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NEA newsletter-202101

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

The 75th restriction entry has been added to REACH ANNEX XVII
On December 15, 2020, the EU published Regulation (EU) 2020/2081 on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ),adding the 75th entry to the Annex XVII of REACH regulation, which sets restrictions on hazardous substance in mixtures used for tattooing purposes. This entry restricts substances classified as any of the following in Part 3 of Annex VI to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, substances listed in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, substances listed in Annex IV to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 for which a condition is specified in at least one of the columns g, h and i of the table in that Annex, and substances listed in Appendix 13 to Annex XVII of REACH regulation. These substances may be used in mixtures used for tattooing generally consist of colorants and auxiliary ingredients. This restriction will come into effect on January 4, 2022.

The EU revised multiple contents in Annex XVII to REACH regulation
On December 16, 2020, the EU published Regulation (EU) 2020/2096 in its Official Journal, several contents in Annex XVII to REACH regulation were revised. The amendments in Regulation (EU) 2020/2096 mainly include: deleting Entry 22 (pentachlorophenol (PCP), its salts and esters), Entry 67 (decabromodiphenyl ether, Deca-BDE) and Entry 68 (perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts, and PFOA-related substances) as these are now regulated under Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulations (POPs). Meanwhile, contents of several entries has been revised to make the restriction requirements more explicit. In addition, the regulation also updated the test methods for Azo dyes of Entry 43. The Regulation (EU) 2020/2096 shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The deletion of Entry 68 shall apply from 4 July 2020, and the regulation has also set the effective date for several updates of Appendix to Annex XVII of REACH Regulation.

The EU RoHS consultation project Pack 22 has officially been launched
A new RoHS consultation project (Pack 22) for the assessment of nine exemptions listed in Annex III of Directive 2011/65/EU started on December 15, 2020. The requests for the renewal of nine exemptions 6(a)/6(a)-I, 6(b)/6(b)-I, 6(b)-II, 6(c), 7(a), 7(c)-I and 7(c)-II of Annex III will be evaluated. These exemptions include 6(c)“Copper alloy containing up to 4 % lead by weight”, 7(a)“Lead in high melting temperature type solders (i.e. leadbased alloys containing 85 % by weight or more lead)”, which were widely applied in EE industry. The stakeholder consultation was launched on December 23, 2020, and will last until March 3, 2021. The project is expected to end on July 27, 2021, and the exemptions under evaluation shall remain valid until the evaluation results are published. In the event that the application for renewal of an exemption is rejected or that an exemption is revoked, the exemption shall expire at the earliest 12 months, and at the latest 18 months. SGS suggests relevant enterprises pay attention to the latest status of the renewal of these exemptions, and make preparations in advance.

Saudi Arabia to hasten adoption of RoHS-like regulation
Saudi Arabia's government is hastening the approval of a technical regulation to restrict certain substances in electronics and electrical equipment. The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation (SASO), which issued the draft regulation on 20 November, 2020,  and it is expected to be approved under an 'urgent action procedure' on 7 January, 2021. The regulation is identical to its regional counterpart, originally published in 2018, which is still under consideration by member countries of trade bloc of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Unlike the EU’s RoHS Directive, the Saudi regulation requires all products to undergo a conformity assessment before being placed on the market, to prove that the chemical thresholds as well as other requirements are met. This procedure involves obtaining a certificate of conformity and related test report from the manufacturer, and submitting them to the authorities. Companies must also compile a technical file with a declaration of conformity from the supplier, as well as a risk assessment, warnings and manuals for the safe and proper use of the product.

China Issues National Standard "Guidelines for the Control of the Use of Key Chemical Substances in Consumer Products"
On November 19, 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation and the National Standardization Administration issued the national standard GB/T 39498-2020 "Guidelines for the Control of the Use of Key Chemical Substances in Consumer Products" to provide control recommendations for the use of key chemical substances in consumer products. The standard refers to the current EU REACH regulations, STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, EN71 and etc., comprehensively considers the chemical indicators in China’s existing consumer product standards, and combines the development status of the country’s consumer product industry to formulate standards that suit the country's conditions. In the process of compiling this standard, an in-depth analysis of the above-mentioned domestic and foreign reference materials was conducted. Existing consumer product standards in China and abroad were also compared to screen out harmful chemical substances in consumer products of international concern as the prohibited and restricted objects of this standard. This standard will become effective on June 1, 2021.

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