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Posts Tagged ‘articles’

March 20, 2012, has issued it’s first set of proposed SNURs and a testing rule on articles.  [See box on right for your favorite chemical]

Nobody is making these chemicals in the US (“voluntary” ban), but they could come in with imported articles: polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs and adding decabrom to the current SNUR on PBDEs), benzidine dyes, a short chain chlorinated paraffin, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD use in consumer textiles only), and phthalate di-n-pentyl phthalate (DnPP).

The agency is also proposing additional testing on the health and environmental effects of PBDEs if you have existing “ongoing” uses – threatening for the first time that testing will apply to article importers (and anyone still processing inventories of PBDE) as of the date of the final test rule.  Yet another incentive to stop using PBDEs.

And don’t forget a proposed SNUR triggers export notice under TSCA 12(b).

NEW 6/15/12: The Chemical Users Coalition (CUC) has submitted comments on the need for a framework on covering articles under SNURs, recommending much more targeted approach in rare cases of concern.  I agree, but think this should be even broader (especially given TSCA Reform proposals) on how TSCA in general should tackle articles.  It’s a logistical nightmare of companies who have never dreamed they could be impacted by TSCA and fraught with communication difficulties now surfacing with REACH SVHC and Conflict Minerals.  We need a multi-stakeholder discussion of the issues.

Comments are accepted until July 31, 2012.

Contact EHS Strategies, Inc. for help.

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The issue of whether the Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) in articles is triggered at >0.1% weight of chemical to weight of the entire article placed on the market or to any component of that article remains controversial according to discussions at the September 23, 2011 REACH workshop.  ECHA guidance is still holding with the entire article weight in the denominator, but acknowledges that some member countries are saying they will enforce the RoHS approach on each component part.  ECHA and The European Commission are looking at how to resolve this issue.

Odds are good that this one is going to the European Court of Justice.

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ECHA has issued a new Guidance in a Nutshell for REACH requirements for articles: http://guidance.echa.europa.eu/docs/guidance_document/nutshell_guidance_articles2_en.pdf

Regarding how to calculate 0.1% wt/wt of Substances of Very High Concern, it says:

The substance concentration threshold of 0.1% (w/w) applies to the article as produced or imported. In practice, however, companies may already be collecting information not only on the whole article but also on parts thereof. Companies may, on a voluntary basis, prepare their notification to ECHA on this basis.

See my previous item on dissenting countries.

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France and Sweden have announced they will be enforcing REACH Substances of Very High Concern content in articles according to the “once an article, always an article” scheme.  Expect the other dissenting countries – Austria, Belgium, Germany and Norway – to follow.  Their position is that any component or part in an article that was ever a separate article should be counted for the >0.1% wt/wt calculation and not the article as a whole  (e.g., a belt buckle).  However, the official legal opinion of the EU and ECHA that the percentage refers to the entire article as marketed (e.g., the complete belt).

Expect lawsuits to straighten this out….

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ECHA has published new guidance on applicability of REACH for articles.  The revised guidance offers a few more examples of what an “article” is and suggestions for how to track down whether your articles contain any Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC).

Most distressing is the introductory note from the Executive Director:

“When reading this ECHA Guidance document, please be aware that it did not find full support by consulted national authorities of EU/EEA Member States in the stage of its final consultation, as reflected in the minutes that you can access via this link.

Consequently, companies may face diverging enforcement practices as to some of its aspects.” [highlight added]

They diverged on how to calculate weight percent for SVHC (reportable at >0.1 % wt/wt).  Current ECHA guidance is to look at the entire weight of the imported article, whereas some countries want to look at each component separately.  Dissenting countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Norway.

Reminder:  Notification to ECHA for articles with >0.1% SVHC starts June 1, 2011.  See ECHA links here.

Contact EHS Strategies, Inc. if you need help figuring out how to comply.

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