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Asia-Pacific Response Newsletter: Q3 2023



New Teams Training Sessions

Starting in July, OURAY Singapore will be hosting monthly Teams training sessions for FREE for our Consortium members. The meetings are limited to 100 seats per session so the seats are first come- first served. The topic list for the training sessions is as follows:

  • July - Remote Response

  • Aug - Incident Command

  • Sep - Chemistry

  • Oct - Toxicology

  • Nov - Radiation

  • Dec - Small Spill Response

If you are interested in any of these training sessions, please contact OURAY Singapore.


Emergency response articles

Figure 1: Photo Courtesy Pi_shushu/Weibo

Hong Kong: An explosion at a chemical plant in Southeast China on Saturday sent huge billows of thick black smoke into the air.

The blast took place at a plant owned by the silicon oil production company Jiangxi QianTai New Materials at around noon in the city of Guixi, Jiangxi province, according to Chinese state media outlet CCTV.

China: Five people have been killed, one is missing, and another is being treated for injuries in hospital after an explosion at a Sinochem chemical plant in the city of Liaocheng in Shandong province, eastern China on Monday, Reuters reports.

Tokyo: One man died and two others sustained light injuries following an explosion at a chemical plant in Japan's Niigata Prefecture on Wednesday, local media reported.

An emergency call made Wednesday morning said there was a small explosion at chemical maker Denka Co.'s plant in Itoigawa city, Kyodo News reported, citing local police and firefighters.


Regulatory Update

Figure 2 Source Chemlinked



Australia SWA Announces Transition to UN GHS Rev. 7 Completed (Updated on June 28, 2023)

Jun 29, 2023

From January 1, 2023, manufactures, importers, suppliers and users of hazardous chemicals in Australia should use UN GHS Rev. 7 to classify and label hazardous chemicals.

Australia to Tighten Control over DecaBDE and PFOA

Jun 25, 2023

Import or export of decaBDE and PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds will require for prior AICIS authorization.

Inventory Updates | Australia Adds 4 Chemicals to AIIC (Updated on June 19, 2023)

Jun 20, 2023

Chemical substances that are listed in the AIIC can be introduced by any registered introducers (importers or manufacturers).


China Consults on Mandatory Standard for Cleaning Products

Jun 25, 2023

On June 16, 2023, State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and Standardized Administration published a notice to consult on a draft national standard — GB XXXXX—XXXX Safety and technical standards for cleaning products. It is set to replace the existing GB/T 26396—2011​ Technical specification for safety of soaps and detergents and elevate from a recommended standard to a mandatory one. Public comments will be accepted until August 16, 2023.

China to Adopt UN GHS Rev.8 for Chemical Classification

Jun 20, 2023

On June 16, 2023, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) opened up a public consultation​ on the drafts of GB 30000.1 Rules for classification and labeling of chemicals—Part 1:General specifications and GB 30000.X Rules for classification and labeling of chemicals— Part X: Desensitized explosives. Chinese MainlandGHSChemical managementNEWS China Consults on New Mandatory Standards for Dangerous Goods Packaging Jun 20, 2023 On June 16, 2023, the MIIT publicized two draft standards regarding packaging for dangerous goods to solicit public comments.

China to Update List of Severely Restricted Toxic Chemicals

Jun 19, 2023

On June 16, 2023, the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) issued a notice to seek public comments on the proposed updates to the Inventory of Severely Restricted Toxic Chemicals. Comments are welcome before June 26, 2023.

China Issues Recommended List of Alternatives for HCFCs

Jun 15, 2023

On June 12, 2023, China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released the Notice to Issue Recommended List of Alternatives for Recommended List of Alternatives for Ozone Depleting Substances in China, aiming to accelerate the phase-out of HCFCs as mandated by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

China Imposes Ban on Five POPs (Updated on June 6, 2023)

Jun 07, 2023

Prohibitions for HCBD, PCP and its salts and esters, DecaBDE, SCCPs have been in force from March 1, 2023 in China.

China MEE Adds 43 Chemicals to IECSC (Updated on June 1, 2023)

Jun 06, 2023

China MEE recently issued two notices to announce the addition of 43 chemical substances to the IECSC.

China Imposes Special Inspection on 35 Hazardous Substances, Reinforcing Law Enforcement

May 26, 2023

Enterprises that manufacture, import, and operate the 35 target hazardous chemicals are subject to this special inspection, as well as enterprises that have obtained Hazchem Use Permits of them.

China Publishes the Updated Catalogue of New Food Raw Materials, Food Additives, Food Contact Materials and Their Applicable Standards

May 16, 2023

China published the updated catalogue of new food raw materials, food additives and food contact materials (FCM) and their applicable standards. The catalogue covers a total of 98 new food raw materials, 215 new food additives and 235 FCM approved by the end of 2021. For those approved since 2022, their food safety indicators shall be referenced to the announcement made at the time of their releases.

China Consults on Technical Specification for Chemical Nomenclature

May 08, 2023

On May 5, 2023, the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) opened a public consultation on the Technical Specification of Nomenclature of Chemicals.


