Australian Chemical Introduction Scheme Goes into Effect & Other Top International News in Chemical Policy and Regulation
As AICIS Takes Effect, Australia Publishes Extra Guidance Documents: The Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) took effect on July 1, 2020. Under AICIS, companies that import or manufacture (including introduce) industrial chemicals, or products that release industrial chemicals, into Australia for commercial purposes should first check whether the industrial chemical is listed on the Inventory. If the chemical is on the Inventory and the introduction meets the terms of Inventory listing, the introduction is automatically categorized as a “listed” introduction. If the chemical is not listed, it must be categorized into one of four categories: exempted introduction; reported introduction; assessed introduction; or commercial evaluation. Australia has published the following additional guidance documents for certain industrial chemicals or products that release industrial chemicals:
AICIS Registration Renewal Deadline Is August 31: Businesses that were registered under the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) were automatically registered with AICIS on July 1, 2020, with the same registration ID. These registrations will expire on August 31, 2020. All businesses (including sole traders and individuals) who introduce (import or manufacture) industrial chemicals, or certain products that release industrial chemicals, for commercial purposes that will continue introducing industrial chemicals after August 31, 2020, must renew their registrations online through AICIS Business Services by September 1, 2020.
Brazil Extends Compliance Deadline For Plastic Food Contact Materials (FCM): On May 26, 2020, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) published Resolution RDC No. 391, amending RDC No. 326, which was published on December 3, 2019. RDC No. 326 establishes a positive list of additives intended for use in plastic materials and polymeric coatings in contact with food. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ANVISA is extending the compliance deadline from June 4, 2020, to June 3, 2021.
HC Posts Summary Of Comments Submitted On Integrated Strategy To Protect Canadians From Exposure To Chemicals: Health Canada (HC) has posted a summary of the comments it received on its integrated strategy for the protection of Canadian workers from exposure to chemicals. According to HC, many stakeholders welcomed its proposed efforts to enhance the protection of Canadian workers from exposure to chemicals through expanded activities and partnerships with other federal programs and Provincial and Territorial governments. HC was encouraged to:
Share a gap analysis that clearly articulates the issue(s) to address;
Conduct cost-benefit and impact analyses of the proposed actions;
Collaborate with federal, provincial, and territorial governments;
Leverage existing processes and experience (for example, national and international work, existing committees, and existing processes for prioritization); and
Involve all stakeholder groups, including other government departments, industry, workers, occupational health and safety professionals, and academia.
According to the summary, HC “will continue to consult and inform stakeholders as progress is made in determining the Government’s role in the possible development of an integrated strategy to protect Canadian workers from chemicals.”
China Publishes Draft Guidance For Environmental Management Registration Of New Chemical Substances: The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), formerly the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), issued the “Measures on the Environmental Management of New Chemical Substances” (MEE Order No. 12) on April 29, 2020, which will replace the current MEP Order No. 7 on January 1, 2021. To implement MEE Order No. 12, the MEE released the “Guidance for Environmental Management Registration of New Chemical Substances (Draft for Consultation)” (Draft Guidance) on August 17, 2020, to replace the current “Guidance for New Chemical Substances Notification and Registration” in effect under MEP Order No. 7 since October 15, 2010. As reported in our May 8, 2020, memorandum, “China Publishes Long-Awaited Revised MEP Order No. 7,” MEE Order No. 12 introduced some concepts similar to those under the U.S. TSCA and put emphasis on the management of new chemical substances with persistent (P), bioaccumulative (B), and toxic (T) potential. The Draft Guidance provides some details about the new chemical substance notification and registration under MEE Order No. 12. The deadline to submit comments to MEE regarding the Draft Guidance is September 6, 2020. More information is available in our August 20, 2020, memorandum.
