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The SCIP Database under Directive (EU) 2018/851

Do ECHA’s Detailed Information Requirements Cross the Legal Boundaries?

open-access


Tim Becker


With the forthcoming database on substances of concern in articles as such or in complex objects (products) (hereafter SCIP database) the EU’s co-legislators have introduced a highly ambitious project for all parties involved at the EU, national and global level. The requirement is set out in Article 9(1)(i) and (2) of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste, as revised by Directive (EU) 2018/851 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 (hereafter Waste Framework Directive, WFD or revised WFD). At its recent SCIP workshop 2019the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) presented and discussed with numerous participants from industry, authorities and NGOs the current state of play of the database, which ECHA should establish by 5 January 2020. In particular, the scope of ECHA’s detailed information requirements for SCIP notifications was criticized from the industry side for exceeding legal boundaries, while others argued in support of the ECHA plans. This question is of high practical relevance. Essentially, the issue at stake is whether industry can rely on existing systems and data already communicated under Article 33(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH), or whether additional data has to be collected from often long and complex global supply chains for the purpose of SCIP notifications, which are due as from 5 January 2021. Against this background, the present article aims to take a closer look at the legal background for the new SCIP provisions and discuss ECHA’s detailed information requirements from a legal point of view, based on the underlying rationale of the European Commission (EC). We will see that the role of recitals in EU law for the interpretation of enacting terms is one of the key legal issues raised in this context.

Tim Becker is Senior Legal Advisor at REACHLaw Ltd. in Espoo, Finland. He is a specialist on EU chemicals regulatory issues. Reference for more information: https://www.reachlaw.fi/person/tim-becker.

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