Taiwan Proposes to Revise Hazard Communication Rules for Toxic Chemicals and Chemicals of Concern

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September 3, 2019Xiaolu WangBlog

Taiwan has proposed amending its rules for hazard communication of chemicals. For instance, additional labeling and safety data sheet (SDS) related requirements would be introduced to chemicals of concern. Public consultation on the proposal is open until 14 October 2019.

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The Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan published the Proposed Amendment to the Toxic Chemical Substances Labeling and Materials Safety Data Sheets Regulations (預告「毒性化學物質標示及安全資料表管理辦法」修正草案) on 14 August 2019. The proposal, once adopted, would introduce the following major revisions:

  • Integrate chemicals of concern (關注化學物質) under the scope of application of the Toxic Chemical Substances Labeling and Materials Safety Data Sheets Regulations. As a result, chemicals of concern would be subject to the hazard communication requirements prescribed under the proposal, once adopted.
  • In cases where the containers or packaging of a toxic chemical or chemical of concern is in such a shape that it is not feasible to label them with the information required under Article 3 of the proposal, this information would be permitted in fold-out labels, on tie-on tags or on an outer packaging.
  • Premises where chemicals of concern are handled would be required to set up notice boards to display the information required under Article 3.1 of the proposal, including applicable pictograms, hazardous components, signal words as well as hazard and precautionary statements for chemicals of concern that are designated as hazardous.
  • It would be clarified that toxic chemicals or chemicals of concern with the same regulatory control number but different compositions or concentration levels may use the same Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), provided that the hazardous components, intended usage as well as the hazard classification of them are the same.
  • It would be clarified that the labels and MSDS of a toxic chemical or chemical of concern would need to be in Chinese. English may be used as necessary.

The proposal is expected to become effective on 16 January 2020, with the exceptions of Article 3 and Article 12, which would become effective on 16 January 2021 once adopted. 

Pursuant to the Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act (毒性及關注化學物質管理法), chemicals of concern refer to chemical substances other than toxic chemicals that have been officially announced by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) as posing threats to the environment or human health due to their characteristics or public safety concerns. Toxic chemicals refer to chemical substances that are intentionally produced by human activity or unintentionally derived from production processes. These substances meet the classification criteria as prescribed under the act and have been officially designated by the Taiwan EPA.

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Companies that manufacture, import, export, sell, transport, use, store or dispose of toxic chemicals or chemicals of concern in Taiwan should note that the Taiwan EPA recently proposed to revise one of the major regulations for hazard communication in Taiwan. Affected companies are recommended to review the proposal and submit any comments that they might have to the Taiwan EPA by 14 October 2019 via one of the following methods: