Chemical compliance… what’s happening?

What’s happening with regard to chemical regulations internationally? Here are some updates we’ve prepared for you.

Update on Brexit and REACH

The deadline for seeking an extension to the Brexit transition period has now passed. Both sides were true to their word: the EU waited for the UK to ask for an extension; the UK declined to request one.

During a time when economies are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the possibility of a second wave of infection, this leaves six months for officials to put the required provisions in place to ensure smooth trade between the EU and the UK. On the upside, at least there is certainty here, something that has been in short supply in recent years.

Furthermore, the negotiating mandate published by the UK Government back in February specified a so-called “June Checkpoint”. At the June meeting of the Joint Committee, the UK Government indicated that they may walk away from talks if sufficient progress had not been made, but that meeting took place on 12th June and the UK is still very much in negotiation with the EU, with upcoming rounds agreed in July, August and September.

Taking both of these pieces of information, the transition period will now definitely end at 11pm on 31st December 2020, and one may surmise that the UK is headed for some sort of deal with the EU.

That said, it seems unlikely that such a deal will include chemicals. Defra have recently indicated formally that they are not intending to seek any form of associate membership of ECHA, insisting instead that UK REACH will enter into force on 1st January 2021 (please also see article below).

With that in mind, a renewed focus on UK REACH compliance may be advisable, ensuring REACH-IT asset transfers are in place, and checking future coverage with your suppliers (and their Only Representatives, where appropriate).

UK moving away from ECHA and REACH

The United Kingdom has decided to not seek membership of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and to not participate in the European Union’s REACH regulation post-Brexit. As a result, the UK will now be constructing its own regulatory framework.

Rebecca Pow, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), explained that the transition will take some adjustment, but that the benefits of the UK controlling its own legislation will outweigh the costs – a view that is not widely shared by industry.

UK’s Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) had both hoped to remain under the EU’s REACH regulation, citing the fact that 60% of the UK’s chemical exports make their way to the EU. As a result, British chemical companies will benefit greatly from any attempts to keep the UK’s own REACH closely tied to its EU counterpart.

The UK is scheduled to officially leave the European Union on 1 January 2021.

New study on substances of concern

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands has released a new report looking at how best to deal with substances of concern in the circular economy. The report, “Coping with Substances of Concern in a Circular Economy” examines how the country can manage dangerous substances as it attempts to shift to a fully circular economy by 2050.

The report highlights the government’s belief that in a safe circular economy risks to both humans and the environment from hazardous substances should be negligible. Moreover, substances that are of considerably high concern, such as those that can cause cancer, should only be used if no viable alternatives are available or if they are deemed essential for the functioning of society.

The report recommends possible actions to tackle both short- and long-term challenges. For the short term, it highlights the need to develop an overall policy vision and interim goals to prioritize dealing with products and materials of considerable concern.

The proposed recommendations will be developed further over the coming years to adapt to rapidly changing consumer demands as well as available technologies.

Find the full report here.

What else

Why are we building a platform for EPR worldwide?

Landbell Group publishes its annual performance report for 2021

Read more

New packaging obligation in Germany

German packaging law introduces new registration obligation – here’s how we can help

Read more

Big changes for producers in UK

The latest on EPR and modulated fees for packaging – plus new WEEE targets

Read more

A step forward for EPR in Spain

New law extends the list of waste subject to EPR - find out how it affects you

Read more

Sharing EPR knowledge far and wide

Landbell Group’s Dr Thomas Fischer delivers lecture for German-MENA University Network

Read more

Saying ‘no’ to e-waste leakage

GPS tracking of e-waste in reverse supply chain can help to ensure high treatment standards

Read more

Focus on… Egypt

New waste and EPR legislation now apply – here’s what you need to know

Read more

And the award goes to…

Landbell Group company, H2 Compliance sponsors Pharmaceutical Supplier of the Year award

Read more

We have a winner!

This year's Green Alley Award goes to the German start-up Voltfang

Read more

Join us at the Green Alley Award

Three weeks until the final in Berlin: discover six big ideas to make food, fashion and cars more sustainable!

Read more

The UK gets serious

Companies now need to pay £200 per tonne for plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content

Read more

India needs to act

If the current situation does not change, India could become the largest mismanaged plastic waste generator by 2035

Read more

Still got your Blackberry or old Nokia phone too?

New research from ERP Ireland shows surprising facts about e-waste recycling

Read more

Focus on… Chile

Companies have 18 months to prepare for new packaging law

Read more

Sustainable products and the circular economy

Improving sustainability, circularity and efficiency for products on the European market

Read more

New Landbell Group branding

From today, we have a new logo for Landbell Group and six of our companies

Read more

EPR is spreading in North America

How our Knowledge Database can help your company stay on track

Read more

How small gestures can have a huge impact

ERP Portugal and Novo Verde organize recycling campaigns to improve sustainability and save lives!

Read more

Focus on… the United Kingdom

The UK Plastic Packaging Tax is coming next month – find out what companies need to know now

Read more

Big deadlines ahead for online marketplaces in Germany

Don’t get caught out by new obligations for packaging and electronic goods

Read more

Another country introduces EPR for fishing gear

New laws and targets coming for producers - what's changing and where?

Read more

Do you agree with Agree?

The first Green Alley Award finalist is a company that tackles plastic packaging waste for fruit and vegetables

Read more

India makes strides in right direction

New joint venture will help to develop a modern recycling infrastructure

Read more

How a red container can make the difference

Last September, COMPASS reported that the Polish city of Lodz now has distinctive red containers for recycling small electronic goods

Read more