May 2016 (updated on 22 June 2017)
Relevant for: Hardlines, Health & Beauty, Softlines, Toys & children's products
On 4 May 2016, the European Commission (EC) submitted a draft amendment to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to add a new restriction on Bis(pentabromophenyl) ether (DecaBDE) (CAS no. 1163-19-5) under Annex XVII to the REACH.
DecaBDE is widely used as an additive flame retardant with applications in many different sectors (domestic and commercial furniture and in the transport, construction and mining sector), particularly in plastic and textile articles but also in adhesives, sealants, coatings and inks.
DecaBDE was identified as a Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) and was included in the REACH Candidate List in December 2012. In 2013, Norway submitted a proposal to add DecaBDE to the Stockholm Convention for Persistent Organic Pollutants. Following Norway’s proposal, the EC considered that making DecaBDE subject to the authorisation requirement under REACH was no longer the most appropriate regulatory measure. Then the EC requested the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) to prepare a report to initiate a restriction process under REACH Annex XVII.
In 2014, the ECHA, in collaboration with Norway, submitted a report, proposed to restrict DecaBDE under REACH Annex XVII.
After the 1st and 2nd public consultation, on 28 September 2015, the ECHA submitted the final opinions to the EC. Based on the opinions, the EC considered that an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment arises from the manufacture, use or placing on the market of decaBDE, and those risks need to be addressed on EU wide. REACH Annex XVII should be amended accordingly.
The proposed restriction is expected to be published on the Official Journal of European Union (OJEU) in last quarter of 2016 and there will be a 18-month transition period.