The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has launched a public consultation on five substances of very high concern (SVHCs) to be recommended to the European Commission (EC) for inclusion in the REACH Authorisation List (Annex XIV). The 3-month public consultation will end on 23 September 2013.
Originally the draft recommendation contained six substances; however, decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) was soon withdrawn because Norway had submitted a proposal to ban it internationally under the Stockholm Convention as a persistent organic pollutant (POP). The ECHA has now started to prepare to restrict decaBDE under REACH Annex XVII in order to align with the Norwegian proposal.
For each SVHC listed in the Authorisation List, a specified date called the “sunset date” is given. After this date, the selling and/or use of an SVHC listed in the Authorisation List is only allowed if an authorisation has been granted by the EC. For substances and mixtures, an authorisation is required for the importation into, as well as their use during the manufacture of articles, in the European Union; however, authorisation does not apply to imported articles.
To include substances in the Authorisation List, the ECHA first selects SVHCs from the Candidate List based on some prioritisation criteria followed by a public consultation. The ECHA then makes a formal recommendation to the EC, which will decide whether or not to adopt the recommendation. If the recommendation is adopted then an amendment to Annex XIV will be made and published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The Authorisation List currently contains 22 substances.
Table A: The five SVHCs currently undergoing public consultation