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September 25, 2013

ChemCon Asia 2013 Wrap-up: Timely Updates on Chemical Control Developments Worldwide, with an Emphasis on Asia

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

From K-REACH to CSIA, EU CLP to China Order No. 7, ChemCon Asia 2013 held September 9-13, 2013, in Seoul, South Korea, equipped attendees to achieve compliance with current global chemical regulations and to anticipate new regulatory developments on the horizon. Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. was a proud sponsor. The program included:

  • In-depth review and discussion of Korean regulations with senior representatives from Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and Occupational Safety and Health Agency.
  • A global survey of regulated lists of chemicals.
  • A spotlight on Chinese regulations, including a presentation from the Deputy Director General of Safety Supervision from China’s State Administration of Work Safety.
  • Updates on chemical control legislation around the world, including European Union (EU) Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), Taiwanese, and Indian regulations.
  • Focus sessions on nanomaterials, biocides, and cosmetics.
  • A look at the global approach to new chemicals and polymers.

The Acta Group’s Leslie S. MacDougall helped untangle the complex web of regulation in China by giving delegates a high level overview of Decree 591 and Order No. 22 with a more detailed focus on the implementation of the environmental management of new chemical substances regulated by the provisions of Order No. 7 that are administered by the Chemical Registration Center (CRC) of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). She also discussed some of the cultural differences between the Eastern and Western approaches to chemical management and shed light on the interaction between agencies in China in her presentation “AN OVERVIEW OF REGULATIONS ON THE MANAGEMENT OF CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES IN CHINA WITH UPDATES AND DEVELOPMENTS IN THE NEW CHEMICAL SUBSTANCE NOTIFICATION (NCSN) SCHEME.” Ms. MacDougall told delegates that the administration and management of hazardous chemicals in China is overseen by ten administrative authorities. The conflicting layers of jurisdictional responsibilities and the language barriers necessitating word-to-word translations for chemical notification filings add to the rigor of complying with Chinese chemical regulations. She stated it is important to maintain reasonable expectations as to the timeline for getting new chemical substances registered in China as there is a lot more to consider than cost with regard to the timing of new chemical execution and she emphasized the need to map out timelines for all projects.

Later in the week, Ms. MacDougall presented “GLOBAL LIABILITY: DATA AVAILABLE UNDER REACH AND GLOBAL IMPACTS OF THAT AVAILABILITY,” during which she explained that data are gathered, generated, and submitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) under REACH to support tonnage band registration requirements. Whether the data are generated by the registrant or obtained through data compensation agreements, these data are ultimately disseminated through ECHA’s website. While these data are publicly available, the availability of these data on ECHA’s website (and in many cases other regulatory agencies’ websites) does not mean these data are authorized for use by third parties. As other global regulatory programs evolve, pressure to use data submitted under one regulatory framework in other data regimes will continue. Ms. MacDougall urged data owners to ensure that measures are implemented to restrict and monitor the unlawful use of their proprietary data.

Lynn L. Bergeson gave delegates a U.S. perspective with “GREEN CHEMISTRY AND CALIFORNIA SAFER CONSUMER PRODUCTS REGULATIONS AND HOW THIS IS A GAME-CHANGING EVENT IN NORTH AMERICA.” In her presentation, Ms. Bergeson shared that the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is close to issuing regulations implementing the state’s Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI), which directs regulators to evaluate safer alternatives to chemicals that are believed to be toxic. DTSC’s latest plan for implementing the GCI is set out in its proposed Safer Consumer Products Regulations (SCPR), issued on April 13, 2013. Ms. Bergeson stated that these are not garden variety chemical regulations that impose a restriction here or there to prevent a perceived risk. These regulations are game-changers. They ultimately will transform the way manufacturers select raw materials and make consumer products. As a result, these regulations are likely to influence significantly — and permanently — the way consumer products are conceived, formulated, distributed, and marketed. As an update to Ms. Bergeson’s presentation, DTSC has released the SCPRs in final and they will take effect on October 1, 2013. A more detailed memorandum is available online.

Delegates attending Ms. Bergeson’s presentation on “NANOMATERIALS: GLOBAL GOVERNANCE INITIATIVES” were given insight into how countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States, are identifying and addressing risks from nanoscale materials, promoting sensible governance strategies, and maximizing collaboration opportunities. Ms. Bergeson also delved into initiatives by the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Global Plan of Action of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

For copies of these ChemCon Asia 2013 presentations, please contact Make plans now to attend ChemCon Europe 2014, March 31-April 4 in Istanbul, Turkey.