EU Court confirms ECHA PBT assessment of substances

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has welcomed the EU General Court’s conclusions which confirms the Agency’s approach in identifying PBTs and vPvBs as substances of very high concern. The ruling confirms that ECHA’s approach in identifying UVCB[1] substances as well as other multi-constituent substances as PBTs[2] or vPvBs[3] on the basis of their constituent ingredients present in a concentration of 0.1% or more is lawful. The Court also upheld that ECHA’s decisions were proportionate and did not breach the principle of equal treatment. The Court further ruled that after a substance has been identified by ECHA as having PBT and/or vPvB properties, suppliers of these substances are legally required to update their safety data sheets with this information. It follows that all registrants of such substances will also need to update their chemical safety report with such information. It should be noted that according to the REACH Regulation, companies that have already concluded in their chemical safety assessment that a substance meets the criteria for identification as a PBT/vPvB are required to update their safety data sheet with this information even if ECHA has not yet formally identified such substances as PBTs/vPvBs and included them in the Candidate List. The ruling concludes the actions brought by a number of companies before the General Court against ECHA’s decisions identifying anthracene oil, anthracene oil (low), anthracene oil (paste), and coal tar high pitch as PBT and/or vPvB substances and including them in the Candidate List of substances of very high concern. ECHA considers that this ruling is a clear reminder to registrants that in their chemical safety assessment of UVCBs and other multi-constituent substances they have to identify and take into account the properties of the constituents of these substances. [1] unknown, or variable composition, or of biological origin [2] persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances [3] very persistent and very bioaccumulative substances Further information is available at: Case law of the EU Court of Justice (cases T-93/10, T-94-10, T-95/10 and T-96/10)

ECHA, 8 March 2013 ; ;