REACH WFD - SCIP Database: update, risks and potential threat for our industry
Do you know the SCIP database and what you will have to do in the next months? Thanks to regular information along the year (through CEIR bulletins and other messages), you may know but a reminder may be helpful.
On ECHA website, you can read (main extracts with some underlined concerns):
The Waste Framework Directive sets out measures addressing the adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste on the environment and human health, and for improving efficient use of resources which are crucial for the transition to a circular economy.
As part of the implementation of the EU’s action plan for the circular economy adopted in 2015, the revised Waste Framework Directive entered into force in July 2018. It gave ECHA the task to develop a database with information on articles containing substances of very high concern (SVHCs) on the Candidate List. New substances are regularly added to the Candidate List under REACH.
Companies that produce, import or supply articles containing Candidate List substances have to submit information on these articles placed on EU market to the SCIP database, as from 5 January 2021. These articles can be produced in the EU or imported from non-EU countries.
SCIP is the database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products) established under the Waste Framework Directive (WFD).
The information in the database may help waste operators in sorting and recycling articles that contain Candidate List substances, and support consumers in making informed choices and considering how to best use and dispose of such articles. Overall the database should contribute to the progressive substitution of SVHCs in articles and to the development of safer alternatives.
The SCIP database has three main objectives:
- Decrease the generation of waste containing hazardous substances by supporting the substitution of substances of concern in articles placed on the EU market.
- Make information available to further improve waste treatment operations.
- Allow authorities to monitor the use of substances of concern in articles and initiate appropriate actions over the whole lifecycle of articles, including at their waste stage.
The SCIP database complements the existing communication and notification obligations for Candidate List substances in articles under REACH.
Companies supplying articles containing substances of very high concern (SVHCs) on the Candidate List in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight (w/w) on the EU market have to submit information on these articles to ECHA, as from 5 January 2021. The SCIP database ensures that the information on articles containing Candidate List substances is available throughout the whole lifecycle of products and materials, including at the waste stage. The information in the database is then made available to waste operators and consumers.
What is the current status and the situation for the companies:
Industry can access and test the database since beginning of 2020 on the ECHA website: https://echa.europa.eu/
Many European associations (not only valves) have tested the pilot database in order to comment, ask questions and argue for improvements. For example, many French federations (FIM – Mechanic, FIEEC – Electrotechnic, PFA – Automotive, GIFAS – Aeroplane and space) are hardly exchanging with ECHA, the European Commission, the national Ministries to point on the difficulties, risks and threat for our industry. Common actions took place within Orgalim and more than 40 industry associations in order to list and show the over-requirements of ECHA, the delays for providing a pilot database usable for test all functionalities (only available end of October for an entry into force in January 2021), the defaults of the database and the implementation costs (yearly hours counted as many ETPs and/or IT developments). It would be too long to list all the Industry argued comments.
Another risk of confusion exists due to the differences of national implementations as decided by Member States.
Moreover, the COVID crisis and consequences does not really facilitate and permits such a huge implementation by any company size.
Despite everything, ECHA continues with no consideration of the situation, even explaining that all is running well without big difficulty …
The SCIP Database has been the subject of fierce debates:
- Joint industry letter sent to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen by 40 industry associations, including CEIR, in September, calling for decisive actions:
- postpone the SCIP notification deadline of 5th January 2021 by at least 12 months after the database will be finalised,
- conduct a study on the usefulness, feasibility, proportionality and impact of the database,
- instruct ECHA to adapt the SCIP database according to the outcome of such study.
- But there was also high pressure from other supporters of the database:
- joint statement from 9 national Ministers for Environment for an ambitious long-term chemicals strategy,
- NGOs letter, led by the EEB and Client Earth, calling "to continue progress on the SCIP database, for consumers and the planet” and “not to cede to industry demands”
What’s now ?
- The Commission answered to be not empowered to modify the obligations,
- “Companies still have some months to prepare for the SCIP database notification obligation, which is applicable from 5 January 2021. The Commission expects that, to a certain extent, suppliers can build on arrangements put in place to comply with the existing obligation under Article 33 of the REACH Regulation to provide information on the presence of substances of very high concern in articles”,
- That means no support from the European Commission,
- The joint industry contacts the Director General of DG ENVI (who answered the joint industry letter on behalf of the Commission President) to ask for an urgent meeting to talk about SCIP bilaterally and address her response, its factual errors and bring her up to speed on this matter; meeting would be with a small group of people, involving industry representation.
- A new joint industry letter has been sent to German Presidency of the Council by 42 industry associations, including CEIR, with copy to the Presidents of the EU Parliament and the European Council and copy to the relevant attachés in the Brussels Permanent Representations of the Member States,
- Answer is still pending.
- Encourages companies to continue their preparations,
- The SCIP database has been formally open for submitting notifications to comply with the legal obligation on 23rd of October,
- Will publish a “summary of most relevant Q&As” raised during its webinar “getting ready for submitting SCIP notifications” on 19 November (more than 650 questions in 3 hours!),
- SCIP tools continue to evolve and CEIR with its partners continue to positively check and criticize them with arguments and proposals.
CEIR is not against the basic purpose of SCIP but defends the Industry for proportionality, just necessary, just legal and finally useful requirements. In France, EVOLIS continues its advocacy with other European valves associations.
Chairman of the CEIR Industrial & building Valves Technical Committee