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NEA Newsletter-202012

Latest Progress in Environmental Protection Laws and Regulations, Product Recall Case, and Experts Q&A

The ECHA has officially launched the SCIP database
On October 28, 2020, the ECHA officially launched the SCIP database, and the latest version of IT tool IUCLID 6.5 for data preparation. According to the Directive (EU) 2018/851 amending the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, enterprises who put articles containing more than 0.1% of any SVHC substance on the EU market are required to submit SCIP notifications, and upload them to the SCIP database in IUCLID format. Consumers and waste operators can access and use the data from February 2021 onwards. The database can assist the waste treatment operators when dealing with waste and recycled materials, improve the risk management of hazardous chemicals in waste recovery, and promote the recycling of non-toxic materials. Apart from strengthening the information communication in the supply chain under REACH, the database also helps consumers choose safer products and accelerate the substitution progress of SVHC substances.

China intends to regulate certain heavy metals in printing ink
On September 23, 2020, China submitted notification G/TBT/N/CHN/1466 to the WTO about the mandatory national standard ‘Limits of certain heavy metal in printing ink (draft for approval)’. This standard is the general safety technical requirements for certain heavy metals in the process of ink production and use, aiming to protect human health and reduce environmental pollution and damage. The standard stipulates the maximum limit requirements, sample preparation and determination methods for lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium and eight soluble heavy metals (Antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium). The standard will come into effect 12 months after approval, and receive public comments within 60 days after the date of notification. 

China intends to standardize the content of mercury, cadmium and lead in zinc anode primary batteries
On November 9, 2020, China submitted notification G/TBT/N/CHN/1503 to the WTO about the mandatory national standard ‘Content limitations of mercury, cadmium and lead for zinc anode primary battery (draft for approval)’. The standard stipulates the content limitations of mercury, cadmium and lead for the standardized zinc manganese dioxide battery, zinc silver oxide battery and zinc air battery, and the production, testing and acceptance of the above batteries and batteries composed of multiple single cells. This standard will replace the two mandatory national standards GB 24428-2009 and GB 24427-2009, which will impose more stringent requirements on the content of certain heavy metals in zinc anode primary batteries. Public comments are accepted within 60 days after the publication of the notification.

The EU call for evidence to add alkanes, C14-17, chloro into the SVHC list
On November 11, 2020, the EU opened a public consultation, call for evidence to add alkanes, C14-17, chloro into the SVHC list. and requested the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to submit an Annex XV SVHC dossier before the submission date on the 8th of February 2021. Information is requested on the manufacture, import, use, exposure and environmental release of Alkanes, C14-17, chloro in the EU/EEA, as well as on the possibility for substitution (potential alternative substances or techniques) and on the socio-economic impacts of substitution. Information on the structure of the supply chain is also of interest. The deadline for providing input is December 15, 2020.

Norway released an investigation report on hazardous substances in consumer goods sold online
On November 9, 2020, the Norwegian Environment Agency published a second investigation report in 2020 on hazardous substances in consumer goods sold online, involving electrical and electronic equipments (EEEs) and  sports and leisure goods. According to the report, a large number of non-compliant cases are still present. The products examined included headphones, toys with lights and clocks, swimming and exercise equipments, bath toys and etc., which were bought from 22 different websites by the Norwegian Environment Agency in April 2020, and were sent to third party laboratories for testing. The non-compliant products contained excessive hazardous substances such as DEHP, DBP, SCCPs, Cr(VI), and regulations including RoHS, REACH, POPs were involved. Besides, many products were found lacking relevant mandatory marking. The Norwegian Environment Agency has banned the sale of the non-compliance products. SGS suggests enterprises using e-commerce to promote sales business to stay focus on law enforcement trends of relevant countries and pay attention to the compliance of the products.

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