REACH: further restrictions on textile products and clothing planned – first application of the simplified procedure
On 22 October 2015, the EU Commission commenced public consultation on a possible restriction of CMR substances of categories 1A or 1B in textile products and clothing intended for consumers.
For the first time, the EU Commission intends to apply the simplified restriction procedure according to Article 68(2) of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH). This procedure can be applied to restrict CMR substances of categories 1A or 1B in consumer products. The usual restriction procedure will thereby be considerably shortened.
In particular not intended are:
- the preparation of an Annex XV Dossier to initiate the restriction process,
- public consultation on it,
- opinions by RAC and SEAC,
- the consultation of the Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement.
Textile articles and clothing were selected as a first test-case because of the high likelihood of exposure of consumers to CMR substances being potentially present in those articles. The objective of the procedure is the preparation of a list of CMR substances (individual substances or groups of substances) affected by the future restriction which is then intended to be attached to Annex XVII of the REACH regulation as a special annex. This annex could be regularly updated subsequently.
A preliminary list of potentially affected substances is already available.
The 291 substances listed there are divided into three groups:
- Group 1: classified dyes and carcinogenic amines
- Group 2: petroleum and coal stream substances
- Group 3: other substances.
With the public consultation now commenced, the EU Commission requests information on:
- the presence or likelihood of presence of the identified CMR substances in relevant consumer articles and in so far as possible information on their concentration, function and on the availability of alternatives the potential socio-economic effects and enforcement of a possible restriction,
- possible socio-economic effects and enforcement of a possible restriction.
Participation in the consultation is possible up to 22 January 2016. An online questionnaire is available on the website of the EU Commission. The website of the EU Commission with further information and background documents or possible restriction procedure and preliminary CMR lists of substances can be found here:
Website EU Commission with further information
The online questionnaire is accessible here:
Because of the high number of substances potentially affected and the wide range of effects of such an extension of the restriction for textile products and clothing alone, affected companies should familiarise themselves rapidly, possibly also through the relevant industry associations, with the public consultation and the plans of the Commission. Since the Commission expressly asks about the enforcement of a possible restriction, this first “test case” of a simplified procedure should be taken as the occasion to point out many practical problems, for example the difficulty of control within the supply chain and the increased risks under criminal and administrative fines law for importers, manufacturers and distributors due not least thereto.
Any questions? Please contact: Martin Ahlhaus or Dr. Arun Kapoor
Practice Group: Regulatory & Governmental Affairs, Litigation
Further articles: REACH: Expanded Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern