As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial for businesses in the sector to stay informed and adapt to ensure compliance.
In the second of two blogs, we delve deeper into some of the intricacies of UK REACH, starting with an explanation of sunset dates, which is one of the critical aspects of UK REACH. For an introduction to the UK REACH framework, view our first blog, where we highlight its scope and exemptions and the key challenges faced by the aerospace industry.
UK REACH Sunset Dates
One of the critical aspects of UK REACH is the introduction of sunset dates, which mark deadlines for companies to submit chemical registrations. These dates are approaching, and businesses must be vigilant to meet compliance requirements. Missing these deadlines could disrupt the supply chain and limit market access.
The authorisation provisions of UK REACH aim to ensure that substances of very high concern (SVHCs) are progressively replaced by less dangerous substances or technologies where feasible alternatives exist.
Substances that have been identified as SVHCs and included in the Authorisation List (Annex 14) cannot be used or placed on the market for a use after a specified date, known as the sunset date, unless the use has been authorised or is exempt from authorisation.
In accordance with Article 58(3) of UK REACH, HSE is required to recommend priority substances for inclusion in this list from the UK REACH Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs).
Rolling Action Plan (RAP) for UK REACH 2023-2025
The Rolling Action Plan for UK REACH can be found here.
Selection of substances for inclusion in the RAP is based on the hazard profile of substances and their exposure potential, including the quantities that are supplied. We consider information from the following sources to identify priorities:
- the GB specific registration data within the UK database (Comply with UK REACH)
- UK REACH processes (such as dossier evaluation)
other intelligence such as the Environment Agency’s Prioritisation and Early Warning System (PEWS) and UUhorizon scanning of other regimes, both domestic (like GB CLP) and international (for example EU REACH and regulatory systems from other countries).
One method used by REACH to lessen the dangers associated with hazardous compounds is restriction. Under restriction, a substance’s usage, manufacture, importation, or sale may be subject to limitations, which may even go as far as prohibition in some cases.
A restriction can apply to a substance on its own or in a mixture, or to an article containing the substance. It can apply to any substance, including those that do not require registration. Restrictions have no tonnage thresholds. Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation lists the substances to which limitations apply as well as the conditions of those restrictions.
The registry of restriction intentions until outcome lists the substances for which a restriction dossier is planned, is underway or has been published. The registry of restriction intentions can be found here.
If you need to check any chemical and the restrictions on it, you should contact the UK competent authority at the HSE to find out which regulator you need to speak to. You can email the REACH Helpdesk at UKREACHCA@hse.gsi.gov.uk
Noting that this issue of the ADS REACH newsletter is focused on UK REACH, for a list of restrictions applied under EU REACH, please see the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) Annex XVII of REACH.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
For several years, PFAS have drawn regulatory and public attention worldwide. Since PFAS are widely used in many different industries and research on their intrinsic persistent, bioaccumulative, and/or hazardous qualities is growing, steps have been taken to drastically reduce or phase out the production and usage of PFAS.
HSE released in March 2023 an analysis of the most appropriate regulatory management options (RMOA) for Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The RMOA Recommendations are as follows:
- A joined-up approach across government and with external stakeholders
- Use of UK REACH restrictions for a wide range of PFAS uses including in fire-fighting foams, wide disruptive uses, and consumer articles
- Targeted use of UK REACH authorisation for some industrial uses, and substance evaluation where appropriate
Regulatory acts including the PFAS restrictions under REACH may have an influence on multi-national companies situated in other countries but conducting business within the EU and UK, creating a knock-on effect across the global economy, given the global structure of our modern supply chain; The fact that 3M is to exit PFAS manufacturing by the end of 2025, could indicate a more significant change in the market. There is a lot of conjecture surrounding the potential consequences of these regulations, but it is unclear what will be the ultimate impact.
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UK REACH Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) for authorisation – The UK REACH Candidate List is a list of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) that may be recommended for inclusion on the Authorisation List (Annex 14) of UK REACH.
List of UK REACH authorisations – granted and applications in progress – This is a list of adopted opinions, granted UK REACH authorisations and in-progress applications. It contains information on in-progress applications for UK REACH authorisation, new UK REACH authorisation applications, existing EU Authorisations that have been grandfathered into UK REACH (Article 127F) and in-flight applications where a final opinion was adopted by ECHA but a decision has been made for UK REACH (by the Secretary of State (Article 127G)).
UK REACH Authorisation List (Annex 14) – The authorisation provisions of UK REACH aim to ensure that substances of very high concern (SVHCs) are progressively replaced by less dangerous substances or technologies where feasible alternatives exist. Substances that have been identified as SVHCs and included in the Authorisation List (Annex 14) cannot be used or placed on the market for a use after a specified date, known as the sunset date, unless the use has been authorised or is exempt from authorisation.
Restrictions under REACH – Restriction is a measure for protecting human health and/or the environment from risks posed by chemicals on their own, in mixtures or in articles. REACH restrictions limit, ban or set conditions on the manufacture, placing on the market or use of a substance or group of substances.
ADS Sustainable Materials Working Group
The ADS SusMat Working Group assists ADS members in managing the risks associated with hazardous substances to coordinate, communicate, and promote authoritative information exchange. It gives early warnings, coordinating responses and positioning. It briefs members through workshops, webinars and briefings through the ADS website and other media.
It is involved in guidance formation for supply chain communication on REACH / RoHS / CLP / POPs, etc. The Group also builds relationships with regulators and legislators (BEIS, HSE, MPs, MEPs, ECHA, EC, CAA/EASA, etc.) and works with other groups such as ASD, AIA, BCF, SEA, IAEG, etc., on Hazardous substances to stakeholders informing on regulatory compliance and risks that affect the aerospace, defence, and security sectors. The SusMat Working Group also covers changes in legislation and conventions where they could have a material effect on the industry. This includes impact on the use or availability of substances and mixtures. It also includes impact on the measures needed for their use.
Conflict minerals and Health and Safety legislation unrelated to chemicals or mixtures is specifically out of scope.
How to Join?
Click here to Access the working group page here, enter your ADS member login details, and follow details on how to join.
The ADS REACH blog series is compiled by ADS Group in conjunction with the ADS Sustainable Materials Working Group members. Information is deemed to be correct by all contributors, to the best of their knowledge, at the date of publication.
If you are aware of any errors in the newsletter, please notify Ed Raggett (Ed.Raggett@adsgroup.org.uk), with the subject “ADS REACH Blogs – Content Error”.
If you wish to contribute to further blogs on the subject, please contact Ed Raggett (Ed.Raggett@adsgroup.org.uk), with the subject “ADS REACH blog series – Content Support”.