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May 4, 2023

ECHA Publishes Q&A Document Following the April 5, 2023, PFAS Restriction Proposal Online Information Session


The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published on May 3, 2023, the Question and Answer (Q&A) document following the April 5, 2023, online information session on the proposal to restrict more than 10,000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. As reported in our April 7, 2023, memorandum, national authorities of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden submitted the proposal after finding risks in the manufacture, placement on the market, and use of PFAS that are not, in their view, adequately controlled and need to be addressed throughout the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). The proposal suggests two restriction options — a full ban and a ban with use-specific derogations — to address the identified risks. A six-month consultation on the proposal started on March 22, 2023. The April 5, 2023, online information session explained the restriction proposal, how the REACH restriction process works, and how to participate in the consultation.

ECHA will publish the Q&A document in two parts. The first part, published on May 3, 2023, focuses on questions regarding the consultation, the evaluation, and the opinion-making process by ECHA’s scientific committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC), and the REACH restriction process. The responses to these questions come from ECHA experts. The second part of the Q&A document, which ECHA expects to publish later in May or in June 2023, will focus on questions regarding the content of the proposed restriction and will include replies from the five national authorities that have prepared the proposal.

In this first Q&A document, readers can find responses to practical questions regarding the consultation and submitting information, such as where to find certain information or documents, how to submit comments, or how to claim information as confidential. Other questions relate to the opinion-making process by ECHA’s scientific committees, for example, how the committees will manage the expected flood of derogation requests received during the consultation. Lastly, the Q&A document provides responses to miscellaneous questions relating to the provisions of the restriction proposal, such as what types of PFAS would be covered, how the restrictions would apply in practice, or how the proposed restrictions would relate to existing restrictions on PFAS.

A similar blog post will be published here and on The Acta Group’s (Acta®) PFAS Resource Center upon publication by ECHA of the second part of the Q&A document.

The scientists, regulatory specialists, business consultants, and attorneys of Acta and our affiliated law firm Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) relentlessly participate in and track developments regarding the global regulatory approach to PFAS. We offer a PFAS Resource Center, a constantly updated library of PFAS resources, to help those in the chemical and chemical products industry understand what they need to know and what it means to their business.