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

Huge project for huge country

Landbell Group to support reduction, reuse and recycling of plastics in India

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800 attendees, one goal: a plastic free world

Landbell Group to speak at biggest conference on reducing plastic waste

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Electrifying clothes: Mode for Recycling!

Another fantastic finale for ERP Poland’s eye-catching environmental campaign

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Helping children to unlock “The Avocado Mystery”

ERP Denmark supports children’s book on sustainable development goals

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Have you met Hermit Leer?

New campaign in Austria to raise awareness among consumers to properly dispose of waste portable batteries

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“They give us opportunity; we give them innovation.”

Interview with Anne Lamp from traceless materials, this year’s Green Alley Award winner

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Focus on… Croatia

New Waste Act makes it easier for producers to comply with EPR obligations

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A big step for Brazil

Brazil is taking its first steps in managing waste electronics and packaging - and we are proud to be accompanying them on this challenging journey 

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Study shows how producers can benefit from competition

A new study from adelphi shows that competition drives innovation, improves services and ensures cost-efficient waste management

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The Green Alley Award: jump on board

Get to know the latest circular economy business ideas… first!

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How to turn WEEE into beehives

Collecting e-waste in Lodz, Poland is now much easier and builds new homes for bees  

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Are you a parceiro sustentável?

Clients in Portugal can now find sustainability support: ERP Portugal and Novo Verde launch the “Parceiro Sustentável” programme

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Taking the pressure off online sellers in Italy

Pressure is mounting on online sellers to comply with their environmental obligations - Consorzio ERP Italia is providing a wide range of support

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Are you selling batteries into Austria?

New obligations for distance sellers of batteries are coming into force in Austria - ERP Austria is on hand to help

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Focus on… Finland

Changes for EPR – including new measures for distance sellers – as Finland begins waste management reform

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Do you like polluted beaches? We don’t either!

Landbell Group joins project to prevent marine litter in North Africa

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Why did we endorse the Ellen MacArthur Foundation statement on EPR?

Landbell Group and over 150 stakeholders commit to EPR

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You can trust us… now it’s official!

Europe's leading provider of e-commerce protection awards certificate to EASy-Shop

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Kettles reach boiling point during Irish lockdown

A kettle was the most recycled object in Ireland over the past twelve months (with 1 in 4 Irish adults claiming to have recycled one)

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Sun coming out – but be prepared for the rain

The outlook for the photovoltaic (PV) industry looks sunny again, but companies should not forget their future recycling obligations

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Focus on… Georgia

Game-changing news for companies selling electronic goods in Georgia

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Tokyo 2020: winning gold for sustainability

Olympic Games to tackle the reduction of electronic and plastic waste

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How we are responding to the global expansion of EPR

Landbell Group publishes its annual performance report for 2020

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How two men joined the fight for cleaner chemicals

Happy 15th Birthday to H2 Compliance

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