In a current judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union has established stricter regulations for the duty of notification of companies. The judgment refers to articles which include substances of very high concern (SVHCs) according to the European chemicals regulation, REACH. From now on, the defined threshold will also apply if it is exceeded in only one article contained as a component in a complex product.
“This verdict will cause a significant rise in the number of cases in which companies have a duty of notification”, says Dr Fritz Prechtl, Environmental Services business area, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH. According to the REACH regulation, manufacturers and suppliers must inform commercial buyers and consumers if products contain a substance of very high concern in a concentration above 0.1 per cent of their mass. In the future this will apply not only to whole articles such as computers, but also to their components, such as the housing or circuit board. The European Court of Justice thus follows the “once an article, always an article” principle.
Companies should now take steps to ensure legal compliance and improve their efficiency
Dr Fritz Prechtl says, “Companies must make sure to address these new requirements thoroughly to minimise their liability risks. On a case-by-case basis, they should also explore the existing possibilities of making their chemicals management even more efficient.” TÜV SÜD assists companies with the implementation of the REACH regulation – in compliance with the law, efficiently and cost-effectively. Within the scope of their Chemicals Compliance Service, TÜV SÜD’s experts assess and improve the chemicals management of companies – from procurement to production, storage and distribution.
At present, based on their characteristics,163 SVHCs are subject to the duty of notification according to Art. 33 of the REACH regulation. The new judgment was prompted by legal proceedings brought by several professional associations against the French Council of State.
Press-contact: Dr Thomas Oberst