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Taiwan Amends the Labor Safety and Health Act/Delays Action on the Toxic Chemical Substances Control Act

Posted on: December 6, 2013

For the purpose of coordinating with the introduction of New Chemical Substance Notification (NCN), Taiwan has been updating two major chemical control legislations: the Labor Safety and Health Act and the Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act (TCSCA).

On July 3, 2013, the Labor Safety and Health Act passed the final legislative process of the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA).  The Labor Safety and Health Act has been promulgated and renamed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).  The newly established OSHA is comprised of 55 articles, including stipulations to control the NCN scheme.  Article 13 of this regulation requires manufacturers or importers to submit a chemical risk assessment report(s) and obtain an approval from the central competent authority prior to importing or manufacturing a new chemical substance(s).  In this instance, new chemical substances refer to substances that are not listed on the Existing Chemical Substances Inventory.

Under Article 14 of the OSHA, unless permitted by the central competent authority, manufacturers, importers, suppliers or employers shall not manufacture, import, supply or use appointed controlled chemicals.  This chemical ban is due mainly to carcinogenicity studies, health studies and other acute hazards arising from them.  In addition, Article 10 of OSHA requires that manufacturers and importers of hazardous chemicals provide labels and safety data sheets.

The implementation date of the OSHA is set to be announced by the Executive Yuan at a later date.  Taiwan CLA is actively working on reviewing existing and/or adding new regulations to ensure proper implementation of the OSHA; this should be completed within one year, as required by the Legislative Yuan.  To aid with adaptation to the new regulation, the CLA is conducting numerous seminars in Taiwan running through September and October.  Details for registration of the seminars can be obtained through the website listed below under References.  In addition to the OSHA seminars, Taiwan Safety and Health Technology Center (SAHTECH) is also providing a series of seminars regarding existing and new chemical management.

Another legislation contribution to the implementation of NCN is TCSCA, administrated by the Taiwan Environment Protection Administration (EPA).  On November 1, 2012, the draft amendment of TCSCA was approved by the Executive Yuan and submitted to the Legislative Yuan for consideration on November 9, 2012.  On March 21, 2013, the Legislative Yuan came to an agreement on the amendment regarding notification of toxicological information for Class 4 toxic chemical substances.  However, the remaining amendments, including the stipulations for a chemical registration scheme, were left for further review.

On May 29, 2013, the first reading of TCSCA was completed and left 6 articles for further assessment.  It wasn’t until June 25, 2013 that the legislative party reached an agreement.  The next scheduled review is expected to coincide with the legislative session scheduled in September.

Readers may consult the listed websites for more details regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act, their respective regulations, the Existing Chemical Substances Inventory and the seminars held by the CLA and/or SAHTECH in Taiwan.

References:

Occupational Safety and Health Act
List of Occupational Safety and Health Regulations
Details of Occupational Safety and Health Act Seminars
Seminars of Existing and New Chemical Management
http://www.sahtech.org/seminar.aspx
The Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act
List of Toxic Chemical Substance Control Regulations
Chemical Substance Nomination and Notification (CSNN) English Website
The Existing Chemical Substances Inventory