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Understanding Environmental Regulations

Environmental regulations negotiated in the Green Round, following the Uruguay Round, are presenting a new barrier for world trade, Interest in environmental regulations, initially sparked by the Rio Conference in 1992, has been since then rapidly growing worldwide.
Among international conventions with substantial worldwide impact, Korea is currently a contracting party to the Basel Convention, Montreal Protocol, the Convention on Climate Change, Biodiversity Convention, London Convention and the Ramsar Convention. Since the inception of the European Union, other environmental regulations have been introduced, namely RoHS, WEEE, EuP and REACH

Name of Directive Nation Effdctive Data Highlights
Vienna Convention (Montreal Protocol) Sept. 22, 1988 Overall industry
  • Restriction of ozone-depleting substances including
    chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Regulation of CFC-using industries such as electro
  • electrical and semiconductor industries
Basel Convention May 5, 1992 Chemical industry
  • Ban on transboundary movements of hazardous wastes
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) May 17, 2004 Fine chemicals, Agricultural pesticide industries
  • Regulation of pesticides and secondary pollutants such as dioxins and furans
Convention on Biological Diversity Dec. 1993 Biological organisms
  • Convention to protect the biological diversity of the planet
Customer Service Feb. 2, 1971 Wetlands
  • International convention to protect wetlands offering habitats for water birds
London Convention Feb. 1972 Chemicals
  • Convention to prevent marine pollution from dumping of waste
Convention on Climate Change(Kyoto Protocol) Feb. 16, 2005 Overall industry
  • Restriction of global warming substances
  • The convention, as it deals with energy use in the industry as a whole, has a far-reaching impact.
WEEE May 13, 2005 Electrical and electronic equipment
  • Require manufacturers to collect and recycle waste electrical and electronic products
  • Target recycling rates
    • Large home appliances and vending machines: 75%
    • Information and communications equipment and small home appliances: 65%
    • Small home appliances and lighting devices, etc.: 60%
RoHS Jul 1, 2006 Electrical and electronic products
  • Restriction of six substances including lead, Hexavalent chrome, cadmium, mercury, PBBs and PBDEs
REACH Jun. 1, 2007 Overall industry
  • Requires registration of chemicals substances produced or imported in quantities equal to or exceeding one tonne
EuP 2008(scheduled to enter in force) Energy-using products
  • Eco-design guidelines for energy-using products
  • Promotion of eco-design across the entire product cycle
  • Enforced through measures restricting market entry by integrating the Eco-design Mark with the CE Mark
IPP 2008(scheduled to enter in force) Overall industry
  • Aims at continuous improvement of environmental performance across the entire product and service cycle
  • Promotion of sustainable production and consumption; emphasis on industry’s voluntary participation and market mechanism

WEEE  :  Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment RoHS  :  Restriction of the use certain Hazardous Substances in electric and equipment REACH  : Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of CHemicals EuP  :  Eco-Design Requirements for Energy using Products IPP  :  Integrated Product Policy