By Nathan Kongprachaya
Thailand published a Draft Chemical Act (CA) which will replace the currently effective Hazardous Substance Act (HSA) and its amendments – the principal legislature concerning chemicals management in Thailand.
One of the most significant changes is the amendment of the chemical classification system. At present, chemicals are categorized into Type 1-4 Hazardous Substances. Type 1 substances are the least stringently controlled, whereas all activities related to Type 4 substances are prohibited.
If promulgated, the Chemical Assessment Committee will classify chemicals present in the country’s Chemical Inventory, according to their risks posed to health and environment, and divide them into 3 distinct lists:
List 1: Enterprises must comply with criteria and conditions impacting import, production, export, possession, transportation, disposal or recycling issued by competent authority;
List 2: Enterprises must obtain permissions from competent authority;
List 3: All activities are prohibited. However, certain chemicals, such as those used for research and development purposes, may be exempted.
The Chemical Assessment Committee will have no more than 1 year to reconcile and align the current classification with the new aforementioned classification system after CA has come into effect.
It must be noted that at present only Type 2 and 3 Hazardous Substances are required to be registered under HSA while every substance must be registered under CA. Enterprises that wish to import, manufacture or transit new chemicals (those not present in the inventory) must also submit a request to evaluate/ assess the new chemicals prior to commencing the activities. Issued license/ permits for List 2 chemicals will be valid no longer than 6 years. Enterprises whose licenses are revoked cannot submit license applications for 5 years from the date the licenses are cancelled.