There are two main pillars of chemical management in Taiwan: environmental regulations and occupational health and safety regulations. The former related law is Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Administration, and the latter related law is Occupational Safety and Health Act, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labor, and these two Acts are the two basic laws related to chemical management. The objectives of the two Acts are as follows.
Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act
This Act is enacted to prevent toxic and concerned chemical substances from polluting the environment and endangering human health, and to manage all relevant information on domestic chemical substances to serve as a basis for the screening, selection and assessment of toxic and concerned chemical substances.
Occupational Safety and Health Act
This Act is enacted to protect workers’ safety and health and to prevent occupational accidents.
Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act and related regulations
Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act sets forth regulations for the handling of toxic and concerned chemical substances（For example, application for a permit to manufacture or sell or import and registration at the time of use）.Toxic chemical substances subjected to Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act are designated in a separate public notice. Therefore, the determination of whether or not a substance is subject to the Act is not based on the criteria method, but is limited to the substances listed in the public notice.
Occupational Safety and Health Act and related regulations
Occupational Safety and Health Act covers all aspects of occupational safety. Occupational Safety and Health Act specifies a number of things that employers should (or should not) do, including compliance with exposure standards and obligations to label and warning of hazardous and toxic substances. Subordinate laws setting forth these requirements are specified separately, and the labeling and warning obligations for hazardous substances are detailed in Regulations for the Labeling and Hazard Communication of Hazardous Chemicals.
The “Regulations for the Labeling and Hazard Communication of Hazardous Chemicals” issued by Ministry of Labor on October 19, 2007 specifies the hazardous chemicals applicable at each stage, and the list of hazardous chemicals applicable at the first stage was published on December 31, 2008 and at the second stage on January 7, 2011.Other chemicals with physical hazards or health hazards that conform to the “National Standard 15030 Classification and Labelling of Chemicals” have been in effect since January 1, 2016. This means that the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) system has been fully adopted in the classification and labelling of chemical substances in Taiwan’s workplaces since January 1, 2016.
Currently, a reference list of the GHS hazardous chemicals is being prepared by summarizing and organizing the chemicals classifications with reference to the chemical classification reports on the ECHA website of the EU and other chemical information related databases worldwide.
In addition, it is undergoing a voluntary revision process by manufacturers who handle hazardous chemicals, and is being tested by domestic manufacturers in Taiwan.
On July 30, 2013, the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection of Taiwan, released CNS 15663 Guidance to Reduction of Restricted Chemical Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment, a voluntary standard for hazardous substance content in electrical and electronic products in Taiwan. At the same time, CNS 15050 Electrotechnical products – Determination of levels of six regulated substances (lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers) and CNS 15479 Method for determination of mercury level in fluorescent lamps were also published as test methods for hazardous substances.
This law system aims to gradually incorporate the RoHS requirements and require manufacturers to reliably use hazardous substances label and gradually reduce their content by adding Section 5 of CNS 15663, “Content Labeling” to the product inspection.