Updating substance registration dossiers, compliance checks, harmonisation of the reporting of hazardous mixtures, substitution of hazardous substances, declarations on biocides and the consumer's right to know are major challenges that Luxembourg companies face over the next few years. For this, they can count on the support of the REACH&CLP Luxembourg Helpdesk operated by the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology.
On 6 December 2018, the REACH&CLP Luxembourg Helpdesk, a service offered by the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), hosted its twelfth annual conference with the support of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure and the Ministry of the Economy. Themed on "Conference and Networking Lunch: Implementation of REACH and CLP Regulations and Challenges Ahead", this year's event once again raised awareness among Luxembourg professionals of their obligations in terms of the European REACH "Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals" and CLP "Classification, Labelling and Packaging" regulations on chemical substances and mixtures. These regulations are a constant challenge for companies manufacturing, importing, or using chemical products because they not only ensure proper compliance but also oblige them to be pro-active in their regulatory approaches.
2018 marked the final deadline for registering low-tonnage manufactured or imported substances. This final deadline does not mean that companies no longer have any registration obligations, on the contrary. Companies should continue to keep their registration dossiers up to date. In addition, although the review of REACH regulations, that takes place every 5 years, has set out action to be taken, it has still confirmed that its legal requirements and obligations are appropriate for the desired needs and objectives.
In 2019, future implementation projects for REACH and CLP regulations will be carried out in Luxembourg. These projects will have a direct impact on companies. Among them, there will be several compliance checks such as complying with the application of restrictions in appendix XVII of REACH regulations or the online sale of biocidal products, carried out under the responsibility of the Environmental Administration.
Luxembourg companies can also prepare for new longer-term challenges. From 1 January 2020, anyone marketing hazardous mixtures, such as detergents, paints, and biocidal products, will have to declare them to the Belgian Poison Control Centre under a standardised European format. The main impact on Luxembourg companies concerns their compliance with these new requirements introduced by the CLP regulation.
At the same time, companies are also invited to use substitutes for the hazardous substances that they use, replacing them with alternatives - chemical or technical products - that are safer, something that will benefit companies, the environment, and the health of consumers and workers. This principle also applies to legislation on occupational health and safety which, in addition to a specific section on chemical products, contains several obligations that are primarily for employers to enact for risk management and to guarantee that chemicals are used safely in the workplace.
Biocidal products - such as protection and pest control products - that are marketed or used in Luxembourg must have a marketing authorisation. Available information on biocides has, moreover, been improved on the website of the European Chemicals Agency - ECHA since 2018, strengthening related regulations. Companies should continue to be attentive to changes in regulations, particularly on information to be provided on hormone disruptors.
REACH regulations that are the most frequently applicable to professionals also state that consumers may apply the "right to know" to substances of very high concern (SVHC) found in consumable items. The LIFE AskREACH European research project, which LIST is part of alongside 20 other partners, aims to develop innovative computing tools for the purpose of providing this "right to know".
In this context, in 2018 LIST and its partners sought consumer feedback on SVHC and companies on the methods they use to handle the presence of SVHC substances in the items that they produce. The first results obtained in Luxembourg show several trends. While chemical substances generally feature as part of consumers' main concerns, a lot of companies are not well prepared to meet consumer "right to know" requests. With this in mind, LIST asked the companies to take part in the beta testing phase for innovative solutions devised by the project partners and which begins in January 2019, before the official launch that is planned in the spring.
>> The programme and the presentations given at the conference are available on REACH &CLP Helpdesk Luxembourg website
> Visualisez l’album photo du LIST sur photogallery.list.lu.