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South Korea regulates plastic products that are in frequent contact with the skin. The new standard will become effective on October 22, 2020.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer ProductsNO. 186/19

 

In October 2019, the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) announced the designation of synthetic resin products (plastic products) that are in frequent contact with the skin as household goods subject to Safety Standards for Household Goods Subject to Safety Standards. The safety standard for plastic products, published in the National Technology Standards Notice 2019-352 (the Notice), creates the completely new Annex 24 for plastic products.

According to Annex 24, the scope applies to the following plastic products:

  • Mats such as kitchen mats, yoga mats, etc.
  • Footwear such as bath shoes, insoles, slippers etc.
  • Miscellaneous plastic products such as cell phone cases, earphones (limited to headphones and headsets in direct contact with the ear), gym balls, toilet seats and similar products

Plastic products regulated under the following Acts are exempt:

  • Food Sanitation Act
  • Electrical Appliances and Household Products Safety Management Act
  • Special Act on Safety Management of Children’s Products

Per Annex 24, plastic products are obliged to comply with the following safety requirements:

  • Good workmanship and finishes
  • Chemical properties (see Table 1)
  • Labeling (model, material, dimensions, date of manufacture, manufacturer’s name, importer’s name, address or phone number for domestic manufacturer or importer, country of manufacture and precautions on use)

The safety standard for plastic products will become effective on October 22, 2020.

Highlights on the chemical requirements for plastic products in Annex 24 are summarized in Table 1.

 National Technology Standards Notice 2019-352, October 29, 2019
Safety Standards for Household Goods Subject to Safety Standards, Annex 24 – Synthetic Resin Products (Plastic Products)
Substance Scope Requirement Effective Date
Lead content Synthetic resin products (plastic products)
≤ 90 mg/kg (paints and surface coatings)
≤ 300 mg/kg (substrates)
October 22, 2020
Cadmium content ≤ 75 mg/kg
BBP, DBP and DEHP ≤ 0.1% (sum)
Table 1
Definitions
Item  Acronym/Abbreviation Phthalate
1 BBP Benzyl butyl phthalate
2 DBP Dibutyl phthalate
3 DEHP Di(ethylhexyl) phthalate

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