Legislature passes an amendment to toxic chemicals act

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Nov 23, 2013 - Page 3

The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed an amendment to the Toxic Chemical Substances Control Act (毒性化學物質管理法) to establish a comprehensive registration mechanism for chemical substances to increase oversight and regulation.

After the bill is promulgated and enforced, any toxic chemical substance being imported or being manufactured will need to be registered with the regulatory agency, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), 90 days in advance.

Prior registration will also be required to import or manufacture any existing chemical substance in excess of a specified amount per year, according to the revised act.

The revised act requires importers or manufacturers to provide information related to the hazards or risks of the chemical substance concerned.

Those who import or manufacture chemical substances without registering are to be fined up to NT$2 million (US$67,600), while violations of the registration requirement on an existing chemical substance are subject to fine of NT$300,000 under the revised act.

The EPA is to be mandated to order the suspension or closure of manufacturers of chemical substances or the return of imported chemical substances if businesses fail to meet the requirements after repeated fines within a specified period of time.

Meanwhile, the legislature also approved an amendment to Civil Code regarding rulings in child custody cases after divorce, with newly added subsections about factors judges should take into account when determining the “best interests of the child.”

If the amendment is enforced, a parent who tries to hinder the other parent’s relationship with the child should be considered at a disadvantage in a child custody case.