Information bulletin 01 - February 2018

In this bulletin:

  • CrO3 under Reach
  • Reach Registration of low volume chemicals until 31.5.2018


CrO3 under REACH:

The sunset date of September 21st 2017 has gone by, without the European Commission deciding on most of the applications for authorisation of continued use of CrO3, in particular the upstream AfA (Application for Authorisation) filed in due time by the CTAC (Chromium Trioxide Authorization Consortium).Sub consortium.

Nevertheless, a limited number of AfA's have received an answer (Grohe, Praxair, Rimex, Abloy Oy, ...): in all these cases the authorisation has been granted.

Also, at its December meeting the Commission's REACH Committee 'discussed elements to be taken into account in the preparation of a Draft Commission Implementing Decision granting an authorisation for certain uses of chromium trioxide ...' for further AfA's, i.e. those of Souriau, MTU Aero-Engines and Safran Aircraft.

The all-encompassing upstream AfA filed by CTAC Sub has still not been put on the agenda of the REACH Committee. I remind you that the ECHA committees (RAC and SEAC) have issued a positive recommendation in favour of granting the authorisation, with some conditions. In response, the CTAC set up 'good practice sheets' to be respected by their downstream users.

As long as there is no decision for a specific AfA, the applicants and their downstream users can continue to use the CrO3. However, it is important to note that, in case of an inspection by the member state's enforcement authorities, the user should be able to prove that the substance he uses, originates from an upstream supplier who has introduced an AfA in due time, and also he has to show that the conditions specified in that AfA (for this downstream user's use) are correctly respected.

All the above is related to REACH.

From a completely different perspective, the European Parliament and the Council have recently (12 Dec 2017) approved a Directive, whereby for the first time, a Europe-wide Occupational Exposure Limit OEL has been established for Cr6. The OEL is 10 micrograms/m3 until 2025, and 5 micrograms/m3 thereafter. Here is the link to that Directive.

This Directive originates from the realm of workers' protection. It being a Directive, its provisions have to be transposed in each member state's legislation. (A Regulation such as REACH is applicable all over Europe as soon as it is published).

The establishment of an OEL is an important element which could mean a renewed impetus to the treatment by the Commission of the CTAC Sub AfA.


Missing REACH Registration for low-volume chemicals

All chemical substances placed on the European market have to be 'registered' with ECHA. For high-volume chemicals, timely registration was not a problem. For low-volume chemicals however (1 tonne/year per manufacturer), the deadline of 31 May 2018 is approaching very quickly, and for many

substances we see no preparations from the manufacturers or importers. We fear that suppliers (both small and big) may be tempted to 'rearrange their product portfolio' and discontinue a number of such low-volume substances.

Here is a possible example in surface treatment of aluminium:

Ferric ammonium oxalate is widely used for 'gold' or 'champagne' coloring of anodic layers, but the volumes are low, a few tonnes/year. Chemical suppliers are downstream users of the oxalate, but they see no beginning of a registration process by their suppliers, the manufacturers or importers of the substance. Because of the low volumes (a few tonnes/year) these suppliers, big chemical companies, may be tempted to discontinue the production.

Surface treatment companies should be made aware of the possible problems. They are strongly advised to make an inventory of the chemical substances they use and check with their suppliers should check with their suppliers that these substances are or will be registered before May 31st.



For more information, please contact
Simon Meirsschaut
ESTAL Technical Coordinator
Tel +32 473 451 263
Martine Kalmar
Secretary General
Tel. +41 44 772 22 77

ESTAL, Feb. 2018


Legal disclaimer

All information provided by ESTAL and ESTAL Technical Coordinator is given to the best of their knowledge. Neither ESTAL nor the Coordinator personally accept liability for the correctness and completeness of the information contained in this communication, or for the consequences of any action taken on the basis of the information provided. ESTAL advises the information recipient to seek confirmation of the relevant information from the competent authority.


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