On December 4, 2020, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) of Japan announced that they started to solicit public comments on the draft cabinet order to amend the Enforcement of the Act on confirmation, etc. of release amounts of specific chemical substances in the environment and promotion of improvements to the management thereof. Comments were received until January 4, 2021. Measures on the release and transfer amounts of the specific chemicals to the environment, or PRTR, are the major tools of the Act to promote improvements of the management of chemicals by businesses and to prevent events against the environmental protection, together with measures to require them to provide information on the nature and handling of chemicals (SDS: Safety Data Sheet).
The Article 18 of the Act requires consultations with the Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council, Chemical Substances Council and Central Environment Council in advance, for the Class I Designated Chemical Substances subject to PRTR and SDS and the Class II Designated Chemical Substances subject only to SDS, when the establishment or amendment of a cabinet order is to be drafted. In addition, the Article 3 of Supplementary Provisions of the Act requires its review seven years after its enforcement.
It is planned to promulgate the Order in mid-January of 2021 and enforced it on April 1, 2022.
- Additions and removals of the Class I Designated Chemical Substances and the Class II Designated Chemical Substances
Chemicals to be added to and removed from the Class I Designated Chemical Substances and the Class II Designated Chemical Substances are proposed as presented in the comparison table between the current and proposed lists.
- Amendments of the requirements for businesses to handle the Class I Designated Chemical Substances
In association with the proposed additions and removals of the Class I Designated Chemical Substances, requirements for businesses to handle Class I Designated Chemical Substances specified in the Article 4 (i) (a)(b) of the Order will be added or amended.
Please refer to the comparison table between the current and proposed lists attached to the proposed cabinet order, for substances to be added or removed.