ECHA asks for input about their proposal for Downstream User communication requirements

ECHA is seeking industry input, especially from downstream global users about the proposed process they plan to inform the public about uses of Substances of Very High Concern.

ECHA’s intended approach is to share non-confidential information from the notifications with the public and specific anonymized information with companies that applied for and received Authorization. This transparent approach aims to maximize the usefulness of notifications while respecting confidentiality concerns (for example, as regards confidential business information, information that would raise competition law issues, personal information).  The REACH-IT tool has been modified to allow for company import of data on SVHC uses, include where, what, why and how.  The expectation that alternatives will drive notification from companies that they no longer use an SVHC is a key feature.  However, many areas of the world have restrictions about what business information (ex. Contact names) is allowed to be a required disclosure.

Information that will always be made public (green):

  • Substance
  • Member State where the use takes place
  • Whether the notification’s status is active or inactive (substituted/ceased use)[1].

Information that will be made public unless the Downstream User has claimed this information confidential and has provided a valid justification (grey). ECHA will also consult with the Authorisation Holder about the confidentiality of such information about their Downstream Users:

  • Name of the company which notified the use
  • Location of the site
  • Name of the authorised use concerned by the notification
  • Any quantity information provided.

Information that will not be made public (red):

  • Name of the upstream supplier which holds the authorisation for the notified use
  • Information that can be personal such as the email address and the telephone number provided in the notification
  • Any voluntary information provided about the authorised use, except from the quantity (number of staff involved in the use, brief additional description of the specific use, involvement in substitution activities)
  • Any file attachments uploaded by the Downstream User.

Important Points:

  • Companies can mark their notification as inactive in REACH-IT. This is relevant in case they have stopped use of the SVHC, e.g. because they have now implemented an alternative substance or technology.
  • It should also be noted that Article 118(2) of REACH provides – inter alia – that the disclosure of the precise tonnage of the substance or mixture and disclosure of links between a manufacturer or importer and his distributors or downstream users shall normally be deemed to undermine the protection of commercial interests.

[1] Companies can mark their notification as inactive in REACH-IT. This is relevant in case they have stopped use of the SVHC, e.g. because they have now implemented an alternative substance or technology.

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