CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL E-SSENTIALS

CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL E-SSENTIALS

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Your regular update for technical and industry information

EU: ECHA published enforcement project results on integrated chemical control of products

DECEMBER 2023 - ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

On 13 December 2023, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published a report for the results of an enforcement project (REF-10)1,2, led by the ECHA’s Enforcement Forum.

The REF-10 enforcement project, operated in 2022, involved participation from 26 European countries. The focus of this project was the integrated control of chemicals in products within different legislation such as the REACH Regulation, POP Regulation, RoHS Directive and Toys Directive. National Enforcement Authorities carried out the checks, examining a total of 2407 products (1984 articles and 243 mixtures).

Key findings of the project results can be found below:

  • The overall non-compliance rate was 18%; the non-compliance rate for articles was 20%, and for mixtures it was 9%;
  • The non-compliance rate was higher for products originating outside the European Economic Area (EEA) (21%) or of unknown origin (22%), compared to 8% for products within EEA.
  • The non-compliance rate based on different regulations: 
  • RoHS Directive: 49% (164 out of 329 products);
  • REACH Regulation: 13% (259 out of 2038 products);
  • Toys Directive: 10% (21 out of 218 products);
  • POP Regulation: 9% (61 out of 645 products);
  • The non-compliance rate of most common product types:
  • Electrical devices such as electrical toys, chargers, cables, headphones: 52% (170 out of 329 products), mostly due to lead in solders, phthalates in soft plastic parts, or cadmium in circuit boards;
  • Toys like bathing/aquatic toys, dolls, costumes, play mats, plastic figures, fidget toys, outdoor toys, slime and childcare articles: 23% (106 of 471 products), mostly due to phthalates in soft plastic parts;
  • Sports equipment like yoga mats, bicycle gloves, balls or rubber handles of sport equipment: 18% (15 out of 82 products), mostly due to SCCPs and phthalates in soft plastic and PAH in rubber;
  • Fashion products such as bags, jewellery, belts, shoes and clothes: 15% (136 of 895 products), mostly due to phthalates and SCCPs in soft plastic, lead and cadmium in jewellery, PFOA in outdoor textiles were also found.

For non-compliant products, enforcement measures were imposed by the enforcement authorities. The most common enforcement measure was the issuance of written advice (in 60 % of the cases where breaches were noticed). The other enforcement measures included public announcements, issuance of orders, verbal advice, destruction of the products, re-export, etc. Where enforcement measures were taken, companies were prohibited from placing products on the market in 39% of the cases. 

In 39% of the non-compliant cases, companies voluntarily withdrew their non-compliant products from the market, and in 29% of the cases, companies removed their non-compliant products from their websites or online platforms.

Abbreviations:

  • POP: persistent organic pollutant
  • SCCPs: short-chain chlorinated paraffins
  • PAH: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • PFOA: perfluorooctanoic acid

 

[1] Reports for REF-10

[2] ECHA press release - Hazardous chemicals found in many consumer products


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