Colombia Publishes Draft Decree Establishing Inventory Of Existing Industrial Chemicals: Colombia has published a July 13, 2020, draft decree on sound chemicals management that would establish an inventory of existing industrial chemicals. Under the draft decree, companies would be required to report basic information on all substances imported or produced in Colombia in quantities greater than 100 kilograms (kg) per year. The required information would also include the hazard classification according to the sixth edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Once an inventory is established, there would be a prioritization and registration stage, during which more detailed information would be collected on high-priority chemicals. The draft decree includes a one-year implementation period.
Peru Begins Public Comment Period On Draft Regulation On Hazardous Chemical Products: Peru has begun a 90-day comment period on a new draft regulation on hazardous chemical products. The draft regulation would establish registration requirements for disinfectants, cleaners, and pesticides used in industrial or domestic settings. It would not address agricultural pesticides. The draft regulation also sets out import requirements under the Rotterdam Convention, lists of prohibited substances, and requirements for labeling and packaging.
South Korea Notifies WTO Of Draft Amendments To K-BPR Enforcement Decree And Rules: On July 31, 2020, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of draft partial amendments to the enforcement decree and enforcement rules of the Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Safety Act (K-BPR). According to the notification, the enforcement decree would be amended to add substances and products exempted from compliance check, notification, or approval; methods to apply for notification and approval changes in an already-notified or approved consumer chemical product subject to safety check; more elements of similarity criteria that are applied to imported treated articles; reasons to allow repeated vertebrate tests; the minimum period of work experience required for technicians of testing institutes to be designated; work that can be done by a representative assigned by overseas manufacturer; and information that the representative must provide importers. The notification states that the enforcement rules would be amended to provide the procedure to confirm whether a substance or product is exempt from compliance check, notification, or approval; changes to be notified or approved regarding an already-notified or approved consumer chemical product subject to safety check and relevant application forms; information on consumer chemical products subject to safety check that must be disclosed to the public; the joint submission procedure for approval and relevant data requirements; a method to allow temporary exemption from approval at a time of emergency; a ban on packaging and advertising claims different from those notified to or approved by the competent authorities; the qualification of a representative to be assigned by overseas manufacturer, and a procedure for notifying the competent authorities of the assignment or dismissal. The proposed date of adoption is November 1, 2020, and the proposed date of entry into force is January 1, 2021.
Thailand Launches Final Inventory Of Existing Chemicals: The Department of Industrial Works (DIW) has launched an inventory of existing chemicals. The inventory, which includes over 11,000 chemicals that are manufactured, processed, or imported in Thailand, can be searched by chemical name, molecular formula, hazardous substance category, chemical type, and CAS RN. As reported in Acta’s August 26, 2016, Global Regulatory Update, in summer 2016, DIW published a preliminary inventory of existing chemicals created by combining Thailand’s hazardous substance list; the most recent hazardous chemical notification list; chemicals listed in DIW's consultation database; and the national single window list from the Customs Department.
UNITED NATIONS (UN)
UNEP Announces Global Industry Standard On Tailings Management: The UN Environment Program (UNEP) announced on August 5, 2020, the launch of a Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (the Standard), establishing “the first global standard on tailings management that can be applied to existing and future tailings facilities, wherever they are and whoever operates them.” The Standard covers the entire tailings facility lifecycle, from site selection, design, and construction, through management and monitoring, to closure and post-closure. UNEP states that the Standard “significantly raises the bar for the industry to achieve strong social, environmental and technical outcomes.” The Standard elevates accountability to the “highest organisational levels,” adds new requirements for independent oversight, and establishes clear expectations around global transparency and disclosure requirements.
The Standard was developed through the Global Tailings Review (GTR), an independent process co-convened in March 2019 by UNEP, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). The co-conveners have each endorsed it and call for its broad and effective implementation across the industry:
UNEP will support governments that wish to incorporate and build upon this Standard into their national or state legislation and policies;
PRI, representing $103.4 trillion (USD) in assets under management, will be developing investor expectations to support all mining companies in implementing the Standard; and
ICMM member companies will implement the Standard as a commitment of membership, which includes robust site-level validation and third-party assessments.