ECHA’s Enforcement Forum
Helsinki, 24 September 2020 – National enforcement authorities and customs inspectors in 16 Member States checked almost 1 400 products, with more than 300 (23 %) found to be non-compliant with certain obligations under REACH and the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulations. The products were checked at strategic entry points in these countries, such as airports and harbours but also at inland customs offices.
The majority of checks addressed compliance with REACH restriction obligations, focusing on the presence of the restricted substances cadmium, lead and nickel in articles. Of the 1 225 checks for restricted substances, 17 % of the products had amounts of the restricted substances above the required limit. This rate is similar to those reported in the Forum’s previous project on restrictions (REF-4) conducted in 2016. The highest rate of non-compliance was for cadmium detected in jewellery.
The majority of the products were checked for restriction obligations (79 %) and those found to be non-compliant (74 %) mostly came from China, as well as from the United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand, North Macedonia and Madagascar. Importers of articles containing chemical substances must ensure that products placed on the EU market are compliant with REACH obligations.
Under this pilot project, cooperation with the customs authorities for better enforcement of the REACH and CLP regulations has been examined. Selected controls were performed on products before they enter the European Single Market. These products were mostly:
(a) articles for which the presence of a substance restricted by REACH Annex XVII was checked, for example jewellery and other metal and plastic articles; and
(b) mixtures, for which the classification and packaging requirements were examined.
The primary scope of this project was to check the compliance of imported goods during the time when they were still under customs supervision and to prohibit the entrance of non-compliant products to the European market.
Products, goods and articles – EU legal defnition and requirements on Ekotox webpages: