2018 the Year of Increased EU REACH Enforcement

EU Manufacturers and Retailers Must Comply with Regulatory Requirements

06 February 2018

The EU REACH SVHC list has grown to 181 SVHCs, Article 33 requires companies who supply products, which include any "article" that contains more than 0.1% by weight of any REACH Candidate List Substance, SVHC, to provide their customers with at a minimum, the name of that substance or substances. The clarification by the EU Court of Justice in regards to what constitutes an "article" has increased the likelihood that many "articles" which did not exceed the 0.1% weight threshold will likely exceed the threshold.

European Union enforcement authorities have come under criticism for lack of vigorous enforcement of REACH.  A number of Non Government Organizations, NGOs, have repeatedly called for stepped up enforcement.  It now appears that there will be an increased level of REACH enforcement in 2018 as demonstrated by a newly released report by the Danish EPA. The Chemical Inspectorate targeted eight retailers.

During the campaign 41 toys and other products for small children containing soft plastic or PVC were selected for testing with focus on a total of 18 phthalates (13 of the phthalates are currently on the Candidate List). Testing of the products revealed that 13 of the 41 products, 32%, contained phthalates on the Candidate List in a concentration above 0.1% weight of an "article".

Retailers were requested to provide SVHC information, as required by REACH Article 33 the results were reported:

  • Correct information on the SVHC content was provided for one product.
  • Five products Retailers did not reply.
  • Six products containing phthalates the subject Retailers stated that no phthalate was present.
  • Two Retailers did not identify all phthalates present in the subject products.

Call to Action:

The REACH Regulation will see increased enforcement activities in 2018. The regulation targets chemicals and therefore has a much broader product scope than the EU RoHS Directive that is restricted to Electrical and Electronic Products.

If you manufacture products placed on the European Union Market, or a retailer who places those products on the market, you are required to identify any SVHCs in any "article" that is contained in those products, in excess of 0.1% weight of the individual "articles" contained in your products to have the SVHC information available. 

Failure to comply can result in, damage to your brand, recall of products, civil and monetary penalties. 

If you have questions about how the EU REACH regulations may affect your business, please contact us.

Today's expert blogger is Mr. Kenneth Stanvick, who has been providing regulatory expertise to the chemical industry for over 17 years. He has extensive experience navigating global environmental compliance regulations, including EU RoHS, EU WEEE, EU Battery Directive, EU REACH, Energy Star, China RoHS, and Cal Prop 65, UAE RoHS . Ken conducted numerous onsite training and educational seminars to product manufacturers and their suppliers in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, EU, North and South America. Additionally, he has developed and implemented "smart testing" to eliminate unnecessary material testing for restricted, banned or declarable substances based upon the identification of high risk materials, which reduced testing and saved customers time and money.