Chromium trioxide for decorative Chrome plating - Latest developments

Wednesday 9 December 2020

During this year we have seen some development in the regulation of Chromium trioxide (CrO3), starting by end of February with a letter of the European Commission (EC) requesting applicants to submit a substitution plan for functional chrome plating with decorative character (use 3) until end of August 2020.

The substitution plan of Chemservice GmbH (and others) is based on a survey, where more than 800 downstream users participated from different sectors. The survey shows that only very few companies substituted completely CrO3 already, most companies are still in development phase or are missing a proper alternative, based on e.g. customer acceptance, surface properties. For companies which have found a possible alternative, Chromium (III) is the preferred one for chrome plating of plastic and metal substrates.

As a critical point this survey identified that only some, mostly large companies, have filed their own authorization request. In combination with the total number of participants of the survey this shows that a large amount of downstream users rely on the upstream authorization and their importance for several sectors.

Based on the provided data and timelines of the downstream users the substitution plan recommends 6-7 years to complete the substitution of CrO3.

Next step will be the analyze by the Committee for Socioeconomic Analysis (SEAC), which has the task to check the submitted substitution plans on their credibility and technical evaluation of missing alternatives. The final report to the EC is expected to be completed in October 2021.

All substitution plans can be found HERE

Timo Kopka
Chairman of the CEIR Sanitary Valves Technical Committee 

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