As part of the new EU implementation project, REACH-EN-FORCE 13 (REF-13), beginning in 2025, EU inspectors will check to see if products sold online meet legal requirements. The inspectors will focus on compliance with REACH restrictions for products such as toys, household goods, and chemicals and whether mixtures are classified, labeled, and packaged in accordance with the CLP Regulation.
The current REF-13 means that online sales of products are once again the focus of the inspectors. The renewed inspections respond to the poor results of those performed during REF-8, which were published in the final report at the end of 2021. At that time, inspectors found that three-quarters of the online products inspected violated either REACH, the CLP Regulation, or the Biocidal Products Regulation.
Katja vom Hofe, chair of the ECHA Enforcement Forum, cited the changed legal situation as another reason to revisit legal compliance for online products. The rules for online sales are stricter for two reasons. First, because the Digital Services Act was adopted on November 16, 2022, and will apply EU-wide as of February 17, 2024. Second, because the Council approved the General Product Safety Regulation at the end of April, which will enter into force twenty days after its publication.
The final report for the REACH-EN-FORCE-13 project should appear in 2026. The exact scope of the inspections will be determined next year during the planning phase.
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