2019: Inspectors Prepare for EU-wide Check of Chemicals Sold on the Internet

online chemical sales

Does your company sell chemicals online?

EU inspectors are preparing an EU-wide enforcement project of chemicals sold on the internet. Preparatory work for Inspections will be undertaken in 2019 and carried out in 2020, with the report expected to be published by the end of 2021. The project will likely include restrictions and labelling duties.

REF-8

The eighth major Forum enforcement project (REF-8) will concentrate on online sales of substances, mixtures and articles. One reason for this focus is the high rate of non-compliance detected in the Forum’s pilot project on internet sales. The detailed scope to be checked under REF-8 is yet to be defined. It is expected to include restrictions and labelling duties for hazardous chemicals.

The Forum also agreed that inspections for the pilot project on authorisation focusing on chromium VI compounds and other substances will take place in 2020. This will allow inspectors to target more substances and give downstream users sufficient time to notify their authorised uses to ECHA. The inspectors will target companies that are using substances of concern without the required authorisation. Additionally, they will check that authorisation holders and their downstream users comply with the conditions of the authorisation decision.

Forum members have also discussed the preliminary results of the REF-5 project on exposure scenarios, extended safety data sheets and the implementation of risk management measures and operational conditions. The aim of the project is to check communication in the supply chain and consistency of the extended safety data sheets with the content of the chemical safety reports. The project also looks at whether the risk management measures recommended in the exposure scenarios are actually implemented in the workplace. 29 countries participated in the project. A total of 898 inspections were carried out in collaboration between labour and environmental inspectors. The report is currently being prepared and its adoption and publication are foreseen for the end of 2018.

Background

A large rise in the amount of potentially hazardous chemical products being sold to consumers via the internet has also seen a corresponding rise in levels of noncompliance by retailers. This has prompted the launch of two new pilot projects which are to be carried out by the Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement over the next two years as part of their enforcement strategy. The forum, hosted by the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) coordinates harmonised enforcement projects and joint inspections to ensure compliance of CLP regulations.

The first project started in January 2016 and focused particularly on whether chemical products sold online by retailers were fully in compliance with CLP Regulations. The second pilot project, executed in 2017, targeted enforcing the regulations of substances in articles in REACH. This investigation focused on obligations related to extended safety data sheets (e-SDSs), exposure scenarios, risk management measures and operational conditions. This project was an indication that many SDSs are often found to be non-compliant.

Forum’s project to identify and resolve issues with safety data sheet (SDS) quality will also move forward to identify trends and pinpoint the biggest deficiencies for follow-up action in 2019.

 

See the Final Report of the Forum pilot project on CLP focusing on control of internet sales

 

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