Raghavendra Verma, Jens Kastner, Kathryn Wortley and Ushar Daniele report on the latest regulation updates from Asia:
China’s Zhongguancun Inspection, Testing and Certification Industry Technology Alliance has released a standard to promote Chinese conformity with the European Union’s (EU) REACH chemical control regulation in the automotive industry. The standard proposes REACH-compliant restrictions on REACH-regulated automotive chemicals, including paints and coatings. The alliance’s ‘Key Controlled Chemical Substances in the Automobile Industry Part 1: Application Guidelines’ stipulate general principles and use controls for key chemical substances used in the automotive industry. The development comes as Chinese automanufacturers launch more models in the EU electric vehicle market.
India has launched an anti-dumping investigation relating to the imports of paint and coating additive para tertiary butylphenol (PTBP) that originate or are exported from South Korea, Singapore and the USA. This follows complaints by the Indian chemical manufacturing industry that their business is being damaged by cut-price imports of PTBT. In a December communiqué, India’s Directorate General of Trade Remedies said that an “investigation has been duly initiated …[after] having satisfied itself on the basis of prima facie evidence [of a] causal link between such alleged dumping and injury.” PTBP helps make epoxy, phenolic resins, printing ink resins, coating resins, wood laminate resins, wire enamels, adhesives, insulating varnishes and curing agents.
Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has published a draft amendment to its Categories and Management of Handling for Toxic Chemical Substances regulation, which impacts paint and coatings manufacturers and suppliers. The main purpose of this revision is to strengthen the operational controls and management of organotin compounds, including those used in antifouling paints. The toxicity of some organotin compounds is to be reclassified to strengthen environmental controls.
Philippines environmental health groups have urged paint manufacturers, including those that export finished products to the Philippines, to obtain the third-party Lead Safe Paint Certification developed by Sweden-registered IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network). The EcoWaste Coalition, Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) and Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) have warned that some Philippines paint manufacturers and importers have made incorrect claims that some products they sell are lead-free. Checks to secure IPEN’s Lead Safe Paint Certification verify and confirm that lead content in paint products do not exceed 90ppm (parts per million).
The South Korean government in January published an amendment to the country’s Dangerous Materials Safety Management Act that promotes voluntary safety management by personnel at large-scale facilities handling hazardous materials, potentially including paint and coatings manufacturers and their suppliers. Prior to the amendment, punishments for breaches of such rules were imposed only when dangerous substances were spilled, discharged or spread at a licensed manufacturing site. Now if inspections reveal infractions without such problems, companies can still be fined.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction has released a strategy on the ‘Development of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Construction Industry by 2030’, which could boost paint and coatings sales. It encourages the industry to better understand and utilise modern technology. It also proposes strengthening Vietnam’s production of construction materials, such as paints and coatings, so that it can better meet domestic demand. However, it also proposes limiting the production of construction materials that unsustainably consume natural resources and worsen environmental pollution, prioritising the development of green and new eco-friendly materials. The strategy calls for strengthened research and development in new construction materials with high performance and increasing the use of more recycled materials in Vietnam construction.
The Japan Paint Manufacturers Association (JPMA) has updated its list of paints certified as suitable for fireproof materials as part of its ongoing management of conforming coatings for fireproof materials in accordance with Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) rules. As of December 2022, 333 products from 28 companies were approved by MLIT and added to the JPMA’s register. Companies that require a copy of each item’s fireproof material certificate can now obtain it from the item’s respective manufacturer.
Thailand paint and coatings manufacturers and importers are to prosper from government plans to this year begin building a US$9bn, 1040 hectares ‘Eastern Aviation City’, south east of Bangkok. The project should create 15,600 jobs, turning the U-Tapao military airport into an international airport with links to a budget terminal at Bangkok’s Don Muang airport and the country’s main international facility, Suvarnabhumi Airport.