• Notification Deadline Date for SVHCs Has Arrived
  • June 2, 2011 | Author: Lynn L. Bergeson
  • Law Firm: Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. - Washington Office
  • As of June 1, 2011, notifications for substances of very high concern (SVHC) identified on the Candidate List before December 1, 2010, contained in articles must be performed. The current Candidate List is available online. Thirty-eight substances are impacted by the June 1, 2011, notification deadline with an additional eight substances to be notified by June 15, 2011.

    The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) conducted a webinar on May 19, 2011, to provide practical guidelines on the applicability and how to notify SVHCs contained in articles. The information, which is useful, is available online.

    Criteria for Notification

    Beginning June 1, 2011, companies must notify to ECHA substances present in articles they produce or import that were included on the SVHCs Candidate List before December 1, 2010, if both of the following conditions are met:

    • The SVHC is present in those articles at a volume of >1 metric ton per manufacturer/importer per year; and
       
    • The SVHC is present in those articles above a concentration of 0.1 percent weight by weight (w/w).

    Consistent with the European Commission's view, as well as ECHA's Guidance on Substances in Articles, the threshold of 0.1 percent w/w applies to the article as a whole. Six member states and Norway, however, continue to advocate a dissenting minority view pertaining to the threshold of each component in an article. The debate continues, however, and the potential exists that this matter may ultimately be resolved by the European legal system.

    Information to Be Submitted

    The information to be submitted to ECHA includes:

    • The identity/contact details of the producer or importer;
       
    • The registration number(s), where these are available;
       
    • The identity of the substance;
       
    • The classification of the substance(s);
       
    • A brief description of the use(s) of the substance(s) in the article and of the use(s) of the article(s); and
       
    • The tonnage range of the substance(s) (for example 1 to 10 tons or 10 to 100 tons).

    Exemptions

    The notification requirements are not applicable when:

    • The producer or importer can exclude exposure to humans or the environment under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use, including disposal. In such cases, the producer or importer has to supply appropriate instructions to the recipient of the article; or
       
    • The substance has already been registered for that use.
       
      • Producers of articles can in most cases obtain information on registered uses through their supply chain.
         
      • Importers will rarely have access to detailed information on registered uses.

    Please note that in practice it may be more difficult and costly to demonstrate no exposure than to perform a notification. Recognize, however, that the implications of performing a notification are not fully known at this time.

    Useful Links

    The Registry of Intentions is available online.

    Summary of Obligations for SVHCs is available online.