SGS Helps Stakeholders Understand Their Obligations Under the ECHA's New SVHC Guidance

Top Quote Following a CJEU ruling of 2015, the ECHA has now issued a comprehensive update on its guidance relating to SVHCs. SGS explains the changes. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) October 14, 2017 - The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has updated its guidance for substances of very high concern (SVHC) by including new examples and scenarios. This is designed to help clarify the obligations relating to communication and notification of SVHCs in articles that are in line with the 2015 judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the definition of articles.

    The European Union’s (EU) REACH Regulations define an article as an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design that determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition. The CJEU judgement, of September 10, 2015, ruled that the obligations relating to SVHC’s in an article, as set out in Article 7 and 33 under REACH, apply to “each article in an entire article”, meaning each component of an entire article, rather than to the “entire article”.

    Article 7(2) ‘Notification of substances in articles’, requires the producer or importer of an article to notify the ECHA if an SVHC on the Candidate List is present in:
    • An article at a concentration of greater than 0.1% by weight
    • If the total quantity of the SVHC in all articles produced or imported exceeds 1 metric ton per producer or importer per year

    Article 33 ‘Duty to communicate information on substances in articles’, requires the supplier of an article, meaning producer, importer, distributor and/or retailer, containing an SVHC on the Candidate List in a concentration greater than 0.1% by weight to provide the recipient with sufficient information to allow use of the article. This must be the information available to the supplier and should, as a minimum, include the name of the SVHC.

    The ECHA initially published a ‘quick update’ in response to the judgement in December 2015. This corrected the parts that did not comply with the court’s ruling but it was not until June 2017 that useful and practical guidance on how to comply with the notification and communication obligations under REACH was made available.

    The latest comprehensive update includes several important factors, including:

    1. New definition of complex object - defined as any object made up of more than one article by joining or assembling the articles together in various ways. Examples of simple complex objects are a pair of scissors (mechanically assembled) and a block of sticky notes (joined together using a substance/mixture)

    Some objects, termed ‘very complex articles’, are combinations of simpler complex objects. Examples include sofas, bicycles, mobile phones, computers, card and aircraft

    2. New illustrative examples and scenarios on the requirements for SVHCs in articles, for example:
    • Description:
    o Articles A and B are joined together by mixture M (e.g. adhesive) to make complex object C
    o Article A contains Candidate List substance X > 0.1% w/w
    o Article B contains Candidate List substance Y > 0.1% w/w
    o Mixture M contains Candidate List substance Z and Z is > 0.1% w/w in complex object C
    • Communication and notification obligations:
    o An EU producer or importer of articles A and B has to communicate and notify presence of X in article A and Y in article B
    o The EU producer of complex object C has to communicate and notify presence of Z in complex object C
    o An EU importer of complex object C has to communicate and notify presence of X in article A, Y in article B and Z in complex object C

    3. New examples and scenarios illustrating how to determine the concentration of a SVHC (w/w) in articles:
    I. Article made from a SVHC as such or in a mixture - weight of SVHC in the article divided by the total weight of the article.
    - Example: plastic article (e.g. injection molded chair, plastic print for a t-shirt)
    II. SVHC as such, or in a mixture used for joining two or more articles (complex object) - weight of SVHC in the complex object divided by the total weight of the complex object.
    - Example: block of sticky notes, unpainted bicycle frame formed by welding together multiple steel tubes
    III. SVHC in coatings on coated article or complex object - weight of SVHC in the coated article or complex object by the total weight of the article or complex object respectively.
    - Examples of coating mixtures: paint, lacquer, varnish, functional coating
    - Examples of coated articles: painted bent strip of steel, painted zipper sliders
    IV. Very complex objects - calculation rules set out for scenarios I to III above apply for each article or simpler complex object.
    - Examples: sofa, bicycle, mobile phone, car and aircraft

    SGS REACH Services
    SGS’s international team of experts have a comprehensive knowledge of the requirements relating to REACH for EU markets. Their comprehensive range of services will help companies test products against legislative standards, retailer requests, and company specifications.

    They offer a range of bespoke services to meet budget and requirements, including registration, testing for SVHCs and restricted substances under REACH and international requirements, as well as training, consultancy and factory audits.

    To learn more about SGS’s REACH Services: []

    For further information contact:
    Emily Lam
    Consumer and Retail
    Corporate Research & Development
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com

    About SGS
    SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.

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