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NEA newsletter-202308

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

Restriction requirements of formaldehyde release was newly added to Annex XVII of EU REACH
On July 17, 2023, the European Union published Regulation (EU) 2023/1464 in the Official Journal to amend Annex XVII to the EU REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, the new Entry 77 on formaldehyde (CAS No. 50-00-0) released was added. According to the amendment, after August 6, 2026, the concentration of formaldehyde released from those articles shall not exceeds 0.062 mg/m3 for furniture and wood-based articles or 0.080 mg/m3 for articles other than furniture and wood-based articles. And after August 6, 2027, the concentration of formaldehyde in the interior of those road vehicles shall not exceeds 0.062 mg/m3. In addition, the amendment also specifies certain situations where provisions do not apply. The amendment shall enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal.

A new exemption entry was added to Annex IV of EU RoHS
On July 11, 2023, the European Union published Directive (EU) 2023/1437 in its Official Journal, the Entry 49 was added to Annex IV of EU RoHS Directive (2011/65/EU). The highlights of Directive (EU) 2023/1437 are as following:

Entry Exemption scope Scope of product category and validity period
Annex IV, Entry 49. Mercury in melt pressure transducers for capillary rheometers at temperatures over 300 °C and pressures over 1000 bar. Applies to category 9 and expires on 31 December 2025
Directive (EU) 2023/1437 shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal.

California proposes to list three chemicals as carcinogens under Prop 65
California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) intends to list anthracene, 2 bromopropane and dimethyl hydrogen phosphite as carcinogens under the state's Proposition 65 right-to-know scheme. If finalized, the classification would require companies to provide warnings when exposing the public to any of the substances above potential 'safe harbour' levels. Stakeholders must give comments on the proposed Prop 65 listing by 17 July.

European Commission's PFHxA restriction proposal targets only certain uses
BAUA's proposal, submitted in 2019, recommends restricting the manufacturing, use or placing on the market of PFHxA, its salts and PFHxA-related substances. It also sets limits of 25ppb for PFHxA and its salts and 1,000ppb for related substances used in mixtures and articles.
The Commission's proposal, published on 20 June, said it considers a "targeted restriction as the most appropriate EU-wide measure to address identified risks". The proposal targets the following uses:
  • Textiles, leather, furs, hides and outdoor clothing;
  • Related accessories such as handbags and footwear for the general public;
  • Paper and cardboard used as food contact materials (FCMs);
  • Mixtures for the general public;
  • Cosmetic products; and
  • Some firefighting foam applications
The European Union listed UV-328, Dechlorane plus and Methoxychlor in Appendix A of the Stockholm Convention
On 24 May 2023, the Official Journal of the European Union, L 136 has published the Council Decision on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union at the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants with regard to the proposed amendments to Annex A.
(a) Support the inclusion of Dechlorane Plus in Annex A, with the specific exemptions recommended by the POPRC;
(b) Support the inclusion of methoxychlor in Annex A, with-out specific derogations;
(c) Support the inclusion of UV-328 in Annex A, with the specific exemptions recommended by the POPRC.
POPs substances listed in Annex A, B and C of the Stock-holm Convention has now been increased to 36.