Abiding with the European Union’s motto: EU: We Protect, Europe’s parliament publishes many directives that are aimed to protect its citizens’ safety and health, and the society and environment as well. It then falls up to its member states to pass national laws to apply the recommendations and enforce diligent compliance.

Established in the year 2007, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is dedicated to the safe use of chemicals. The agency implements the EU’s chemical legislation, which directly benefits human health, environment, and innovation on a significant scale.

Over the years, ECHA has come up with several initiatives to promote and regulate the safe use of chemicals with SCIP and REACH being the most prominent ones.


Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is a European Union Regulation, entered into force by 1 June 2007 and it addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment.


SCIP is a database intended to contain all information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products) established by ECHA under the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), Article 9(2). Legal duties are enforced from 5th Jan 2021.

But what led to the launch of these compliances? What’s the goal behind? Let’s find out

ECHA’s role in SCIP Report and REACH

In the year 2015, the European Union adopted an actionable plan to bring about and promote a more circular economy. The aim of a circular economy is to minimize the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, moving away from the traditional “take, make, and dispose” model of the linear economy. In order to achieve this, the waste framework directive was created setting out measures to reduce the “adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste on the environment and human health”.

In 2018, the revised Waste Framework Directive came into effect, which required the ECHA to develop a database with information on articles containing Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). This information is supposed to help waste operators in recycling articles containing these harmful substances while also keeping customers informed about their products.

The European Commission’s (EC) White Paper of 2001 on a ‘future chemical strategy’ proposed a system that requires chemicals manufactured in quantities of greater than 1 tonne to be ‘registered’, those manufactured in quantities greater than 100 tonnes to be ‘evaluated’, and certain substances of high concern (for example carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction – CMR’s) to be ‘authorized’

The European Commission finally decided and adopted its proposal for a new scheme to manage the manufacture, importation, and supply of chemicals in Europe in October 2003. This proposal eventually became law once the European Parliament officially approved its final text of REACH. It came into force on 1 June 2007.

Why does SCIP have the edge over REACH?

Compared to REACH, the SCIP report is far more valuable and actionable as per the expert community. But why? Let’s deep dive and find out

●  Data Assertation

ECHA has referred to the SCIP database as “the start of a new era for waste treatment operators”. This reference of ECHA aligns with the expectation that the increased information will help waste operators in the separating, treating, and recycling of waste materials. ECHA believes that by being transparent with the hazardous substances in products, customers can make well-informed decisions when purchasing, using, and disposing of products. The current set of information requirements published by ECHA requires manufacturers to submit more data than the information required by REACH Article 33. Contrary to ECHA’s assertions that the vast majority of articles do not contain SVHCs, to the best of industry knowledge, all electronic products, that contain one or more SVHCs above the 0.1%w/w in many sub-articles, would have to be entered into the SCIP database.

●  Relevant Data

Under the WEE directive, electronics waste is treated separately by specialist recyclers. Only specific components are removed before processing in the recycling process. If you consider complex electronic equipment, the SVHC is mostly present in very small quantities in the product. Detailed information about these tiny sub-articles (article category, material category) is not considered useful for recyclers since knowledge of the presence of SVHCs usually would not change the final, often metallurgical, treatment process. However, on a larger scale, this detailed information is vital for the effective monitoring of SVHCs. The monitoring will further ensure the success of ECHA’s primary goal of environment protection.

Both REACH and SCIP vary in terms of their enforcement, information requirement, legal requirement, and purpose.

Now. Let’s enumerate the clear differences between REACH and SCIP


Definition SCIP is the database for information on Substances of Concern In articles Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is the system for controlling chemicals in the EU/EEA
Enforcement Under the revised EU Waste Framework Directive, all manufacturers, importers, and distributors within the EU will have to make submissions to the ECHA SCIP database by January 5, 2021. REACH came into effect on 1 June 2007
Database Requirements The database requirements are far more complex Simpler database requirements compared to ECHA SCIP database
Purpose The SCIP database’s purpose is to reduce the amount of hazardous waste by supporting the use of replacement substances in articles entering the EU. The REACH Regulation’s main focus is protecting the public and environment and encouraging the replacement of hazardous substances used in the production of goods
Companies in Scope The ECHA SCIP database impacts all companies that manufacture products containing SVHCs above the threshold in Europe Disparate requirements. For eg, companies importing over one metric ton of a substance into the EU must register that substance for its use. If the quantity is lesser, registration is not mandatory
Legal Requirements Whenever SVHC content exceeds 0.1% in the article level, data should be submitted. It is applicable for spare parts and packaging as well. It’s a complex regulation. Registration of chemical substances, Notification obligations to ECHA, Authorisation for the usage of annex XIV substances, Restricting usage in certain applications (Annex XVII), etc where reporting obligations to ECHA involves a trigger of 1 tonne.
Products from non-EU suppliers The duty to fulfill SCIP obligations falls on the shoulder of the EU importer. Companies outside of the EU are not subject to this obligation and are not allowed to submit SCIP notifications.
This may certainly cause an additional impact and may affect the businesses involved with non-EU suppliers
There is a provision to appoint an “Only representative” inside the EU who can fulfill all the REACh obligations on behalf of their customers.

Additionally, SCIP is built on top of REACH Article 33 obligations. Suppliers currently are communicating SVHC information in the form of certificates made on a product level, not at the article level. Also, there is no standard format, information is distributed in different ways like declarations, test reports, SDS, material certificates, IPC declarations, etc.

But for SCIP, more information is required at the article level which suppliers are not maintaining currently. For this additional efforts are required to collect information at a granular level from their supply chain in case of complex objects.

In addition, ECHA is asking all the duty holders to submit in a harmonized format that is published already.

Wrapping Up

The aforementioned differences highlight the most critical ones. But for any business to comply with each and every aspect of compliance regulations is all together is a different task. That’s where APA Engineering comes in. The APA engineering team is highly experienced and offers end to end compliance management solutions, with a comprehensive understanding of each of these compliances. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help your business.

5 ways companies can quickly adapt to the upcoming regulatory challenges in 2021.

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