What’s happening with regard to chemical regulations internationally? Here are some updates we’ve prepared for you for February 2022.
UK REACH – what are the rules after the 2021 transitional deadlines?
Landbell Group company, H2 Compliance ended 2021 with a flurry of activity, with both new and existing clients looking to secure last-minute business continuity in the UK.
H2 Compliance helped over 40 Only Representative (OR) clients and UK-based importers to analyse their portfolios, work out which substances could benefit from the Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN) provisions, and successfully submit their notifications so that they can continue importing into the UK without needing a full registration (for the time being).
All the early UK REACH transitional deadlines have now passed. Grandfathering is complete and DUIN submission is also complete.
From now on, grandfathered registrants need to provide the full REACH data to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) by the relevant deadline – 2023, 2025 or 2027 – and DUIN notifiers need to formally submit or be covered by a full registration within the same timeline (see deadlines here). Until those deadlines, manufacture and import can continue unhindered.
Having adopted the role of chemicals agency in the UK, the HSE has updated its website to indicate late DUIN submissions will still be accepted.
The situation is complex and evolving. For the full status of UK REACH, please read H2 Compliance’s article here.
Furthermore, if you think you or your customers may have registration obligations in the UK, please get in touch.
H2 Compliance will help you identify the best registration strategy going forwards.
EU Enforcement: spotlight on online sales
The Enforcement Forum of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently completed a harmonised project checking nearly 6,000 products sold online in the EEA for compliance with the REACH, Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) and Biocidal Products (BPR) regulations.
The project demonstrated high levels of non-compliance with the requirements checked.
The non-compliance rates of ‘online marketplaces’ – the e-commerce platforms acting as intermediaries for various sellers – are much higher compared to ‘web-shops’ where products are sold directly by the suppliers who are responsible for their inventories’ compliance.
In the case of a marketplace, individual sellers are responsible for the regulatory compliance of their products and advertisements – not the e-commerce platform itself.
With the rise of e-commerce, a greater compliance role for marketplaces is needed to support sound practices for the sale of chemical products, consumer protection and ensure a level playing field.
The Enforcement Forum further recommends that the European Commission takes steps to harmonise and strengthen the EU legislation governing internet sales.
They call for more responsibility to be placed on online marketplaces for acting on non-compliant products/offers, especially from non-EU sellers.
A recommendation to require an EU-based ‘authorised representative’ for imports falling under REACH, CLP or BPR – to improve the compliance of products entering the EU through e-commerce – has resonated with stakeholders and may have far reaching practical implications.
Landbell Group company, H2 Compliance is familiar with the unique challenges and growing pressures on online marketplaces, ‘fulfilment houses’, online retailers, and suppliers with a dispersed global customer base through internet sales.
Please get in touch to discuss your needs and for support navigating this evolving compliance field.
For more analysis of chemical compliance in online sales, please read H2 Compliance’s article here.
European Green Deal: strengthening EU law to combat environmental crime
The Proposal for a Directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law, adopted by the European Commission, is now with the European Parliament and the Council for further decision-making.
This is an interesting legislative development. If adopted, the revised EU Directive would significantly step up penalties for infringements of the chemical and environmental regulations.
The proposal would introduce criminal penalties for serious breaches of EU chemicals legislation that cause substantial damage to the environment or human health.
Authorities expect that the revised Directive would help strengthen the effectiveness of national enforcement systems and enhance public confidence.
This initiative is part of the European Green Deal and the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability with its ambitious “zero tolerance approach to non-compliance”.