Consumer Products and Retail E-ssentials Banner

CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL E-SSENTIALS

Your regular update for technical and industry information

Your regular update for technical and industry information

Australia: Published amendments to regulate certain POPs chemicals

JANUARY 2024 - ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

Australia recently published an amendment1 to update the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Instrument 20222. The amendment newly added certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to Schedules 6 and 7 of the above Instrument, with the earliest effective date being 1 July 2024.

To properly control chemical risk and reduce pollution, Australia implemented the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard (IChEMS) in 2021. This standard is a national approach to manage the use, storage, handling and disposal of chemicals, aiming to deliver nationally consistent environmental standards for managing industrial chemicals and make it easier for industries to choose less harmful chemicals.

The IChEMS has an Online Register3 listing all industrial chemicals used in Australia and categorizing them based on their environmental risk. Chemicals are assigned to one of seven schedules, with Schedule 1 representing the lowest risk and Schedule 7 the highest risk. In this amendment, nona- and decaBDE are classified as Schedule 6 chemicals, which are likely to cause serious or irreversible harm to the environment with essential use. Other chemicals (e.g. PFAS, HBCDD, SCCPs, etc.) are designated in Schedule 7 (same characteristics as Schedule 6 but with no essential use).

Additionally, this amendment includes the definition of unintentional trace contamination, meaning a chemical is present unintentionally and unavoidably below the level stated in the Instrument that the chemical cannot be meaningfully used. Certain requirements are established based on international practices, particularly following the Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) Regulation (EU) 2019/10214 in the European Union (EU). Table A shows the details of the newly added chemicals and corresponding requirements.

Table A: Summary of newly added POPs, their requirements and effective dates

Brominated flame retardants

Substances

Requirement

Effective Date

Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD)

Substances, mixtures and articles:

HBCDD: ≤ 100 mg/kg

1 July 2024

Tetrabromodiphenyl ether (tetraBDE),

Pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE),

Hexabromodiphenyl ether (HexaBDE),

Heptabromodiphenyl (HeptaBDE),

Octabromodiphenyl ether (OctaBDE)

 

Substances and mixtures:

  • sum of all tetraBDE congeners: 
    ≤ 10 mg/kg; and

  • sum of all pentaBDE congeners: 
    ≤  10 mg/kg; 

  • sum of all hexaBDE congeners: 
    ≤ 10 mg/kg; and

  • sum of all heptaBDE congeners: 
    ≤ 10 mg/kg; and

  • sum of all octaBDE congeners: 
    ≤ 10 mg/kg.

Articles of electrical and electronic equipment:

  • sum of all mono- to decaBDE congeners: 
    ≤ 1000 mg/kg (in homogenous materials)

Articles other than electrical and electronic equipment:

  • sum of tetra-, penta-. hexa-, hepta-, octa-, nona- and decaBDE: ≤ 500 mg/kg

 

1 July 2024

Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE);

nonabromodiphenyl ether (all three congeners) (nonaBDE)

Substances and mixtures:

  • • sum of all nonaBDE congeners: 
    ≤ 10 mg/kg; and
  • decaBDE: ≤ 10 mg/kg

Articles of electrical and electronic equipment except specific products (see remark 1):

  • sum of all mono- to decaBDE congeners: 
    ≤ 1000 mg/kg (in homogenous materials)

Articles (other than the electrical and electronic equipment): 

  • sum of tetra-, penta-. hexa-, hepta-, octa-, nona- and decaBDE: ≤ 500 mg/kg
1 July 2025
Per- and polyfluoroalky substances (PFAS)
Substances
Requirement
Effective Date

Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), including its linear and branched isomers, their salts and any substance containing a linear or branched perfluorohexylsulfonyl moiety that can degrade to PFHxS.

Substances, mixtures and articles

  • PFHxS and its salts: ≤ 0.025 mg/kg
  • PFHxS-related compounds: ≤ 1 mg/kg (each or sum)
1 July 2025

Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), including any of its branched isomers, its salts, perfluorooctanesulfonyl fluoride, and any substance containing a linear or branched perfluorooctanesulfonyl moiety and capable of degrading to PFOS (linear or branched).

Substances, mixtures and articles

  • PFOS and its salts: ≤ 0.025 mg/kg
  • PFOS-related compounds: ≤ 1 mg/kg (each or sum)
1 July 2025

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), including any of its branched isomers, its salts and any related compound that contains a linear or branched perfluoroheptyl (C7H15C) group and which can degrade to linear or branched PFOA.

Substances, mixtures and articles

  • PFOA and its salts: ≤ 0.025 mg/kg
  • PFOA-related compounds: ≤ 1 mg/kg (each or sum)
1 July 2025
Others

Pentachlorobenzene (PeCB)

Substances, mixtures and articles:

  • Prohibited if the concentration is above unintentional trace contamination level
1 July 2024

Short chain chlorinated paraffins (alkanes, C10-13, chloro), which are straight chain chlorinated alkanes with chain lengths ranges from C10 to C13 and a chlorine content of greater than 48% by weight (SCCP)

Substances and mixtures

  • SCCP: ≤ 1% by weight

Articles:

  • SCCP: ≤ 0.15% by weight 1 July 2024
1 July 2024

 

Remark 1:

Specific products refer to plastic housings and parts used for heating appliances, irons, fans, immersion heaters that contain or are in direct contact with electrical parts or are required to comply with fire retardancy standards, at concentrations lower than 10% by weight of the part.

 

[1] Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Amendment (2023 Measures No. 1) Instrument 2023

[2] Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Instrument 2022

[3] IChEMS Online Register

[4] Consolidated version of EU POPs Regulation


HOW DOES THIS IMPACT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS?

CONTACT US TO DISCUSS.

TÜV SÜD has dedicated experts to assist you in the development of consumer products and meeting applicable regulations. Through a global network of laboratories, TÜV SÜD offers a wide range of services that includes chemical tests, physical or mechanical tests as well as inspections to ensure the compliance of your products in target markets. 

For enquiries, please contact us at [email protected]


 

Next Steps

Site Selector