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2021-10-20

NEA newsletter-202110

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

ECHA published the 26th batch SVHC consultation list
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published a new batch of the SVHC consultation list on September 3, 2021. Four substances are subjected to public consultation, including (±)-1,7,7-trimethyl-3-[(4-methylphenyl)methylene]bicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-one covering any of the individual isomers and/or combinations thereof (4-MBC); 6,6'-di-tert-butyl-2,2'-methylenedi-p-cresol (DBMC); S-(tricyclo[5.2.1.0'2,6]deca-3-en-8(or 9)-yl) O-(isopropyl or isobutyl or 2-ethylhexyl) O-(isopropyl or isobutyl or 2-ethylhexyl) phosphorodithioate; tris(2-methoxyethoxy)vinylsilane. The consultation ended on October 18, 2021. The adopted substances will be included in the 26th batch SVHC candidate list.

ECHA published the information of article notifications in SCIP database
On September 14, 2021, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) officially published the information of article notifications in SCIP database. The information will allow consumers to make more informed purchasing choices and help waste treatment operators to further develop the reuse of articles and the recycling of materials. According to the requirements of EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD), suppliers of articles containing any SVHC with a concentration above 0.1% in the EU market shall provide relevant information to the SCIP database established by ECHA from January 5, 2021. The ECHA officially launched the SCIP database on October 28, 2020, and as early as March 2021, the SCIP database has received more than 7.5 million notifications from about 3600 enterprises. However,  the public query function has not been opened yet. The information disclosed this time shows that about 6000 companies have successfully fulfilled the notification obligation of SVHC in articles, and more than 4 million article notification information are available for inquiries, of which electronic and electrical equipment and its components are the most common product types. In the SCIP database, users can search the data by article name or brand, product category, type of material or the chemical name. With the disclosure of notification data, relevant enterprises will face great compliance pressure.

US EPA further extends the PIP (3:1) compliance date
On September 3, 2021, before the end of the 180-day “No Action Assurance” period, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) again extended the compliance dates for the prohibitions on manufacturing, processing and distribution of articles containing phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) and the associated recordkeeping requirement of PIP (3:1) to March 8, 2022. This action is to ensure supply chains are not disrupted for key consumer and commercial goods. PBT substances refer to a class of substances which are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has specified the restriction requirements of the PBT substances. To reduce the risk of exposures to US citizens, the EPA issued five final rules on January 6, 2021 to restricted five PBT substances, and PIP (3:1) is one of them. On March 8, 2021, the EPA announced a 180-day “No Action Assurance” to suspend the ban on the processing and distribution of PIP (3:1) in articles. The latest extension plan for PIP (3:1) involves mobile phones, laptops and other electronic and electrical equipment; Industrial and commercial equipment for transportation, life sciences and semiconductor production; and other consumer goods and commodities.

The UK extends the CE mark acceptance period
On August 24, 2021, the United Kingdom (UK) updated the rules for the use of the UKCA mark. Until January 1, 2023, products placed in Great Britain will still be accepted to use the CE mark. From January 1, 2023, products placed in the UK must use the UKCA mark, and companies are encouraged to start using the UKCA logo as soon as possible. On January 31, 2020, the UK officially left the European Union (EU) and stipulated the transition period of Brexit from January 31, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The new product compliance mark, the UKCA mark, has been officially launched in Great Britain (the United Kingdom, including England, Wales and Scotland) from January 1, 2021. At the same time, the "Northern Ireland Protocol" has come into effect. The rules for placing products on the Northern Ireland market are consistent with the relevant EU regulations. According to the original rules, products with CE mark placed in GB before January 1, 2022 can still be accepted. The UK again extends the CE mark acceptance period, and thus SGS suggests relevant enterprises to pay attention to the latest requirements of regulations, and to cope with them in advance.

IEC published three new testing standards
Recently, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) published three testing standards: IEC 62321-2:2021 “Determination of certain substances in electrotechnical products - Part 2: Disassembly, disjointment and mechanical sample preparation”; IEC 62321-3-3:2021 “Determination of certain substances in electrotechnical products - Part 3-3: Screening - Polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and phthalates in polymers by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry using a pyrolyser/thermal desorption accessory (Py/TDGCMS)”; IEC 62321-9:2021 “Determination of certain substances in electrotechnical products - Part 9: Hexabromocyclododecane in polymers by chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)”. Among them, IEC 62321-2:2021 updated the methods for disassembly, disjointment and mechanical sample preparation for electronic and electrical products, IEC 62321-3-3:2021 proposes the use of thermal pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Py/TD-GC-MS) to analyze polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), and phthalates (BBP, DIBP, DBP, DEHP, DNOP, DINP, DIDP) in electronic and electrical products and IEC 62321-9:2021 proposes the determination of hexabromocyclododecane in polymers by GC-MS.
 

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