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Communication according to REACH Article 33

When to communicate?

If a candidate substance is contained in your article in concentrations above 0.1% w/w, you have to communicate to your commercial customers always, and on request, if a consumer asks you directly or via your customers.

PLEASE NOTE:

The EU Commission / ECHA and some Member States disagree on the interpretation of the threshold of 0.1% w/w.

The Commission / ECHA think that the 0.1% threshold applies to the entire article as placed on the market. If for example an SVHC is contained in a zippers above 0.1% the producer has to communicate this. If the zipper is sewn into a jacket, the concentration of the SVHC is determined by relating its weight to the weight of the entire jacket including the zipper and may hence be lower than 0.1%. Consequently, the jacket producer does not have to communicate on the SVHC.

The so called “Dissenting Member States” (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden and Norway) think that the 0.1% threshold applies to that article into which the SVHC is included for the first time. For the same case, the producer of the zipper AND the producer of the jacket would have to communicate, because the concentration of the SVHC in the article it is included into is decisive. This approach is called “once-an-article always-an-article” approach.

This website, the guidance and the interactive support tool work on the basis of the interpretation of the Dissenting Member States (once-always). Since the communication requirements are stricter, you are in compliance with the interpretation of the EU Commission / ECHA, if you implement the “once-always” approach.

What to communicate?

REACH article 33 specifies:

1. Any supplier of an article […] shall provide […] sufficient information, available to the supplier, to allow safe use of the article including, as a minimum, the name of that substance.“

Consequently, the name of a candidate substance must always be communicated.

In addition, sufficient information to allow safe use of the article shall be provided. In the ECHA guidance it is explained that:

  • the type of information that is obligatory to forward depends on what the users (commercial actors and consumers) need to know to ensure that risks are adequately controlled;
  • safe use is to be ensured along the entire downstream chain, including transport and the waste stage;
  • all potential exposures and necessary risk management measures (RMMs) for safe use need to be considered;
  • the information type may vary for different user groups or uses of the article;
  • if information to ensure safe use is needed, it is to be provided, even if it is not readily available to the article supplier.

Consequently, if you want to determine which information you must provide, you should reflect on the potential risks for you customers when they further process, handle or use your article. Your customers may be craftsmen, industrial customers or private consumers. If there could be risks, you should communicate how to protect oneself or the environment (risk management measure).


Indirect communication requirements according to REACH Article 7(2)

When to Notify?

You and your customers may have to make a notification to ECHA about the content of candidate substances in your articles. This is the case if:

The total amount of a candidate substances in all articles, where it is contained in concentrations above 0.1% exceeds 1 t/a.

How to check if this obligation applies and how to make a notification to ECHA is not discussed in detail here. For further information and guidance, please use ECHA’s guidance on substances in articles and the REACH-IT notification function.

What to communicate to your customers so they can check?

If you want to make sure that your commercial customers can check if they have to notify or not, you need to extend your communication beyond the minimum information under Article 33. Consumers and retailers do not have the obligation to notify.

Your customers have to calculate the total amount of each individual candidate substance in all the articles they supply per year in order to check, if this amount exceeds 1 t/a. Hence, for each article the article producer / importer has to know

  • the total amount of each individual candidate substance per article
  • or their concentration(s), the total weight of the article and the total number of the respective articles he places on the market per year.

Therefore, you should either tell your commercial customers (not consumers and retailers) the exact concentration or the amount of the SVHC in the article and the article weight.