QCOs updates | India Delays Implementation of Quality Control Orders for n-Butyl Acrylate and Toluene

Jun 28, 2023

On June 21, 2023. India's department of Chemical and Petrochemicals published a notification on the Gazette of India to amend the implementation details of quality control orders (QCOs) for n-Butyl Acrylate and Toluene.

India Mandates IUPAC Name and CAS Number for Chemical Import Declarations from July 1, 2023

Jun 28, 2023

India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) has released the Circular No. 15/2023-Customs On June 7, 2023, mandating the disclosure of IUPAC name and CAS number for constituent chemicals of imported items. This regulation will come into force on July 1, 2023.

India Amends Quality Control Orders for Three Monomers

Jun 01, 2023

On May 26, 2023, India's Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals (DCPC) issued a Notification on the Gazette of India to amend the implementation details of Quality Control Orders (QCOs) for Vinyl Acetate Monomer, Methyl Acrylate, Ethyl Acrylate.

India Drafts EPR Regulation for Used Oil

May 22, 2023

In a draft notification published in the Gazette of India on May 2, 2023, India's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) proposes to bring out regulation for extended producer responsibility (EPR) for used oil. Once passed, it shall take effect on April 1, 2024. Public and other stakeholders have 60 days from date of publication to comment on the proposal.

India Delays Quality Control Orders for 3 Organic Compounds

May 11, 2023

On April 19, 2023, India's Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals (DCPC) issued a Notification on the gazaette regarding the delayed implementation of Quality Control Orders (QCOs) for styrene (viny benzene), acrylonitrile, and maleic anhydride.

India Amends Plastic Waste Management Rules

May 09, 2023

On April 27, 2023, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) announced to publish the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2023​ on the Gazette of India. The amendment came into force on the date of publication in the Gazette.

India Delays Quality Control Orders for 6 Fatty Acids (Updated on April 24, 2023)

Apr 27, 2023

On April 27, 2022, India's Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers published Quality Control Orders (hereinafter referred as the Orders) for 8 chemicals, which will come into force 181 days after their promulgation in the Official Gazette.

India Delays Quality Control Orders for 6 Chemicals

Apr 24, 2023

On March 31, 2023, India's Department of Chemicals and Petro Chemicals issued a Gazette Notification to delay the implementation of Quality Control Orders (QCOs) for six chemicals.

India Proposes Average Life for EEE Items under E-Waste Rules

Apr 12, 2023

On March 21, 2023, India's Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) released a draft proposal for average life of the notified Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) items under the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022​.


Japan Seeks Public Feedback on Re-categorization of Substances Subject to SDS and Labelling Requirements

Jun 27, 2023

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has opened a public consultation period until July 20, 2023, seeking opinions on the revision of the Enforcement Order of the Industrial Safety and Health Law (ISHL). The purpose of the revision is to re-categorize substances that are subject to mandatory SDS and labelling requirements. It is expected to be finalized in early August 2023.

Japan Updates List of Deleterious Substances

May 31, 2023

Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has recently made changes to the list of deleterious substances designated under the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Law (PDSCL).

Japan Announces Updates to PAC List, 6 Substances Removed and 6 Added

May 17, 2023

According to the Gazette on April 3, 2023, Japan added six substances to the List of Priority Assessment Chemical Substances (PACs) following the removal of six substances on March 31. The total number in the List is 218 now.

Japan Establishes OELs for 67 Substances

May 11, 2023

On April 27, 2023, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) published 67 substances with corresponding occupational exposure limits (8-hour OELs and 15-minute OELs).

Japan Seeks Testing Data from Industry to Classify Substances

May 06, 2023

Announced on NITE's website in mid-April 2023, the Japanese government started this year's "Public-Private Partnership GHS Classification Information Collection Project".


Philippines Reviews Policies on Chemical Management

Jun 08, 2023

On April 11, 2023, the Philippines’ Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) released a report evaluating the current policies of chemical management.

South Korea

South Korea to Designate 3 New Toxic Substances and 1 New Restricted Substance

Jun 30, 2023

On June 20, 2023, South Korea’s NIER issued a notice to seek public comments on the amendments to the Toxic Chemical Substances List (TCSL) and the GHS Classification List. Comments are welcome before July 10, 2023.

South Korea to Introduce Microplastic Control Act

Jun 14, 2023

South Korea to comprehensively manage the usage and emission of microplastics by introducing the new microplastic control mechanism. Non-compliance products that may bring risks of exposing microplastics to the human and environment are prohibited from import and manufacture.

Korea Discloses Hazard Assessment Results of 37 New Chemicals (Updated on June 8, 2023 )

Jun 09, 2023

South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) is now consulting on the hazard evaluation results of new chemical substances registered under K-REACH. Hazard assessment results of 37 new chemical substances (Given No. 2023.1 ~ 2023.37) are to be added to Annex 1.

