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Brief Introduction on K-REACH

what is k-reach?

According to the statistics of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), South Korea's sales revenue of chemicals in 2017 totaled 122 billion Euros, making it the 5th largest chemicals export economy in the world, second only to China, the European Union, the United States, and Japan.

After June 30, 2019, the K-REACH Regulation, under the supervision of the Korean Customs, will have a huge impact on the trade with South Korea. The Amended K-REACH Regulation is actually the 2nd REACH Regulation in the world that regulates existing and new chemical substances, which is a mandatory legal requirement for overseas companies to make a way into the Korean market.

It follows the most important core concept of the EU REACH Regulation “No Data, No Market” , namely, if pre-registration or registration is not completed in accordance with K-REACH Regulation, you cannot sell any of your products in a specific market.

Customers who have or are planning to enter the Korean market need to pay special attention to the fact that pre-registration can only be completed from January 1st, 2019 to June 30, 2019, with an extended buffer period of up to 12 years. If you do not apply for K-REACH Pre-registration, your products can only be sold to Korean buyers who have completed the pre-registration; however, with K-REACH Pre-registration, they can be sold to any Korean buyers. Besides, it can save your time and expense for subsequent formal registration.

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K-REACH Pre-Registration

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Remarks: K-REACH refers to the pre-registration of one chemical substance.
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Why do Chinese exporters need K-REACH pre-registration?

1)If you are doing business with Korean buyers;

2)If you want to make a way into Korean market by taking this policy chance;

3)If you want to get rid of K-REACH restriction and gain the trade initiative in the future, and win both the limited registered buyers and more unregistered buyers in the Korean market

How long does it take for K-REACH pre-registration?

It usually takes 3-4 weeks.

It usually takes quite a long time to apply for K-REACH pre-registration because too much information are required. And your application will be reviewed step by step by various departments. The pre-registration can be completed only when all approved. Given that too many companies have submitted their application for K-REACH pre-registration and the staff for approval is limited, you need to wait in line after submission of pre-registration. Therefore, you have to apply for the pre-registration as early as possible so that it could be completed by June 30th.

How long is K-REACH valid for (buffer period)?

According to the different tonnages and whether they belong to the CMR classification (CMR refers to Carcinogens, Mutagens and Substances Toxic to Reproduction. Korea has officially announced the list of CMR substances), the buffer period is divided as specified below:

  • Pre-registration for 1-10 tons / year: valid until December 31, 2030
  • Pre-registration for 10-100 tons / year: valid until December 31, 2027
  • Pre-registration for 100-1000 tons / year: valid until December 31, 2024
  • Pre-registration for more than 1000 tons / year or 1-10 tons of CMR substances/ year : valid until December 31, 2021

If I have not yet completed the pre-registration prior to June 30, 2019, can I still do it later?

1)You can apply for the late-pre-registration if corresponding conditions are met.
At present, the Korean government has not yet announced the late-pre-registration details, the general conditions are as follows:
If your average annual export volume to Korea in 2016, 2017, and 2018 is less than 1 ton, you need to submit such relevant documents for review as customs documents, sales contracts, etc. If your first export volume exceeds 1 ton/year, you need to complete the late-pre-registration within the specified time. But if you have not yet completed the late-pre-registration within the specified time, you can only apply for formal registration. Compared to pre-registration, you need to spend much more time and money to complete the late-pre-registration.

2)If the conditions for late-pre-registration are not met, you need to apply for the formal registration.
If you did not apply for the pre-registration and not meet the late-pre-registration conditions, the formal registration is your only choice. In this case, after June 30, 2019, the export shall not exceed 1 ton/year, and you can export more than 1 ton per year only after the formal registration is completed. Compared to the pre-registration, you will lose the precious 3-12 years of buffer period.

What documents do you need to submit for K-REACH pre-registration?

We shall enter into a contract first if the cooperation is confirmed. You shall then fill in our survey form with related information of your company and product. The content (such as CMR classification, etc.) will be filled out by OKCHEM in the survey form in advance. Samples are not required.