November 18, 2022
A pilot enforcement project on substances recovered from waste reveals that 26 % of checked substances are in breach of REACH.
This pilot project was undertaken for the first time by the Enforcement Forum in eleven member states who checked 46 cases to assess the level of compliance of recovered materials against REACH regulations and to explore the interface between REACH and the Waste Framework Directive.
The inspectors were looking to determine if recovered substances from waste met the conditions for exemption from REACH registration. Firstly, they examined if the recovered and registered substances are the same and secondly if the information on safe use was available.
Inspectors also confirmed that safety data sheets (SDSs) were provided with recovered substances and mixtures in 96 % of the cases. They found that where SDSs were lacking information, the main concern was unclear substance identity, with 37% of the inspected cases not meeting CLP Regulation requirements on classification, labelling and packaging.
Breaches found during the pilot project led to written advice, fines and administrative orders.
Recommendations from the pilot project include:
- Waste operators placing recovered substances on the market should contact national authorities and helpdesks to gain knowledge about their substances. They should also be aware of how their customers will use substances.
- National authorities enforcing REACH and the Waste Framework Directive should strengthen cooperation so they can jointly monitor the situation of recovered substances placed on the market and improve safety for humans and the environment.
- The Enforcement Forum should pursue this subject and consider including it in the scope of an EU-wide enforcement project in the future.
- ECHA should look into revising the current Guidance on waste and recovered substances.
- The legal text would benefit from a revision to mitigate the shortcomings identified during the project. The European Commission should also work on harmonising the EU’s end of waste criteria.
Our take on this: We were surprised by the level of compliance, and while this project was not targeted at waste from cartridge and printer remanufacturing, it does clearly show that cross border enforcement is being increased. At the same time, national authorities are also cross checking sales of WEEE products, like printer consumables, to ensure that there is strict compliance with WEEE regulations – More of that in a follow up feature.
Categories : World Focus