News 2015 / September

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Key EU court decision backs stringent view on information requirements for SVHCs

According to REACH, any presence of SVHCs in articles above 0,1% must be notified to regulators, in the supply chain and to consumers on request. However, there has been a disagreement on what is an article: is it 0,1% of the whole frying pan, or of the handle grip and sauce pan separately?

The European Commission has earlier advised this to be interpreted as 0,1% of a complex product (frying pan), whilst six countries have opposed this and promoted instead the “Once an article – Always an article” principle, targeting the separate parts of an assembled article.

France, which is one of these countries, referred this question to the European Union Court of Justice.

The long-awaited court decision concludes that “each of the articles incorporated as a component of a complex product is covered by the relevant duties to notify and provide information”, and also pointed out that “A manufactured object meeting the criteria […] of the REACH Regulation does not cease to be an article when it is assembled or joined with other objects in order to form with them a complex product.”
– We welcome this important decision. In practice this means strengthening the consumers right-to-know and protection of human health and the environment, says Anne-Sofie Andersson, ChemSec director.
– We think this is a very important statement that should also be reflected in discussions regarding other EU product directives.