Korea Updates Guide for Chemical Testing Methods (Updated on June 2, 2023)

Jun 09, 2023

South Korea’s authority shows strong commitment to promoting alternatives to animal testing methods.

South Korea Updates Regulations on CBI Protection under K-REACH

Jun 07, 2023

On May 30, 2023, by MoE Announcement No. 2023-102, South Korea’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) made public the amendments to the Regulations on Preparation of Information Protection Application, Information Protection Management, Etc., which will be in force on January 1, 2024.

South Korea Updates Inventory of Existing Chemical Substances (Updated on June 1, 2023)

Jun 01, 2023

South Korea’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) adopted the proposed updates to South Korea’s Existing Chemical Substance Inventory (KECI).

South Korea Designates 6 New Toxic Substances (Updated on June 1, 2023)

Jun 01, 2023

South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) adopted the proposed amendments to the Toxic Chemical Substances List (TCSL) and the GHS Classification List.

17,380 Substances Pre-registered under K-REACH

Apr 24, 2023

On April 12, 2023, South Korea’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) published the updated list of pre-registered substances​ under K-REACH. As of March 31, 2023, a total of 226,520 pre-registration applications were submitted for 17,380 chemical substances.

Korean MoEL Publishes New Chemicals Registered and Assessed in 2023 Q1

Apr 07, 2023

On March 31, 2023, by MoEL Announcement No. 2023-192, South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor (MoEL) released the list of registered and assessed new chemical substances in 2023 Q1 under K-OSHA.


Taiwan to Draft New Act to Boost Recycling

Jun 08, 2023

Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is set to propose a new amendment this year that will consolidate the existing Waste Disposal Act and the Resource Recycling Act into a single "Resources Recycling Promotion Act". This will encourage waste reduction at the source and promote green design and boost recycling in Taiwan.

Taiwan to Upgrade EPA to Ministry

Jun 07, 2023

Taiwan will upgrade the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to a full-scale Ministry of Environment to respond to higher priority being placed on climate change and other pressing environmental challenges.


Thailand Extends Deadline for Annual Report on Hazardous Chemicals in Industrial Plants

May 16, 2023

On May 9, 2023, Thailand’s Department of Industrial Works (DIW) published in the Royal Gazette the revised regulation – Safety Measures for Chemical Management in Industrial Plants (No. 2) B.E. 2566 (2023). Grace periods are provided for the annual reporting of 2022.

Thailand to Remove Citronella Oil from Hazardous Substances List

Apr 10, 2023

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently opened a public consultation on removing citronella oil (CAS No. 8000-29-1) from Annex 4.1 of Thailand’s List of Hazardous Substances under the Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992) .


Vietnam Consults on Revision of Regulation on Transport of Dangerous Goods

Jun 29, 2023

On June 23, 2023, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport (MoT) is preparing dossiers to develop a Decree stipulating the list of dangerous goods, the transport of dangerous goods by road motor vehicles and the transport of dangerous goods on inland waterways. It is set to replace the existing Decree No.42/2020/ND-CP. The draft is now open for consultation.

Vietnam Releases the Second Draft Decree on Management of Chemicals Regulated by Chemical Weapons Convention

Jun 27, 2023

On May 11, 2023, MOIT published the second draft amendment of the Decree No.38/2014/ND-CP for public consultation. The draft was open for comments until May 31, 2023.

Vietnam Updates List of POPs for Exemption Registration

Apr 17, 2023

On February 2, 2023, Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) issued an official letter 424/BTNMT-KSONMT 2023 to supplement the legal provisions on exemption registration for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) under Decree No. 08/2022/ND-CP.

Vietnam to Release National Standard on Ozone Depleting Substances

Apr 11, 2023

On April 3, 2023, Vietnam notified WTO of a draft national standard—Technical Regulation on Collection, Transport, Storage, Recycling, Reuse and Disposal of Controlled Substances (hereinafter referred to as the Draft). Comments are welcome 60 days from notification.


OURAY Corner

Figure 3 Source: The Weather Channel

A strange thing happened when I started my research for the newsletter for this quarter. When I searched for chemical release emergency responses the results were all for various storm/flooding events and the massive emergency responses they triggered.

It certainly brought back memories of large-scale flood responses I'd been a part of in the US. While contingency plans and spill control plans do try to address rainfall and flooding. I think many plans fall prey to trying to use regulatory requirements as guides for worst-case scenarios.

I remember a tank that had been placed into a sized secondary containment, completely within the requirements of the regulation. The trick was the tank was placed high on a stand so it could fuel trucks using gravity flow. When disaster struck the stand failed and the tank fell outside of the secondary containment. I also remember several events where chemical/oil storage tanks simply floated off their foundations and out of the secondary containment.

What is the point of this walk down memory lane? When you are trying to plan for emergencies, don’t fall into the trap of believing that the worst disaster you have seen is the worst thing that can happen. Nature has started handing us increasingly destructive storms and floods. Your risk yardstick also needs to be re-calibrated occasionally. If you need help with plan reviews or tabletop exercises to stress-test your plans, please contact OURAY Singapore.

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