ECHA Forum Prepares Restriction Enforcement Tools

« Compendium of analytical methods, guidance on results interpretation to be published.

Echa’s Enforcement Forum is preparing several guidance documents and tools, to help national enforcement authorities and companies assess whether articles comply with REACH substance restrictions.

The area has been fraught with difficulties, for many years, because of the lack of officially recognised test methods for checking if a material meets the concentration limits and migration levels set in REACH restrictions, and other regulatory instruments.

This means different laboratories use different analytical methods, while varying sampling methods can also contribute to a wide disparity in test results.

However, the first edition of a compendium of analytical methods is due to be published on Echa’s website by the end of the year, according to Enforcement Forum member, Maria Letizia Polci.

Speaking today at Chemical Watch’s Enforcement Summit, Ms Polci, who works on REACH enforcement for Italy’s health ministry, said the compendium will include 138 recommended methods for 41 restriction entries, and that the forum will invite interested parties to submit additional information for future editions.

Another challenge for enforcement authorities, she said, includes the broad scope of restrictions, which may cover a large number of mixtures and articles.

The forum is also developing guidance on the interpretation of analysis results and hopes to publish information in 2017. This will be on the lessons learned from next year’s Ref-4 coordinated enforcement project on restrictions.

Meanwhile, the European Standards Organisation (CEN) will develop analytical methods for determining the lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) content, and migration levels, in consumer articles and for chromium compounds in leather goods. Future annual CEN work programmes will include other analytical methods, said Ms Polci.

In addition, the European Commission’s taxation and customs directorate, DG Taxud, is drawing up a correlation table, which will list the mixtures and articles, which may contain a restricted substance, together with the appropriate CN or Taric codes. The Commission will create such codes, for articles without them. »

Article of Geraint Roberts

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