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February 23, 2024

ECHA Begins Public Consultation on Recommending Authorization for Five SVHCs and Adding a New Hazard to DBP

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced on February 7, 2024, that it is considering recommending the following substances for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Authorization List:

  • Melamine;
  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate covering any of the individual isomers and/or combinations thereof (TBPH);
  • S-(tricyclo[ 2,6]deca-3-en-8(or 9)-yl) O-(isopropyl or isobutyl or 2-ethylhexyl) O-(isopropyl or isobutyl or 2-ethylhexyl) phosphorodithioate;
  • Diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide; and
  • Barium diboron tetraoxide.

ECHA states that it is looking for further information on the uses of these substances in scope of authorization, their possible exemptions from the authorization requirement, and on the structure and complexity of the supply chains. ECHA encourages REACH registrants to update their use information alongside sending their comments. ECHA notes that the European Commission (EC) is calling for information separately on the possible socio-economic impacts of adding these substances to the Authorization List. ECHA will pass this information directly to the EC and will not consider it. ECHA also invites comments regarding the implications of adding a new hazard to dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which is already on the Authorization List. The public consultation will close May 7, 2024.

ECHA states that the identification of melamine as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) is currently being challenged before the General Court of Justice. According to ECHA, “[o]ngoing actions before the Court are, however, not considered legitimate grounds for postponing or delaying ECHA’s recommendation.” ECHA will assess the conclusion of the cases when available.

The EC has also requested ECHA to carry out an investigation on flame retardants that will cover TBPH, among other substances. According to ECHA, its report will support the EC in deciding whether to request that ECHA prepare a restriction dossier. A call for evidence for this investigation is open until April 5, 2024, and ECHA invites interested parties to provide information on TBPH via this call for evidence, as well. ECHA states that “[c]onsidering that there is currently no decision yet on whether a REACH restriction process will be initiated on TBPH nor what could be the potential uses in scope of such a restriction, TBPH will remain for the moment in the draft recommendation for potential inclusion to REACH Authorisation List.” ECHA will decide later whether TBPH is included in the final recommendation.