Enhancement of the REACH requirements for (imported) articles- Options for improvement of the chemicals regulation

The study investigates how modifications of the REACH and CLP Regulations can contribute to a better protection of human health and the environment against impacts caused by substances of very high concern (SVHC) in articles.

The first part of the report is a legal opinion analysing the conformity with World Trade Organization WTO law (especially TBT Agreement) of an expansion of the REACH provisions concerning authorisation of SVHC to those substances present in articles imported from countries outside the EEA. The study concludes that an extended authorisation requirement which also covers imported articles with “very high concern” components is compatible with international trade laws. Whether an extension of the authorisation requirement is the paramount recommendable regulatory option did not fall within the scope of this study.

Additionally, the second part of the report (chapter 6) discusses how information and communication on SVHC in articles can be improved. Several practical options are suggested in this respect. These options refer to communication requirements under Art. 33 REACH (standardised communication format for articles, labelling of SVHC in articles, communication of further substances), obligations for substances in articles pursuant Art. 7 REACH and regarding registration of substances on their own, clarification of the reference point for the 0.1 threshold for SVHC in articles stipulated by Art.7 and Art. 33 and a registry for articles containing SVHC.

A draft version of the study report was discussed with representatives from competent authorities, science, stakeholders from companies and trade associations as well as environment and consumer protection.