The South Korean Ministry of Environment has strongly urged all companies involved to have all 510 priority existing chemicals (PECS) registered by May 31, 2018. The Ministry created a list of the chemicals in 2015.
The appeal came after industry and legal representatives questioned if the deadline could be met at all. Behind their concern is a decision of the Ministry to modify the current South Korean Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemical Substances (often named K-REACH and in force since 2015 because of its similarity to the European REACH). See our blog entry, South Korea Modifies K-REACH.
These critics based their doubts on two factors. First, as of February 28, only 302 of 510 chemicals had a lead registrant. Second, negotiation on the exchange of substance data was dragging significantly. The companies involved have so far hesitated to pay the owners of the EU data fees to access EU REACH data – because they do not know if the South Korean authorities would accept the EU data at all.
Nonetheless, the leaders of the South Korean Ministry remain unconcerned. They pointed out that during the introduction of REACH in the EU, a similarly small number of responsible registrants was counted. But they also conceded that delays could arise because of the upcoming presidential election on May 9. Everything depends on how quickly the new administration confirms the modifications of K-REACH.