Japan Revises Notification Process to Protect CBI
Under the revised notification process published this month by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), companies exporting to Japan will be better able to protect confidential business information (CBI). Previously, only Japanese entities could notify information on the required substances. The new notification process provides that, if a notifier (manufacturer or importer in Japan) has “extreme difficulties in identifying a certain chemical substance or its concentration rate in mixture (e.g. because an exporter claims the chemical identity as confidential),” the notifier may notify the annual volume of General Chemical Substances jointly with a chemical supplier — for example, the foreign exporter or manufacturer of the chemical substance — under the consent of METI. The Japanese entity would notify METI of information claimed as CBI and that will be provided directly by the chemical supplier. The Japanese entity would then send its partially completed notification to its non-Japanese supplier, which would provide the information claimed as CBI and submit the notification directly to METI. More information, including guidance on the revised process and sample submissions by notifiers and chemical suppliers, is available online.
METI notes the revised notification method “is not acceptable for Priority Assessment Chemical Substances.” The procedure also “does not intend to exempt the notifier from its legal obligations as a notifier. Therefore this procedure may not be used without the consent of the notifier.” METI states that the revised submission procedure applies only for annual notification of manufacturing and importing quantities of the previous fiscal year under the amended Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL). The revised submission procedure will not be accepted under other law or procedure in the customs according to CSCL.