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Revision to Thailand’s Hazardous Substance Act expected in 2019

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The third revision to Thailand's Hazardous Substance Act, its main chemical law, may be enacted around the time of the country's next general election, expected in February 2019, according to Dr Piyatida Pukclai from consultancy Dr Knoell.

Dr Pukclai told delegates at Chemical Watch's fifth annual Regulatory Summit Asia in Singapore that public meetings are still taking place and there may still be amendments. The draft was accepted by Thailand's parliament on 28 May and has been awaiting the prime minister’s signature.

The law was previously revised in 2008, but there have been a number of updates to hazardous chemical lists in the last decade.

The main change to the law will be in the rules for international shipments of hazardous substances.

The rules seek to differentiate imports and exports from other transboundary shipments, where substances are moved along the international supply chain. This is important because of the intermediary role Thailand plays in manufacturing for international companies. For example, the country is the world's ninth largest producer of motor vehicles, mainly for South Korean and Japanese companies. And it is a major manufacturer of computer hard drives for companies such as Western Digital and Hitachi.

Company registration will not be required where these transboundary shipments are 're-imports' or 're-exports'. Companies would only have to declare movement of hazardous substances (Type 2 and 3 substances). This means these shipments would not face the same level of scrutiny and notification as standard imports/exports, such as the requirement for an import permit.

For the most hazardous substances – Type 4 – transboundary movement will be prohibited.

Other changes include:

  • rules allowing the regulation of product advertising and promotion; and
  • registration for the production or importation of hazardous substances (Type 2 and 3), valid for ten years.

This article was corrected on 23 November. The original  article incorrectly stated that "company registration will be required where these transboundary shipments are 're-imports or 're-exports'"whereas the correct phrase was that company registration will not be required where these transboundary shipments are 're-imports' or 're-exports'."

Find out more about this topic at AsiaHub Summit USA 2019 in Washington DC.

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