In the effort to contribute to a circular economy and reducing waste, and as part of the EU’s action plan for the circular economy adopted in 2015, the revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD) that entered into force in July 2018, gave ECHA the task to establish a database with information on articles containing substances of very high concern (SVHC) on the candidate list. This database named SCIP stands for: “Substances of Concern in articles, as such or in complex objects (Products)”
What's the SCIP database?
The main purpose of the SCIP database is to close the information gap for waste operators so that certain information on articles containing candidate list substances will be available throughout the whole lifecycle of products and materials, including at the waste stage. This is done by notifying information to the SCIP database currently being established by ECHA for articles as such and complex objects that are placed on the EU/EEA market and contain more than 0.1% weight by weight (w/w) of a substance on the candidate list. The SCIP notification duty started applying from January 5th, 2021. Consequently, EU suppliers of articles will have to gather the required information for all their affected products and prepare to submit information where the article as such or in a complex object supplied contain more than 0.1% w/w of a Candidate List substance.
The Candidate List
The Candidate List is a list of substances that may have serious effects on human health or the environment. Substances on the Candidate List are also known as identified Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) and are typically candidates for eventual inclusion in the Authorisation List ( REACH Annex XIV). Once they are on the Authorisation List, industry will need to apply for permission to continue using the substance after the sunset date, unless an exemption applies. The list of candidate substances can be found here: candidate list (SVHC).
In principle, all EU/EEA suppliers of articles as such and complex objects containing more than 0.1% w/w of a substance on the Candidate List are obliged to notify these articles to the SCIP database. This includes EU producers and assemblers, EU importers and EU distributors and other actors in the supply chain. The SCIP notification duty is directly linked to the existing requirement to communicate information on substances in articles in the supply chain pursuant to Article 33(1) of REACH.
Importantly, the 0.1% w/w threshold applies in relation to each component article as such that contains a Candidate List substance in a complex object supplied. This was clarified in a landmark judgment of the European Court of Justice of 10 September 2015 in Case C-106/14
The obligation to provide information to ECHA starts with the first supplier (producer/importer1), because they have or should have the best knowledge of the article. Concerning other suppliers further down in the supply chain (such as distributors who are not importers), a pragmatic approach may be sought as regards to the way they fulfil their obligation, such as making reference to information already submitted by the upstream supplier. Such an approach would avoid double reporting and thereby limit unnecessary administrative burden for both duty holders and authorities (Source: Commission non-paper on the implementation of articles 9(1)(i) and 9(2) of the revised Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, distributed to the CARACAL and Waste Expert Group in June 2019, ref. Ares(2019)3936110).
*Retailers that supply articles directly and exclusively to consumers are not required to submit SCIP notifications.
What about non-EU suppliers?
Even though the SCIP notification obligation lies with the EU importer, Non-EU suppliers have an important role as they need to provide the necessary information to the EU importer to enable notifications by downstream EU article suppliers to the SCIP database.
Consequently, it is very important that EU importers contact their non-EU suppliers well in advance and let them know about their obligations to start gathering all the information needed to successfully prepare and submit their notifications. Additionally, international supply chains, with manufacturing plants outside Europe, are very complex and involve many actors around the world. Therefore, creating awareness of the new requirement in the supply chain is crucial.
What must be notified?
The SCIP notification will have to include several points of information, including Article Identification (Identifiers, Name, Article Category), Safe use Information, and information on the SVHC in the article. The submission of the notification will be done in a specific SCIP-format on IUCLID. A comprehensive list of all information requirements for the SCIP database can be found here.
Furthermore, and after submission of the notification, the information on the articles containing candidate list substances will be publicly available. By having access to this information waste operators will improve current waste management practices and will enhance actions towards circularity. Also, this information will help consumers to make smarter choices when buying products and to know better how to use and dispose such products.
How does this affect your business?
All suppliers of articles or complex objects are affected by the SCIP requirements, if their products placed on the EU market contain SVHCs on the candidate list in a concentration above 0.1% w/w. EU/EEA suppliers will be required to familiarize themselves with their portfolio of products and compositions to make sure that all instances of SVHC’s are accounted for. SCIP affects all parties throughout the supply chain and requires cooperation and communication by all parties of the supply/chain (downstream and upstream). Keep in mind that the obligation covers articles as such or in complex objects, as they are supplied, including spare parts.
REACHLaw helps suppliers of articles containing substances of very high concern (SVHC) on the candidate list and in concentration above 0.1% (w/w) to comply with the SCIP notification requirements by helping them to prepare and submit their notifications to the SCIP database in time for the first deadline on January 5th, 2021. Furthermore, we provide strategic advice to help companies achieve optimal results from developing first insights and determining the impacts of the SCIP notification obligations on their business and supply chain to implementing their strategy with concrete actions to successfully comply with the SCIP notification requirements. REACHLaw supports EU producers and assemblers, EU importers, EU distributors and other actors in the supply chain placing articles on the EU market.
Find out more about SCIP by reading this article, and registering to our SCIP-related webinar here.