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NEA newsletter-202104

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

ECHA published the 25th batch SVHC consultation list
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published a new batch of the SVHC consultation list on Mar 9, 2021. Eight substances are subjected to public consultation in the list including 1,4-dioxane; 2,2-bis(bromomethyl)propane1,3-diol/ 2,2-dimethylpropan-1-ol, tribromo derivative/3-bromo-2,2-bis(bromomethyl)-1-propanol/ 2,3-dibromo-1-propanol; 2-(4-tert-butylbenzyl)propionaldehyde and its individual stereoisomers; 4,4'-(1-methylpropylidene)bisphenol; Glutaral; Medium-chain chlorinated paraffins; Orthoboric acid, sodium salt; Phenol, alkylation products (mainly in para position) with C12-rich branched or linear alkyl chains from oligomerisation, covering any individual isomers and/ or combinations thereof (PDDP). The deadline for consultation is Apr 23, 2021. The substances whose proposals are adopted will be included in the 25th SVHC candidate list.

EU updates limits for PCP under POP regulation
On February 23, 2021, the EU published Regulation (EU) 2021/277 to set a limit for PCP, its salts and esters. The amendment sets a limit of no more than 5 mg/kg for PCP, its salts and esters in substances, mixtures or articles and has become effective on March 15, 2021. PCP, its salts and esters has been listed in the Annex I of POP regulation before. The amendment clarifies the specific limit and provided a more precise requirement of the substance.

EU updates limit requirement for HFRs in electronic displays
On February 23, 2021, the EU published Regulation (EU) 2021/341 amending a series of regulations including Regulation (EU) 2019/2021 on ecodesign requirements for electronic displays. For the amendments of Regulation (EU) 2019/2021, the category of "Industrial Display" is newly added for the inapplicable cases. The definition of industrial display is also given. The amendment also clarified the prohibition requirements for halogenated flame retardants (HFR) in the enclosures and stands of electronic displays: 1) the HFRs identified in RoHS directive do not exceed the relevant limit defined in RoHS directive; 2) for other HFRs, the halogen content for any homogenous material should not exceed 0.1%, unless there is relevant evidence that the halogen content is not attributable to flame retardants.

Several EU member states prohibit food contact bamboo-melamine plastics
In 2020, the Expert Working Group on Food Contact Materials (FCM) published a note on the use and placing on the market of food contact plastic materials and articles containing ground bamboo ('bamboo-melamine') or other similar constituents. The note concludes that ground bamboo, bamboo flour, and many similar substances such as corn are not in the Union List of Authorized Substances (Union List) in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 10/2011. Food contact plastics containing these unauthorized additives do not comply with the compositional requirements of the Food Contact Plastics Regulation. In February, 2021, a joint letter from the authorities of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux countries) notified business operators to withdraw food contact 'bamboo-melamine' plastics from the EU market immediately. The Benelux authorities will take enforcement actions from the second quarter of 2021 and will pursue infringement actions for non-compliance. Additionally, several EU Member State authorities such as Finland, Ireland and Spain have issued similar announcements on it, while some RASFF notifications in 2020 have shown bamboowares to be rejected by Austria border control.

South Korea proposes to restrict BPA in thermal paper
In January 2021, the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) published Notice 2021-0027 announcing a proposal to establish the safety standards for household goods (thermal paper) that are subject to safety standards under Article 28 to the Electrical Appliances and Household Goods Safety Management Act. The latest Notification proposes to restrict bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal paper under new Annex 25, a standard that stipulates test methods and requirements for safety and labelling. According to World Trade Organization (WTO) document 21-1734 of March 1, 2021, BPA in thermal paper shall be exceed 0.02%, while the proposed date of adoption is May 2021, or later, and the proposed date of entry into force is May 2022, or later. Comments has been accepted until March 30, 2021.

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