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EU Signals Changes to List of SVHCs under REACH

The European Union has signaled its intention to expand the list of substances of very high concern (SVHC) under the Annex XIV ‘Authorization List’ of REACH. If the draft document is adopted, the list of SVHCs in REACH, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, will be increased to 43 entries.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) circulated notification number G/TBT/N/EU/407, announcing the EU’s intentions, on September 21, 2016. The draft document indicates the EU’s latest expansion to Annex XIV of REACH, following previous enlargements in February 2012, April 2013 and August 2014.

The proposed expansion to the list of SVHCs includes twelve substances, of which seven entries are for phthalates. The listed substances are:

• 1-Bromopropane (n-propyl bormide)
• Diisopentyl phthalate
• 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C6-8-branched alkyl esters, C7 rich
• 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C7-11-branched and linear alkyl esters
• 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, dipentylester, branched and linear
• Bis(2-methoxyethyl) phthalate
• Dipentyl phthalate
• N-pentyl-isopentyl phthalate
• Anthracene oil
• Pitch, coal tar, high temp.
• 4-(1,1,3,3-Tetramethylbutyl) phenol, ethoxylated
• 4-Nonylphenol branched and linear, ethoxylated

According to the draft document, there are to be no exemptions for specific use for each of these twelve new SVHCs.

The draft document is expected to be adopted in May 2017, and will come into force 20 days after it is published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU).

The circulated document lists both:

• ‘latest application date’ – the last date it will be possible to apply for authorization to use the substance
• ‘sunset date’ – the date after which use of the substance is prohibited without authorization

The majority of the proposed new SVHCs will have a ‘latest application date’ of 18 months after the date of entry into force. The exceptions are Anthracene oil and Pitch, which will have a period of 21 months, and 4-(1,1,3,3-Tetramethylbutyl) phenol and 4-Nonylphenol, which will have a period of 24 months. In all cases, the ‘sunset date’ will be 18 months after the ‘latest application date’.

The earliest dates of latest application will be either late 2018 or early 2019. Companies, who have applied for permission to use the SVHC, may continue usage after the ‘sunset date’ until a decision is reached.