The national authorities of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have submitted a proposal to ECHA to restrict per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) under REACH, the European Union’s (EU) chemicals regulation. ECHA will publish the detailed proposal, one of the broadest in the EU’s history, on 7 February 2023.
The restriction proposal comes after the five authorities found risks in the manufacture, placement on the market and use of PFASs that are not adequately controlled and need to be addressed throughout the EU and the European Economic Area.
ECHA will run the required administrative checks before the proposed restriction and supporting documents are made available on 7 February 2023. On the same day, the national authorities will host a hybrid media event in Brussels from 11:00 to 12:30 (CET). An info session for industry, NGOs and other stakeholders will take place later.
Over the past three years, the five national authorities have investigated different PFASs, their uses and the risks they may pose to people and the environment. They held two public consultations to gather evidence on the use of these substances and examined all information received.
ECHA’s scientific committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) will check that the proposed restriction meets the legal requirements of REACH in their meetings in March 2023. If it does, the committees will begin their scientific evaluation of the proposal.
A six-month consultation is planned to start on 22 March 2023. An online information session will be organised on 5 April 2023 to explain the restriction process and help those interested in participating in the consultation.
The opinions of RAC and SEAC are normally ready within 12 months of the start of the scientific evaluation, in accordance with REACH. However, in view of the complexity of the proposal and the extent of information that is expected from the consultation, the committees may need more time to finalise their opinions.
Once the opinions are adopted, they are sent to the European Commission, who together with the EU Member States will then decide on a potential restriction.