fall under the CSCL.
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