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EU Commission Staff Working Document | Restrictions Roadmap under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

On 14 October 2020, the European Commission published its chemicals strategy for sustainability towards a toxic-free environment1 (the ‘strategy’) as part of the European Green Deal. The strategy highlights that chemicals are fundamental for society and a robust framework is needed to make Union legislation stronger and more coherent. It presents several actions to bring about a toxic-free environment and to protect people and the environment from hazardous chemicals.

In particular, the Commission is considering extending the ‘generic approach to risk management’, i.e. restricting certain substances in products for certain users while allowing limited exemptions under conditions clearly defined in law.

Until the proposed changes have been assessed and introduced in Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006) (REACH Regulation), the strategy aims to ‘prioritise carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances (CMRs), endocrine disruptors, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) and very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) substances, immunotoxicants, neurotoxicants, substances toxic to specific organs and respiratory sensitisers substances for (group) restrictions’ for all uses. To facilitate this action, the Commission has prepared a roadmap to prioritise these substances for (group) restrictions under REACH (the ‘Restrictions Roadmap’).

In its Conclusion on the strategy (in para. 21), the Council stated that it:

(*) ‘supports the prioritisation of restrictions for the most harmful chemicals to be covered by the generic approach for all uses and through grouping as an interim solution until the extension of the generic approach to risk management is fully implemented

(*) stresses that the Member States should also be able to initiate restrictions based on this approach’.

A first exchange on a draft Restrictions Roadmap took place at the Risk Management and Evaluation (RIME+) meeting on 22 April 2021 and the Restrictions Task Force meeting on 29 April 2021. Revised drafts were subsequently discussed at the CARACAL (Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP) meetings of 28 and 29 June 2021 and on 17 and 18 November 2021.

This document is a staff working document prepared by the Commission services and does not necessarily represent the views of the European Commission. It is in no way legally binding.



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