EU – Intent to Restrict PFAS Has Been Submitted by Five EU Countries

Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden submitted on 15 July 2021 their intent to restrict PFAS. Proposals are expected to be submitted to ECHA by 15 July 2022 and will restrict the manufacture and placing on the market of PFAS.

The five countries are open for stakeholder comments until 19 September 2021, the questionnaire is accessible from the REACH-CLP-Biozid Helpdesk3.

The ECHA website provides the scope of the incoming restrictions, “any chemical with at least one perfluorinated methyl group (-CF3) or at least one perfluorinated methylene group (-CF2-), –), including branched fluoroalkyl groups and substances containing ether linkages, fluoropolymers and side chain fluorinated polymers.”

UK – UK RoHS (and Compliance of the Northern Ireland Protocol)

A representative of DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) spoke about the implementation of RoHS in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Some minor changes have occurred with the implementation of UK RoHS. Distributors in the UK who were selling imported products in the UK (imported via an EU country) are now importers instead of distributors. In addition, in selling from the US to Northern Ireland, products must meet EU requirements (the UKCA mark is not required); from NI qualifying Northern Ireland goods[1] can enter GB. Inversely, NI businesses importing goods from GB will need to conform to EU importer obligations. Exemption decisions in the EU will automatically comply in NI.

UK RoHS currently maintains the same restrictions (on 10 substances[2]) as EU RoHS. These restrictions have been applicable for most equipment since 22 July 2019 — the exception being medical devices and monitoring & control instruments for which they will enter into force at the end of 2021 in the UK (22 July 2021 in the EU).

Compliance Marking (CE and UKCA)

The representative said that the UKCA mark does not need to be on products on the market until the beginning of 2023, in the interim they must be accompanied by paperwork demonstrating proof of compliance.

If CE applications were made to the EU before the end of the Implementation period, there is no need to re-apply with DEFRA; the UK has put in a fast-track process to review the EU’s decision and decide whether it will adopt the commission’s decision.

Packaging WEEE and Batteries Reviews

Consultations on WEEE and batteries will occur before end of 2021. DEFRA highlighted that significant changes should be expected in these areas as of 2024, which includes new obligations on online marketplaces; reforms on household and non-household obligations; and emphasis on measures to stimulate the circular economy and incentivise eco-design.

Compliance with UK RoHS

A representative of OPSS said that they have tested 366 targeted products for RoHS compliance ─ 262 of which failed. The failures of the products were caused by issues with:

  • Lead (128/262)
  • Labelling (90/262)
  • Phtalates – DEHP, BDP, DBP & DIBP (52/262)
  • Hexavalent chromium (11/262)
  • Cadmium (4/262)
  • Mercury & PBB/PBDE (0/262)

Tests were performed by accredited test houses in the UK.

[1] Qualifying NI goods, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/moving-qualifying-goods-from-northern-ireland-to-the-rest-of-the-uk

[2] Using the UKCA Mark, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rohs-compliance-and-guidance

UK – UK REACH

On 31 December 2020 all restrictions, substances on the Candidate List, and substances on the Authorisation List that were in force were carried over from EU REACH to UK REACH. Priorities will be identified annually for the UK REACH WORK Program, as a coordinated effort by UK, Welsh, and Scottish governments. The work that the EA (Environmental Agency) and HSE (Health and Safety Executive) do each year will be articulated in the ‘UK REACH Work Program’ ─ a document, the first of which is now published on the HSE website.

Note: SCIP does not apply to the UK ─ there exists a UK SVHC list (Annexe XIV list ─ on the HSE website); DEFRA is attempting to determine how to best address substance information in the future.

HSE (and EA) are preparing restriction dossiers on the use and/or sale of lead ammunition, and on substances in tattoo inks and in permanent makeup ─ a restriction will be introduced if evidence shows an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment, and after a public consultation. EA and HSE are investigating the risks posed by PFAS through RMOA (Regulatory Management Options Analysis).UK – UK RoHS (and Compliance of the Northern Ireland Protocol)

Candidate List Updated with Eight Hazardous Chemicals

The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) added eight additional substances to the EU REACH Candidate List on July 8, 2021. The new Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) entries are listed in Table 1. There is now a total of 219 SVHCs on the REACH Candidate List.

The IEC 62474 Validation Team has reviewed the substances for potential uses in EEE – SVHCs that were identified by the IEC 62474 Validation Team as possible EEE constituents are shown with their typical EEE applications. The IEC 62474 DSL was updated to include the three SVHCs on July 18, 2021.

