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Japan: PFHxS is banned for certain imported products

DECEMBER 2023 - ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

On 1 December 2023, the Cabinet Order1,2 has been published to revise the Order for Enforcement of the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc. Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) and its salts are designated as Class I Specified Chemical Substances under the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc. (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"). Certain imported products containing PFHxS or its salts are forbidden in Japan.

The purpose of the Act is to set a way for evaluating the properties of new chemical substances before their manufacture or import to Japan. It also controls the use and import of particular hazardous substances or products containing these substances.  

PFHxS belongs to the family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which may be used in various applications, including water, oil-repellent treatment, carpets, clothing, firefighting foam, etc. PFHxS was identified as a persistent organic pollutant (POP) chemical in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention in June 2022. As Japan is a member of the Convention, it is obliged to adopt this update.

The published legislation identified PFHxS and its salts as Class I Specified Chemical Substances. It means the substances can only be manufactured or imported with granted authorisation. This requirement will apply from 1 February 2024. Moreover, the Order specified the types of products containing PFHxS or its salts that cannot be imported starting from 1 June 2024.

The following imported products containing PFHxS or its salts will be banned in Japan:

  • Etching agents used in metal processing;
  • Etching agents used in semiconductors manufacturing;
  • Surface treatment agents for plating or their additives;
  • Anti-reflective agents used in semiconductors manufacturing;
  • Resists for semiconductors;
  • Water and oil repellents and fibre protection agents;
  • Fire extinguishers, fire extinguishing agents for fire extinguishers and foams;
  • Treated fabrics with water or oil repellent properties;
  • Treated clothing with water or oil repellent properties;
  • Treated floor coverings with water or oil repellent properties.

 

[1] The Cabinet Order for the Partial Revision of the Order for Enforcement of the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc. (Japanese)

[2] Press release of Japan METI for this amendment


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