Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) deals with the production, usage, and potential effects of chemicals. REACH conducted a test with the intention of ensuring a high level of protection for human health and the environment from chemical use, and the test's findings revealed that one in every four substances retrieved from waste was non-compliant with REACH.

The tests conducted as part of the Forum pilot enforcement project on materials recovered from waste show that 26% of the tested substances violate REACH regulations.

To determine whether substances recovered from waste met the standards for exemption from REACH registration, inspectors evaluated 46 cases. Firstly, inspectors checked to see if the substances recovered by the waste operators were registered. Later, verified if the safe use of the recovered substance was available.

Inspectors first checked to see if the chemicals were collected and registered, and then they checked to see if there was information on safe use.

Inspectors also verified that, in 96% of the cases, safety data sheets (SDSs) were offered with the recovered substances and mixtures. Identifying substances is the primary problem when SDSs are deficient in information. 37% of the cases that were examined did not adhere to the primary classification, labelling, and packaging (CLP) requirements of the CLP Regulation.

Written advice, penalties, and administrative orders were issued as a result of the non-compliances discovered during the pilot project.

A major element of this project was the coordination between the national REACH and waste inspectors and other national inspectorates, with joint inspections occurring in 70% of cases.

Favorable mentions:

In order to learn more about their chemicals, waste operators should get in touch with national authorities and helpdesks. Additionally, they need to understand how their customers will make use of the substances.

To successfully track the condition of recovered substances that are on the market and enhance safety for both humans and the environment, national authorities administering REACH and the Waste Framework Directive should deepen their cooperation.

The Enforcement Forum should investigate this issue further and possibly include it in a future EU-wide enforcement project.

The existing Guidance on waste and recovered compounds needs to be updated, according to ECHA.

The legal text should be revised to address the issues found throughout the project. The EU's end-of-waste standards need to be harmonized, according to the European Commission.

Behind the scenes:

This pilot project evaluated whether recovered materials complied with REACH Article 2(7). (d). The Enforcement Forum examined the relationship between REACH and the Waste Framework Directive for the first time. 11 Member States participated in the pilot study.

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