The full REACH Candidate List is available from the ECHA website[1]:

Table 1: SVHCs added to REACH Candidate List (July 2021)

Substance NameEC no.CAS no.Examples of use(s)Typical EEE Applications
2-(4-tert-butylbenzyl)propionaldehyde and its individual stereoisomers--Cleaning agents, cosmetics, in scented articles, polishes and wax blends.
Orthoboric acid, sodium salt237-560-213840-56-7Not registered under REACH. May be used as solvent and corrosion inhibitor.As flame retardant/adhesive ingredients for wood, paper, cotton and other plant-derived materials; glass manufacturing
2,2-bis(bromomethyl)propane1,3-diol (BMP);

2,2-dimethylpropan-1-ol, tribromo derivative/3-bromo-2,2-bis(bromomethyl)-1-propanol (TBNPA);

2,3-dibromo-1-propanol (2,3-DBPA)
221-967-7;

253-057-0;

202-480-9
3296-90-0;

36483-57-5;

1522-92-5;

96-13-9
BMP: manufacture of polymer resins and in one component foam (OCPF) application.

TBNPA: polymer production manufacture of plastics products, including compounding and conversion and as an intermediate.

DBPA: registered as an intermediate.
Glutaral203-856-5111-30-8Biocides, leather tanning, x-ray film processing, cosmetics.
Medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCP) UVCB substances consisting of more than or equal to 80% linear chloroalkanes with carbon chain lengths within the range from C14 to C17--Flame retardants, plasticising additives in plastics, sealants, rubber and textilesFlame retardant and/or plasticizer in PVC and rubber, paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, textiles and fabric
Phenol, alkylation products (mainly in para position) with C12-rich branched alkyl chains from oligomerisation, covering any individual isomers and/or combinations thereof (PDDP)--Preparation of lubricant additive materials and of fuel system cleaners.
1,4-dioxane204-661-8123-91-1Solvent.
4,4'-(1-methylpropylidene)bisphenol201-025-177-40-7Not registered under REACH. May be used in manufacture of phenolic and polycarbonate resin.Antioxidant for plasticizer and PVC, ink, paint and adhesive; used as monomer in epoxy resins and plastics

Note from ECHA: due to a technical error, the EC entry 251-823-9, EC name: tetrahydro-4-methylphthalic anhydride was mistakenly associated to an earlier Candidate List entry Hexahydromethylphthalic anhydride [including cis- and trans- stereo isomeric forms and all possible combinations of the isomers]. The associated substance tetrahydro-4-methylphthalic anhydride has now been removed from the Candidate List. The substance infocard and brief profile are being updated accordingly. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

[1] REACH Candidate List, http://echa.europa.eu/candidate-list-table

EU – SCIP Dissemination Portal to Go Live at “End of Summer”

At the SCIP IT User group meeting on May 27th, ECHA announced that they expect to have the SCIP dissemination portal online by “the end of summer” – they would not clarify exactly what they mean by end of summer.

ECD Compliance recommends that clients have their SCIP plans (either SCIP submissions or datasets ready to provide to importers and distributors) completed before the portal goes online.

For additional information on SCIP, ECHA provides information and guidance about SCIP on the SCIP website[1].

[1] ECHA SCIP website, https://echa.europa.eu/scip

Canada – Restriction of DBDPE and Dechlorane-plus

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has indicated its intention to restrict the organic flame retardants Dechlorane-Plus (DP) and Decabromodiphenyl Ethane (DBDPE) (CASRN  84852-53-9)[1]. Both are commonly used in EEE products, particularly wire and cable products and to a lesser degree power boxes and enclosures, industrial adhesives, and industrial rubber products.

[1] Canada DBDPE risk management, https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/evaluating-existing-substances/certain-organic-flame-retardants-grouping-risk-management-approach-for-benzene-ethanediyl-bis-pentabromo-decabromodiphenyl-ethane-dbdpe.html#toc26

USA – EPA Guidance on Articles with LCPFAC in Surface Coatings

The US EPA has published a guidance document on reporting new uses for Long-Chain Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylate and Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate Substances (PFAS) in Imported Articles with Surface Coatings. The requirement to report comes from a SNUR (significant new use rule) addressing Long-Chain Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylate (LCPFAC) and Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate Substances (PFAS). The guidance document is available on the EPA website[1].

The statements in this document are intended solely as guidance to aid in complying with the EPA regulation “Long-Chain Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylate and Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate Chemical Substances Significant New Use Rule” and the implementing regulations in 40 CFR part 721.

SNURS under U.S. TSCA have typically only applied to substances and mixtures; however, the EPA appears to now be using SNURs to also control substances in articles.  SNURs are a mechanism employed by the EPA that requires manufacturers and importers to notify the EPA of certain substances that are used for a purpose that has not been previously recorded.  Organizations must report the use to EPA at least 90 days before manufacturing or importing occurs.

