EU inspections to control safety data sheets (SDS) in the EU-wide enforcement project in 2023
The EU-wide enforcement project (REF-11) in 2023 will look at the quality of information in safety data sheets.
SDS – Safety data sheets are the main vehicles for communicating safety information in the supply chain. If they are deficient, workers and professionals may not receive adequate information to use hazardous substances and mixtures safely.
The poor quality of information in safety data sheets is a long-standing issue detected also in many earlier enforcement projects – up to 52 % were found to be deficient in the Forum’s REF-2 project in 2013. Experience from enforcement activities in Member States confirms that the issue persists.
The project will check compliance with the revised requirements under Annex II to REACH, which sets the content and format required for safety data sheets. With the revised requirements entering into force in 2023, this is a timely opportunity to have a harmonised project to check that companies across the EU are fulfilling this duty.
Any SDSs that were compiled according to the old Annex II requirements will have to be rewritten to comply with the updated requirements by 31 December 2022.
The European Commission published their proposal for CLP Regulation on the 19th December.
Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council
on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures.
As part of the CLP Regulation revision package, a delegated act will add definitions and scientific and technical criteria to enable substances and mixtures that have endocrine disrupting (‘ED’), persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (‘PBT’), very persistent and very bioaccumulative (‘vPvB’), persistent, mobile and toxic (‘PMT’), or very persistent and very mobile (‘vPvM’) properties to be classified into established hazard classes.
The impact of adding these new hazard classes has been assessed as part of the overall impact assessment on the revision of the CLP Regulation.
The CLP Regulation revision package aims to:
(i) ensure that all hazardous chemicals, including those with ED, PBT, vPvB, PMT and vPvM properties, are classified adequately and uniformly throughout the EU;
(ii) improve the efficiency of hazard communication by making labels more accessible and understandable for users of chemicals, and provide companies with more flexibility, thereby reducing the administrative burden without lowering safety levels;
(iii) make sure that the rules on chemical hazard classification and communication are applied by all relevant actors in the supply chain.
One of the actions listed under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability under the European Green Deal is the targeted revision of the Regulation on classification, labelling, and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP). The revision is expected to cover a number of issues as e.g. introducing new hazard classes (e.g. for endocrine disruptors) but also addressing practical issues with labelling or notification of information to poison centres.
CLP is a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council, therefore all amendments to the regulation should be adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure, however, the European Commission has been empowered to amend certain parts, so in practice it can amend the annexes and certain articles by means of a delegated act instead of the ordinary legislative procedure.
The Commission plans to adopt certain amendments within the scope of its empowerment in the framework of the CLP revision via Delegated act. These amendments aim at introducing new hazard classes and criteria to assess some additional hazards to human health and the environment displayed by chemical substances and mixtures.
The question was raised whether the Commission is empowered to adopt such amendments under the current provisions of CLP.
The most important question is whether adding new hazard classes (such as endocrine disruptors and Persistent Bioavailable and Toxic) can be considered a non-essential element of the CLP Regulation that could be amended by the European Commission without the involvement of the European Parliament?