Germany Announces Tougher Penalties for REACH Non Compliance
A new German chemicals sanction regulation (ChemSanktionsV) will lead to harsher penalties for any contaminants contained in products that are sold in Germany. This will apply to restrictions that are listed in REACH Annex XVII, which covers the following types of substances:
- the use of forbidden Azo dyes in textiles and leather
- excessive nickel release from metal items with prolonged skin contact
- cadmium in plastics or jewellery
All violations of this regulation are now covered by § 5 of the new German chemicals sanction regulation and are classified as criminal offenses. Any infringement will be penalised by detention, criminal or administrative fines.
REACH Annex XVII sets out the list of restrictions on the manufacture, placing on the market and use of certain dangerous chemical substances, mixtures and articles. The annex currently consists of about 60 entries of restricted substances or groups of substances
Furthermore, in § 6 of the German chemicals sanction regulation (ChemSanktionsV) any missing, misleading or inaccurate information obligations are considered offences. Any failure to comply with the duty of information requirements is subject to sanctions.
If in any article the amount of SVHC (substances of very high concern listed in Annex XIV or in the current candidate list) exceeds 0.1 % (w/w) there is an obligation (Article 33(2)) to provide information to the recipients of the articles (where the recipient is not a consumer) to enable safe use of the article.
Article 33(2) states that consumers have the right to request information about the presence of SVHC in an article. Where this request is made, the supplier is obliged to provide information to the consumer, free of charge and within 45 days of the request.
This obligation to communicate information on SVHC candidate list also applies to packaging materials as this is considered to be a separate "article" under the definitions of the REACH regulation.
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