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CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL E-SSENTIALS

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EU POPs regulation recast is now published

JUNE 2019 - Relevant for: Electrical and Electronics, Hardlines, Softlines, Toys and children's products

On 25 June 2019, the recast of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Regulation (EU) 2019/10211 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). This aims to give more clarity, transparency and align with other relevant Union legislative Acts. The new legislation will be effective from 15 July 2019 and the previous POPs Regulation (EC) No 850/20042 will be repealed.

POPs are persistent in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk to human health and the environment. They can be transported across international boundaries. Hence, it is necessary to adopt appropriate measures to control POPs at the Union level. Some of the POPs e.g. short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) were found in household goods. These cases were notified in the EU Member States e.g. Germany and Sweden. POPs can be one of the product safety concerns.

Under this new Regulation, definitions are now clarified and aligned with REACH Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 and Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC. In particular, substances, mixtures (previously the “preparation” was used) and articles’ definitions are aligned with REACH. The definition of “unintentional trace contaminant” is now defined as the level of a substance that is incidentally present in a minimal amount, below which the substance cannot be meaningfully used, and above the detection limit of existing detection methods. Moreover, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will have a new role in the POPs Regulation. It will be responsible to carry out the administrative, technical and scientific aspect of the Regulation and take the tasks from the European Commission (EC).

The recast of POPs also updates the substances listed on Annex I – Part A. Some of them may be found in consumer products. POPs listed on Annex 1 shall not be manufactured, placing on the market of use in substances, mixtures or articles, unless exemption applies. The highlights updates of Annex I are now listed in Table A.

Table A. Highlighted updates of POPs Regulation Annex I – Part A

Substances

Type of amendment

Previous

New

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs including tetra-, penta-, hexa-, heptaBDE)

Amended exemption

Substances, preparations, articles or as constituents of the flame-retarded parts of articles: ≤ 10 mg/kg for each

Substances containing PBDEs
≤ 10 mg/kg for each;

Mixtures or articles containing the sum of PBDEs (including tetra-, penta-, hexa-, hepta- and decaBDE
≤ 500 mg/kg (where this PBDE is presence as an unintentional trace contaminant)

Note: The requirement for mixtures and articles is subject to review by the European Commission by 16 July 2021.

 

Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE)

 

Note: This substance is restricted under REACH Annex XVII entry 673

Newly added POPs in Annex I

 -

Pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters (PCP)

Newly added POPs in Annex I

 -

Shall not be manufactured, placed on the market and used in substances, mixtures or articles.

[1] Regulation (EU) 2019/1021

[2] Regulation (EC) No 850/2004

[3] REACH Annex XVII, entry 67 decaBDE

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