The European Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement (Forum) concluded that companies need to improve communication of hazardous substances in products. The Forum is a network of authorities responsible for the enforcement of the regulations REACH, CLP (Classification, Labeling and Packaging Regulation), biocidal products regulation (BPR), Prior Informed Consent (PIC), and persistent organic pollutants (POP) in the EU, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
In a Forum pilot enforcement project, 405 companies across 15 countries were inspected and 682 articles were checked. 84 (12 %) of the articles were found to contain substances listed as being of high concern to human health or the environment (SVHC Candidate List substances) in concentrations above 0.1 % weight by weight. The products included clothing, footwear, and home textiles; wires, cables and electronic accessories; plastic or textile floorings; wall coverings; and other plastic and rubber products.
The majority (88 %) of suppliers of these products are failing to communicate sufficient information to their customers about SVHCs in their products. 22 (51 %) out of 43 companies supplying articles directly to consumers were considered to have insufficient information available to fulfill their obligation to provide required information to consumers when requested. In almost all cases, only the name of the Candidate List substance was communicated in the supply chain. This may not be enough to allow safe handling.
For the 12 % of articles placed on the EU market containing Candidate List substances, the results of this project show a high rate of non-compliance. Improvement is needed if we want to make REACH work in all aspects, contribute to the objectives of the circular economy, and allow safe use by customers. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Secretariat and the Forum said that they will consider further actions that could improve the situation.
- European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Helsinki, Finland