Understanding Thailand’s new chemical law

Q&A with Piyatida (Tung) Pukclai, Dr Knoell Consult

Piyatida (Tung) Pukclai

Ahead of our annual Regulatory Summit Asia conference, we caught up with Piyatida (Tung) Pukclai, Regional Business Development Director (Asia-Pacific) at Dr Knoell Consult in Thailand, and asked her some questions about Thailand’s new chemical law that will replace the current Hazardous Substance Act.

Q: What is the significance of the classification change?

One of the most significant changes is the amendment of the chemical classification system. At present, chemicals are categorised into Type 1-4 Hazardous Substances. However, under the first draft of the Chemical Act, chemicals will be classified according to the risks they pose to health and the environment.

Under the current Hazardous Substance Act, only Type 2 and 3 hazardous substances are required to be registered, while Type 1 Hazardous Substances need a 15-digit code which can be applied for at the ministry. In contrast, under this new draft of the Chemical Act, every substance will need to be registered.

In addition, the new draft proposal covers the entire chemical life cycle and applies to single substances, mixtures, and articles.

Q: What is the new law about and what will it mean for those doing business with Thailand?  

The new act will cover the full chemical life cycle – including production, import, export, transport, transit, re-import, re-export, having in possession, sales, use, treatment, disposal, and recycling.

The act also covers insurance and compensation for damages arising from chemicals as well as advertisement rules. 

The new act will apply to single substances, mixtures, and articles (the current act does not cover articles) and not just controlling and licensing, but also chemical assessment as well as surveillance and monitoring.

Q: Is this expected to be business friendly? There are "public interest" organisations on some committees – what will this mean?