News & Announcements
South Korea issues controls on biocides in spray products
26 August 2017

South Korea issues controls on biocides in spray products

24 August 2017 / South Korea

South Korea's new rules on biocidal active substances in consumer products came into force on 22 August.

The rules, which have been fast-tracked as a response to the 2011 humidifier scandal, cover products that can be readily inhaled, such as spray detergents, air fresheners and deodorants.

They are to ensure these "products of concern" only contain allowed biocides and that consumers are correctly advised on how to use the products safely. This will be done through new labelling standards that must be met by product manufacturers by 29 June 2018. The rules also set restrictions or limits on the use of biocidal active substances and other chemicals in such products, and require them to be tested by government approved labs to ensure they meet the limits.

Entitled 'Safety and labelling standards for products of concern', the rules include a list of approved biocidal active substances, together with the maximum percentage allowed for each product type.

Separately, a wider biocide bill known as the 'K-BPR' has passed a cabinet review and is expected to become law in 2019. It will introduce a market pre-approval system for biocidal substances and products. It is modelled on the EU biocidal products Regulation (BPR).

As well as the new rules, the Ministry of Environment also issued an announcement setting out the timetable for submitting new products for testing according to product type with the first deadline in December this year and the last in December 2018.

For these type of products containing biocides already on the market, companies can get a grace period for testing by submitting a proposed testing date to the MoE's Biocides Committee before 22 August 2018.

If a product includes a substance not on the list, the manufacturer must submit assessment data for review by the committee.