Observe REACh now: EU increases enforcement pressure

Manufacturers and distributors must inform consumers on request about “substances of very high concern” in products within the legal deadline of 45 days. European supervisory authorities criticise the inadequate fulfilment of the obligation to provide information. The free Scan4Chem app now enables consumers to address enquiries to product suppliers. To be able to ensure that the deadline is met, it is advisable to make preparations.

As reported in the German business daily Handelsblatt, Members of the European Parliament have requested the Commission to tighten the European Chemicals legislation REACh. EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius had announced stricter rules and more investment in research to combat toxic chemicals in the environment. In addition, he indicated that the existing legislation should be monitored more closely. In future, in the opinion of Members of the European Parliament it should be possible to prohibit entire groups of substances rather than just individual ones.

Mandatory information to be provided by manufacturers and distributors
Manufacturers and distributors must inform consumers on request about “substances of very high concern” in products within the legal deadline of 45 days. To be able to ensure that the deadline is met, it is advisable to make preparations. “Substances of very high concern” are those that are carcinogenic, endocrine-disrupting or problematic for the environment, for instance. Mandatory information must be provided if such substances are contained in a product – such as household objects, textiles, furniture, electrical appliances, sports articles, toys – in a concentration of more than 0.1 per cent by weight. Currently (as of June 2020), 209 substances are on the ECHA’s candidate list.

Enforcement of the obligation to provide information via the Scan4Chem app
European supervisory authorities criticise the inadequate fulfilment of the obligation to provide information. 88 per cent of suppliers of products containing substances of very high concern did not sufficiently fulfil their obligation to provide information or did not do so at all. The German Federal Environment Agency’s free Scan4Chem app without any advertising now enables consumers to address enquiries to product suppliers. The app was already developed by the Federal Environment Agency in 2017 and completely revised in a relaunch at the end of 2019. The new Scan4Chem app is now available in 12 languages in numerous European countries. All country versions of the app are connected to a database into which product suppliers can enter their information on substances of very high concern contained in their products. Further information on Scan4Chem is available here.

Observe REACh now
In order to be prepared for Scan4Chem enquiries from consumers, our affiliate TMK Retail Service & Consulting GmbH is pleased to offer you tailor-made services such as the examination of technical documents in order to clarify whether sufficient test certificates on the subject of REACh are available. TMK identifies the product-related risk-based parameters to be tested and helps you to document the products in such a manner that you can answer Scan4Chem enquiries reliably and within the legal deadlines provided. TMK will also assist you in preparing a REACh declaration.

Boris Berndt at TMK will be glad to answer any questions you may have on the subject of REACh; please call +49/40/54090410-8 or send an e-mail to info@retailconsult.info.

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