REACH Chromium VI update

Monday 16 December 2019

Concerning the ongoing application of the CTAC Consortium for the use of Chrome-6, the European Parliament voted in March 2019 to reject the decision from the European Commission from February 2019 that would have granted a four years authorisation for use 3 (functional chrome plating with decorative character). Although the Parliament's vote is not binding, the Commission nevertheless decided to rethink their decision.

The next vote in the Commission on this authorisation file is scheduled for February 2020. However, the use 3 that is important for the faucet industry is excluded from the vote as the Commission will ask the applicants to provide a substitution plan within nine months.

CEIR has written to the CTAC consortium in order to offer its help with the process, and also to ensure that the application is further pursued by the consortium. The goal is to obtain the originally granted four years period (counting from the date of decision) for the further use of Chrome-6. The intervention of the European Parliament however shows that there is a clear political will to restrict the use of Chrome-6 as far as possible.

In this context, any authorisation period should rather be seen as the time in which users of Chrome-6 should prepare their respective business for alternatives such as Chrome-3 galvanic. As we heard, the Parliament has also questioned previous decisions of the Commission regarding authorisations for certain faucet manufacturers that filed their own application. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that a further authorisation of the use of Chrome-6 for partly decorative chrome plating will be very hard to obtain.

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