What’s happening with regard to chemical regulations internationally? Here are some updates we’ve prepared for you for December 2020.
SCIP database is ready for use
The database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products) – the SCIP database – is ready for use. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced that companies can now submit their data, which will then be available for waste operators and consumers starting in February 2021. The goal of the new database is to make the recycling of products safer and improve information about dangerous chemicals in products.
“We need to know more about the hazardous chemicals in products so that they can be safely recycled. This is key for a better circular economy and essential to make the EU Green Deal work. The increased knowledge protects workers, citizens and the environment, helps consumers make safer choices and encourages industry to replace hazardous chemicals with safer ones. We call on industry to start submitting the data to us now and we stand ready to support them,” said ECHA’s Executive Director Bjorn Hansen.
Companies that want to keep selling products containing substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in the European Union must complete their submission to the SCIP database by 5 January 2021.
This is not the only mandatory deadline for chemical compliance in January. The deadline for poison centre notifications – for mixtures for consumer use – is 1st January 2021. And, as of 1st Jan 2021, Brexit will void all registrations submitted to ECHA by UK based companies.
If you need support with meeting these key deadlines, please contact us.
A closer look at the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability
With the chemicals production industry expected to double by 2030, the European Commission published a new chemicals strategy for sustainability on 14th October as part of the EU’s zero pollution plan – a commitment to the European Green Deal.
The strategy includes an Annex that details the action plan with indicative timelines and a Q&A. The key objectives include better protection for citizens and the environment, and a boost to innovation for creating safe and sustainable chemicals.
The strategy will potentially affect various pieces of legislation, including REACH, the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation, the Detergents Regulation, the sustainable products initiative (upcoming), as well as legislation for cosmetics.
General Actions of the Strategy
In general, the strategy aims to:
- ban the most harmful chemicals in consumer products – allowing their use only where ‘essential’;
- quantify the ‘cocktail effect’ of chemicals when assessing risks from mixed chemicals;
- phase out the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the EU, unless their use is essential;
- boost investment and innovative capacity for the production and use of chemicals that are safe and sustainable by design, throughout their life cycle;
- promote the EU’s resilience of supply and sustainability of critical chemicals;
- establish a simpler “one substance, one assessment” process for the risk and hazard assessment of chemicals;
- play a leading role globally by championing and promoting high standards; and
- not export chemicals that are banned in the EU
The strategy will also tackle endocrine-disrupting chemicals, persistent, mobile and toxic (PMT) and very persistent, very mobile (vPvM) substances, and REACH registration for polymers.
‘Essential uses’ to guide all relevant EU legislation for both generic and specific risk assessments
The Commission has promised to “define criteria for essential uses to ensure that the most harmful chemicals are only allowed if their use is necessary for health, safety or is critical for the functioning of society and if there are no alternatives that are acceptable from the standpoint of environment and health. These criteria will guide the application of essential uses in all relevant EU legislation for both generic and specific risk assessments”.
The strategy also makes reference to the definition of essential uses in the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, while acknowledging that the scope of chemicals covered by the EU chemicals regulatory framework is much broader than the specific scope of chemicals covered by the Montreal Protocol.
For more information, please contact us.