Taiwan to Introduce Major Revisions to the Toxic Chemical Substances Control Act

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January 9, 2019 - Xiaolu Wang

On 21 December 2018 Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced in a news release that the amendments to the Toxic Chemical Substances Control Act have been passed in the Legislative Yuan and will become effective once signed by the president. The amendments introduce the definition of “Chemical Substances of Concern” and impose various restrictions and administrative measures on these substances. The amendments also impose additional emergency response and notification requirements on facilities handling toxic chemicals in Taiwan.

The following revisions to the Toxic Chemical Substances Control Act are proposed:

  • Chemical Substances of Concern would be introduced under the act. "Chemical Substances of Concern" are defined as chemical substances, other than toxic chemical substances, that might be detrimental to the health of individuals or the environment due to their characteristics, or due to domestic or international concerns of consumers. These substances will be designated and published by the Taiwan EPA.
  • Various administrative measures would be imposed on Chemical Substances of Concern. For instance, facilities that manufacture, import, export, sell, transport, use, store, or dispose of Chemical Substances of Concern ("Facilities Handling Chemical Substances of Concern") would be required to obtain a permit from the environmental authorities prior to conducting these activities. Recording-keeping, labeling, and material safety datasheet-related requirements would also be imposed on Facilities Handling Chemical Substances of Concern. Requirements for emergency response plans and reporting requirements in case of accidents would be applicable to these facilities as well.
  • Facilities that manufacture, transport, use, or store Class I through Class III toxic chemicals designated by the EPA would be required to appoint an employee dedicated to managing emergency response-related matters. This employee must attend training courses offered by training institutes designated by the authorities.
  • Handling of existing toxic chemicals that exceed the threshold levels prescribed by the EPA, as well as new chemical substances, would be subject to periodic notification requirements, in addition to the initial registration requirement. This notification may be filed by an individual company or multiple companies jointly.
  • Regulated toxic chemicals and Chemicals of Concern would be prohibited from being sold online. Specifically, sales of these substances would be prohibited if there is no sufficient way to verify the identity of the buyers.
  • A Chemical Substance Management Fund would be established by the EPA. Facilities that handle toxic chemicals would need to contribute to this fund. Detailed information on the specific fees and the amount thereof would be prescribed by the authorities.
  • A whistle-blower protection clause would also be provided under the act.

Business Impact

Companies that manufacture, import, export, sell, transport, use, store, or dispose of toxic chemicals in Taiwan should expect more stringent requirements for these activities in the near future. For instance, the concept of "Chemical Substances of Concern" will be introduced under the Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act, along with applicable requirements for these substances. It is likely that a number of requirements, such as emergency response, permitting, and notification requirements, will be imposed on these chemical substances.

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