EC postpones decision on 13 substances ECHA recommended for REACH


On June 18, 2021, the European Commission (EC) notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of their intention to add five substances to Annex XIV of the REACH regulation known as the Authorization List. Substances on the Annex XIV list are “progressively replaced by suitable alternative substances or technologies where these are economically and technically viable.” The five chemicals the EC propose to regulate come from a list of 18 substances of very high concern (SVHCs) that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recommended for regulation under REACH in October 2019 (FPF reported).

Of the 13 substances the EC postponed action on, six are food contact chemicals (FCCs) included in the Food Packaging Forum’s FCCdb. Out of these six, five are classified as “priority hazardous substances”: (i) bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), (ii) lead oxide sulfate (12036-76-9), (iii) hexahydromethylphthalic anhydride (CAS 25550-51-0), (iv) 2-methoxyethanol (CAS 109-86-4), and (v) 2-ethoxyethanol (CAS 110-80-5).

According to news provider Chemical Watch, “the Commission said it deferred the decision on the endocrine disruptor BPA because other regulatory steps have been taken to restrict their uses.” Namely, a REACH Annex XV dossier that is currently being prepared. Substances included in Annex XV are restricted for use in the EU after being “assessed that [the] substance is not adequately controlled and needs to be addressed on a Union-wide basis.”

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Food Packaging Forum, 9 July 2021