EU Issues Proposals to Strengthen Lead Restrictions for PVCs
On July 12, 2019, the EU notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its intention to update its restrictions on the use of lead in polymers and/or copolymers of vinyl chloride (PVC). This follows entry 63 to Annex XVII of REACH.
The draft regulation includes:
• Prohibition of the use of lead in articles manufactured from polymers or copolymers of vinyl chloride (PVC)
• Prohibition on the placing of articles containing at least 0.1% lead onto the market, if these are manufactured from polymers or copolymers of PVC
• Suppliers of rigid and flexible articles containing recovered PVC materials must apply the phrase ‘Contains recovered PVC’ on the packaging before these articles are placed on the market
• Suppliers of rigid and flexible PVC articles must submit documentary evidence (EN 15343 or similar standards) on the recovered origin of PVC in these articles when requested
Time-period exemptions include:
• 15-year exemption for certain rigid articles containing no more than 2% lead in recovered PVC materials – the lead concentration will be strengthened to 0.1% in the layer that prevents leaching and formation of lead containing dusts during article service covering the recovered PVC in these applications
• 15-year exemption for certain flexible articles containing no more than 1% lead in recovered flexible (soft) PVC materials – the lead concentration will be strengthened to 0.1% in other materials that prevent leaching and formation of lead containing dusts during article service used with recovered PVC in these applications
• 10-year exemption for PVC-silica separators in lead acid-batteries
The draft proposes the following exemptions:
• Food contact materials and articles (Regulation (EC) 1935/2004), electrical and electronic equipment (EEE, Directive 2011/65/EU), packaging (Directive 94/62/EC) and toys (Directive 2009/48/EC)
• Jewelry articles and articles supplied to the general public that are described in the preceding paragraphs under entry 63 to Annex XVII of REACH
It is expected that the new regulation will be adopted in Q3 of 2019, and will enter into force
20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU). Implementation would be carried out in stages, commencing two years after the date of entry into force.
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