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European Union
On September 27, 2023, ECHA was mandated to prepare an Annex XV report for possible restriction of chromium substances (CrVI). ECHA should submit a restriction proposal by October 4, 2024. This restriction proposal intends to improve the effectiveness and management of chromium (VI) substances in the European Union.
On September 13, 2023, the European Chemicals Agency's (ECHA) Enforcement Forum decided to make its advice on the enforceability of REACH restriction proposals public. It officially published its first advice on the proposal to restrict creosote and related substances in treated wood.
On August 25, 2023, the European Commission released the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/1656 amending Regulation (EU) No 649/2012. 35 chemicals (27 pesticides and 8 industrial chemicals) were added to Annex I of (EU)2023/1656. Currently, there are 295 entries in the Annex I.
On August 8, 2023, the European Commission published the Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/1608 to amend the European Union Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), by listing perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts and PFHxS-related compounds in Annex I to the EU POPs Regulation. The Regulation will come into effect on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal and will be applicable in all Member States.
On February 15, this year, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published an announcement that national enforcement authorities have started compliance inspections (REF-11) on safety data sheets (SDS) for chemicals sold on the EU market. This project was prepared in 2022 and the main purpose is to evaluate whether SDSs have been updated in compliance with the new requirements of Annex II of REACH. These inspections will be carried out throughout the year as a unified enforcement project. The results will be made public in 2024.
On July 17, 2023, the European Union published Regulation (EU) 2023/1464 to amend the REACH Regulation by introducing a new restriction – Article 77, which specifically addresses formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing substances in Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation. This new provision will come into effect 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This update can be seen as a comprehensive control measure by the EU to regulate formaldehyde, and the scope of applicable products is no longer limited to those containing boards; it now encompasses almost all lightweight consumer products, including furniture, toys, baby and children's products, tools, stationery, fitness equipment, pet supplies, and sanitary products, among others.
On May 24, 2023, the Official Journal of the European Union, L136, published the EU’s official position on the proposed amendments to Annex A of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) adopted at the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
Helsinki, 14 June 2023 - The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has officially announced the 29th batch of 2 substances of very high concern (SVHC), bringing the total number of substances on the SVHC list (also known as the Candidate List) to 235.
On May 8, 2023, the European Commission opened a call for evidence on its impact assessment on Regulation (EU) No 649/2012 (PIC Regulation). The consultation closes on July 31. The international trade in hazardous chemicals is regulated by the UN's Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and all 165 Member States are parties to the convention. Since 2012, it has been necessary to evaluate certain requirements in the PIC Regulation in a targeted way. In 2020, the volume of imported chemicals under the PIC Regulation was around 667,000 tons. EU takes necessary actions to manage chemicals, which not only protects human health and the environment around the world but also maintains EU policies and the single market.
On April 20, 2023, the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) annulled the authorization of chromium trioxide in its manufacture process as to its concerned uses in the following: formulation of mixtures ('category 1'); functional chrome plating ('category 2'); functional chrome plating with decorative character ('category 3'); surface treatment for applications in the aeronautics and aerospace sectors (unrelated to functional chrome plating with decorative character) ('category 4'); surface treatment (except passivation of tin-plated steel (electrolytic tin plating – ETP)) for applications in various industry sectors, namely architectural, automotive, metal manufacturing and finishing, and general engineering (unrelated to functional chrome plating or functional chrome plating with decorative character) ('category 5'); and passivation of tin-plated steel (ETP) ('category 6').