Information Bulletin March 2020

In this bulletin:

  1. Update on CrO3
  2. EU Commission classifies Titanium Dioxide as Category 2 Suspected Carcinogen by Inhalation.
  3. Submission of lead chromates restriction report postponed
  4. The EU has formally made public its intention to investigate allegedly dumped imports of aluminium extrusions from China.
  5. From April 2020 onwards, ECHA will check whether chemical safety reports are complete.
  6. BREXIT and REACH

 

Update on CrO3

Amongst Qualicoat label holders, more than one out of four use hexavalent chromium as pretreatment conversion before powder coating of aluminium for architectural applications.

However, Cr6 as CrO3 is on the REACH Annex XIV list of substances that need authorisation. The upstream AfA (Application for Authorisation) filed by the CTAC (Chromium Trioxide Authorization Consortium) Sub consortium a long time ago includes a relevant ‘use 5’ surface treatment for applications in various industry sectors namely architectural, automotive, metal manufacturing and finishing, and general engineering.

Evaluation of upstream AfA's in general and the CTAC Sub in particular has been heavily contested.

As already explained in the previous ESTAL Bulletin (October 2019), in February 2019 the REACH Committee of representatives of Member States had approved the Commission’s draft implementing decision granting the upstream authorization to CTAC. However, on 7.3.2019 the EU Court of Judgment annulled a non-related Commission granting decision on the ground that the Commission had failed to evaluate alternatives. In view of that judgment, the Commission decided to come back to the REACH Committee with a modified draft. But apparently within the Commission services, the discussion remains, and until now no new draft has been put on the REACH Committee’s agenda.

Until a decision is taken by the Commission, the substance can be used provided it has been supplied by one of the CTAC applicants.

ESTAL coaters who wish to continue the use of Cr3, have been advised to apply themselves individually or better to organize a surface treatment architectural consortium to file an AfA specifically for architectural applications. However, we don’t know about any initiative in that sense.

 

EU Commission classifies Titanium Dioxide as Category 2 Suspected Carcinogen by Inhalation.

ECHA Weekly 19 02 2020 & TDMA / Special Chem 20 02 2020

The European Commission has published the 14th adaptation to technical progress to the CLP Regulation. The adaptation updates Annex VI with substances for which opinions on harmonised classification and labelling were adopted by the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) in 2017. The substances added include titanium dioxide.

This classification follows the opinion of the Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) disagrees with the classification and has consistently made its views known throughout the regulatory discussion since 2017. They might still appeal against the Commission’s decision.

The regulatory text refers to “powder TiO2 and mixtures placed on the market in powder form containing 1 percent or more of TiO2 which is in the form of, or incorporated in, particles”.

For powder coaters of aluminium, this classification means that most powder boxes supplied to the plant shall need safety data sheets, and the packaging shall have to bear the GHS08 pictogram as well as a warning (EUH 210, 211 or 212) such as Warning! Hazardous respirable dust may be formed when used. Do not breathe dust. Entry into force of the Commission’s Delegated Regulation is 20 days after 18.02.2020 (date of publication). Application is from 09.09.2021.

 

Submission of lead chromates restriction report postponed

ECHA Weekly 22 01 2020

The submission of the Annex XV restriction report on lead chromate; lead sulfochromate yellow (C.I. Pigment Yellow 34) and lead chromate molybdate sulphate red (C.I. Pigment Red 104) by ECHA has been postponed until 3 April 2020.

 

The EU has formally made public its intention to investigate allegedly dumped imports of aluminium extrusions from China.

European Aluminium Newsflash 14 02 2020 and Weekly Recap 20 02 2020

On the 14th of February, the EU Commission confirmed the opening of an anti-dumping investigation into aluminium extrusions originating from China following the complaint European Aluminium has submitted last December. This is an important step in creating a global level playing field for aluminium trade. The products made from aluminium covered by this investigation are bars, rods, profiles, tubes, pipes; unassembled; whether or not prepared for use in structures. European Aluminium is now reaching out to Member States, which have the power to block the Commission's proposals on the level of the definitive duties. Bilateral meetings are planned with permanent representations and with national ministries, in close cooperation with our national associations.

 

From April 2020 onwards, ECHA will check whether chemical safety reports are complete.

ECHA Newletter 1- February 2020

Once a company has submitted a registration dossier, ECHA checks that all the necessary information is included. In April 2020, ECHA will expand its checks to cover, among other things, chemical safety reports.

From April 2020, ECHA will check that use and exposure information as well as risk characterisation is included in the chemical safety report (CSR). This information has to be there because it forms the basis for risk management measures that companies communicate through their supply chains and need to follow to protect their workers and the environment. The checks of the chemical safety report will be based on the uses reported in the registration dossier.

ECHA will be checking the completeness of chemical safety reports for any registrations where the substance tonnage band is more than 10 tonnes per year and the substance is classified as hazardous to the environment or human health, or has persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic properties. The registration dossier will not be checked for the CSR if the company is part of a joint submission and rely on the chemical safety report submitted in the lead registrant dossier.

The new checks on the chemical safety report will only verify that the required elements are present and will not look at the adequacy of the information submitted. The checks will be carried out for both initial dossiers and their updates.

 

BREXIT and REACH

The UK has left the European Union on 31 January 2020 at midnight (Brussels time). This has implications as far as the EU REACH Regulation and its application in the UK is concerned:

The UK is no longer a Member State. As a third country, the UK is no longer represented in the EU institutions (such as the European Parliament and the Council), agencies, bodies and offices. However, during the upcoming transition period starting 1 February 2020 and lasting at least until 31 December 2020 the EU REACH Regulation and all other EU law continues to apply in the UK as it currently does.

In other words, during the transition period it will be “business as usual” for businesses in both the EU and the UK. ECHA IT tools (including REACH-IT) remain available to UK companies until the end of the transition period. Possible consequences such as for REACH Registration will take effect only after the transition period. The timeline for transferring the UK registrations would therefore shift to the end of the transition period.

The transition period will be used by the EU and the UK to agree on a new partnership for the future. These negotiations will also determine if a separate UK REACH regime will apply after the end of the transition period.

 

For more information, please contact
Simon Meirsschaut, ESTAL Technical Coordinator
Tel +32 473 451 263
simonmeirsschaut@yahoo.com

or

Martine Kalmar, Secretary General
Tel. +41 44 772 22 77
secretariat@estal.org

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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