The Part III Guidance for Articles Subject to the SNUR states that electronic components, light bulbs, and solar panels are examples of articles that are subject to the SNUR.

The full text of the implementing regulation can be found at 40 CFR Part 721 and also in the Federal Register (85 FR 45109, July 27, 2020) and in the rulemaking docket, identified under EPA docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0225 and available online at https://www.regulations.gov.

The document provides a list of business types that may be covered by the guide.  The list includes manufacturers of computer and other electronic products, appliances, and components (NAICS codes 324 and 335) as well as manufacturers of surgical and medical instruments (NAICS 339112).

Impact on EEE Manufacturers

To know whether the SNUR imposes a notification requirement (or not), manufacturers and importers need to know exactly which LCPFAC and PFAS substances are used in components and then need to check whether the application of those substances in their components are already registered.

A list of typical EEE applications vs. substances that require notification has not been compiled, making this SNUR a significant challenge for finished product manufacturers and especially SMEs.

[1] US EPA SNUR on LCPFAC, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/12/07/2020-26003/significant-new-use-rules-on-certain-chemical-substances-20-2b

EU – ECHA Finalizes its Recommendation for REACH Authorisation List

On April 14, 2021, ECHA finalized its tenth recommendation[1] of SVHCs to be added to the REACH Annex XIV Authorisation List. The SVHCs are already on the REACH Candidate List; adding them to the Authorisation List will restrict their manufacture and use in the EU unless the manufacturer has an explicit authorization from ECHA for the intended application. The recommendation is now with the European Commission and EU members states for a final decision.

The recommendation includes the seven SVHCs listed in Table 1. Once the SVHCs are added to Annex XIV List, manufacturers and users in the EU will have a transition period (typically between 18 months to 3 years) to either phase out the use of the substance or obtain a company and application specific authorisation from ECHA.

Table 1: ECHA Recommendations for REACH Annex XIV

NameEC NumberCAS NumberTypical EEE Applications (from IEC 62474)
Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4)209-136-7556-67-2Siloxanes are monomers used to manufacture silicones. They may remain as unreacted in silicone polymers and copolymers, used in many electrotechnical equipment product categories.
Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5)208-764-9541-02-6Siloxanes are monomers used to manufacture silicones. Residuals may remain in silicone polymers and copolymers.
Dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6)208-762-8540-97-6Siloxanes are monomers used to manufacture silicones. They may remain as unreacted in silicone polymers and copolymers, used in many electrotechnical equipment product categories.
Terphenyl, hydrogenated262-967-761788-32-7Plasticizers, sealants, epoxy adhesives, paints and heat sinks
Dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP)201-545-984-61-7Plasticizer, dye, pigment, paint, ink, manufacture of adhesive, lubricant
Disodium octaborate234-541-012008-41-2Wooden veneer sheets and pressed wooden panels (as a constituent within the starch adhesive), as a flame retardant, as stabilizer in aminoplastic resins, and as a biocide in professional and industrial wood preservation.
Benzene-1,2,4-tricarboxylic acid 1,2-anhydride (trimellitic anhydride, TMA)209-008-0552-30-7 N/A

[1] ECHA recommendation for REACH Authorisation List, https://echa.europa.eu/-/echa-proposes-seven-substances-for-authorisation-to-protect-people-and-the-environment

EU –Proposal to Restrict Dechlorane Plus

Norway has submitted a proposal to restrict the manufacture, use and placing on the market of Dechlorane Plus™ as substances, constituents of other substances, mixtures and articles[1]. Dechlorane Plus is a substance group that was added to the REACH Candidate List in January 2018. For the EEE industry the most common application is as a flame retardant for electric wire and cable covering material.

[1] ECHA registry of intentions for Dechlorance Plus, https://echa.europa.eu/registry-of-restriction-intentions/-/dislist/details/0b0236e184a168c4?utm_source=echa-weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly&utm_content=20210414&_cldee=d2phZ2VyQGdvZWNkLmNvbQ%3d%3d&recipientid=lead-161102cfc0e0e71180fa005056952b31-e90de70ad95349898c9ca308b42b5d18&esid=b13ecc42-f79c-eb11-812a-005056b9310e

EPEAT – Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Network Equipment

The Global Electronics Council (GEC) and TÜV Rheinland finalized and published their network equipment sustainability criteria[1]. The criteria will be used for implementing the EPEAT ecolabel program. EPEAT is used as a green procurement tool by several governments and large businesses.

[1] Network equipment sustainability criteria, https://greenelectronicscouncil.us15.list-manage.com/track/click?u=bf0a49a26d86cf6fe6c3f22f9&id=7e4e8a301c&e=0cd5d987ca