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Most SVHC users compliant, Enforcement Forum finds

An EU-wide project by ECHA’s Enforcement Forum carried out in 2021 has found that most users of substances of commonly controlled very high concern (SVHCs), mainly SMEs, already comply with the authorisation requirement to control risks.

The authorities of all 28 member countries undertook 690 inspections at 516 companies, mostly SVHCs. The most common SVHCs checked were chromium trioxide and strontium chromate, which are used mainly in surface treatment and chrome plating.

In all, 26% of downstream users were not using the SVHCs in compliance with conditions set out in their supplier’s authorisation decision, while 20% did not notify ECHA of their use. “While there is clear room for improvement in the levels of compliance with the specific authorisation requirements, the results show that most downstream users adhere to the fundamental authorisation duties,” ECHA stated.

In addition, suppliers failed to communicate required information about operational conditions, risk management or monitoring arrangements for 35% of checked substances. Finally in 3% of inspections, inspectors found instances of companies using or marketing substances without obtaining or applying for an authorisation or being covered by an applicable exemption.

When finding non-compliance, inspectors took 254 enforcement measures to bring all of the companies into compliance. These included mainly written advice and administrative orders, but also fines and, in some cases, criminal complaints, ECHA said.

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