Four of every ten of the companies inspected did not comply with the obligations related to the use of chemicals that require authorization as laid down in REACH. That is the finding of inspections carried out during 2021 in 28 countries of the European Economic Area as part of the EU implementation project known as REF-9.
In total, the inspections examined more than 400 companies to determine if the chemicals that required authorization were, in fact, used in the manner defined in the authorization. They also wanted to know if the ECHA was informed of the use of the chemicals and if the safety data sheets (SDS) supplied to all the companies in the supply chain had the required information.
Some 31 of the 59 chemicals currently listed in Authorization List in Annex XIV were involved in the inspections. The researchers found that, in fact, vendors failed to provide the required information to the rest of the supply chain in an SDS. Point 15 of the SDS must list the authorized uses of a substance.
Most of the violations were related to lead sulfochromate yellow (use as a pigment) and to strontium chromate and chromium trioxide (use as a surface treatment or in chrome plating). Three percent of companies actually marketed chemicals without having a valid authorization.
Overall, the inspectors took 254 enforcement actions, including written notices, administrative orders, fines, and, in some cases, criminal charges.
Background: Authorization obligation and requirements
The authorization requirement applies only to substances listed in Annex XIV of REACH. In principle, their use and placement on the market is prohibited. However, a company can apply for authorization for a specific use. However, such an authorization is granted only for specific uses and is subject to certain conditions.
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