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Korea

South Korea is the latest to jump on the RoHS bandwagon. The Enforcement Ordinance of and the Enforcement Regulation of the Act on the Recycling of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Vehicles was gazetted on 28 December 2007 (Presidential Decree No.20480) and 31 December 2007 (Ministry of the Environment Ordinance No.267).  An English translation of the “Act for Resource Recycling of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Vehicles” and a FAQ document have been made available by Eco-Frontier at http://www.korea-helpdesk.eu.

The broad legislation draws on RoHS, WEEE, and End of Life Vehicle (ELV) Directives and includes: Restriction of material, marking and labeling for recycling, design for environment, and extended producer responsibility for end-of-life electronics.

Most importantly, the main requirements (e.g. restriction on the use of hazardous substances, annual recycling rate, provision of recycling information) of the Enforcement Ordinance of 28 December 2007 will enter into force on 1 July 2008, i.e. products put on the market after 1 July 2008 will be subject to regulatory control of the Act on the Recycling of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Vehicles and its implementing measures. For products put on the market after 1 January 2008 and before 1 July 2008, they shall be in compliance with the Act as of 1 January 2011.

The Enforcement Ordinance of 28 December 2007 stipulates the following requirements: a) products subject to restriction on the use of hazardous substances; b) concentration limits of hazardous substances; c) establishment of annual recycling rate; d) declaration on the compliance with the concentration limits of hazardous substances; e) provision of recycling information; f) mandatory recycling rate for electrical and electronic equipment; g) recycling rate and methods for end-of-life vehicles; h) permission of collective recycling schemes; i) submission of recycling performance for end-of-life vehicles; and ) registration of end-of-life vehicle recyclers.

The Enforcement Regulation of 31 December 2007 contains a) recycling methods and standards of electrical and electronic equipment, b) submission of a recycling requirement implementation plan, c) submission of a recycling requirement implementation report, and d) standards for the registration of end-of-life vehicle recyclers. 

For further information on the Enforcement Ordinance and Enforcement Regulation, please refer to http://www.korea-helpdesk.eu.

Korea also enacted legislation establishing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requirements, making electronics manufacturers and importers responsible for recycling their products and packaging. The legislation creates phased recycling targets for various electrical and electronic equipment. Manufacturers of computers and televisions must recycle 55% of their product by 2005 and 65% by 2006. Mobile phone and audio equipment manufacturers are required to reach 60% by 2005 and 70% by 2006.