KFT Goes to Hollywood

People say that a picture says a thousand words. How much more do movies say? But how can a film cover the complex topic of regulatory chemical compliance? And how could anyone develop a meaningful plot based on it?

Regulatory chemical compliance appeals to our desire for safety and security, so it also deals with trust. Customers and users want trustworthiness and transparency. They want to be sure that a product actually contains what the label indicates and that the label indicates what a product actually contains– and they want to do both seamlessly. Those who take that to heart will have fans on their side. In short: Brands that want to be seen as likeable and reputable should at least do what the law requires.

But enough with the words: Let the pictures speak!

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South Korea: 336 Chemicals Submissions in First K-REACH Registration Deadline

On July 2, the registration deadline for priority existing chemicals (PECs) expired. 350 chemicals have data consortia with a leading registrant as coordinator. However, registration dossiers were submitted on time for only 336 of the chemicals (see the list). Some 14 data consortia missed the deadline, meaning that companies may no longer import these chemicals into or manufacture them in South Korea.

The current status is as follows: 210 of the 336 documents that were submitted have already been approved. The remaining 135 chemicals require more extensive testing or the companies involved must supply additional information by September 30.

Overall, the PEC list contains more than 500 chemicals. Why haven’t registration dossiers been submitted for the remaining 150 substances? Three reasons apply:

  • The chemical is used in a quantity less than one ton and is therefore not subject to the registration requirement.
  • The companies have reduced or halted production of the substance because they already have a substitute.
  • The substance and its use are already regulated by a different law, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act or the Agrochemicals Control Act.

Along with our partners we help companies operating in the South Korean market. We would be pleased to provide more information. Contact us at reach@kft.de.

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Hawaii Bans Sunscreens with Specific Ingredients

Hawaii has prohibited the sale of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. Hawaii’s Governor, David Ige, signed the corresponding law (S.B. NO. 2571) at the beginning of July. The ban goes into effect in 2021. For more information and quotes from David Ige, see the press release of July 3.

Octinoxate and oxybenzone are used as UV filters in day creams, lip balms, lipsticks, and, above all, in sunscreens. But the substances not only block UV light, but also harm corals and fish because of their hormone-like properties. American biologists Robert Richmond and Gregory Asner have studied the effects of oxybenzone on corals. Their findings? Initially, they affect reproduction, so that they are toxic to reproduction. Ultimately, long-term exposure kills corals. Notwithstanding, the hazardous effects of oxybenzone on corals has long been known. In an article that appeared in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 2016, scientists affiliated with the ecotoxicologist Craig Downs noted the dangers of the substance.

Oxybenzone itself is contained in about 3,500 sunscreens. According to the National Park Service, some 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen eventually settle in highly sensitive ecosystems of coral reefs every year around the world.

The use of octinoxate (ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) is regulated throughout the EU by Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009. It may be used as a UV filter up to a concentration of 10% (calculated as acid) in a ready-to-use preparation. Within the EU, oxybenzone may be used up to a concentration of 6% in cosmetics.

Make sure you ensure the safety of your products. We are pleased to support you at cosmetic@kft.de.

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Online Retailers Want to Prohibit Hazardous Products

Hazardous products, including toys and electronic devices, should soon disappear from the market more quickly than ever before. That’s the goal of online retailers Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, and Rakuten France. In the presence of the EU Commissioner for Justice, Vera Jourovà, company representatives signed a product safety pledge. The EU Commission issued a press release on the signing. According to the pledge, the four retailers promise to react to notifications from governmental agencies within two business days and to respond to customers’ notifications of hazardous products within five business days.

In addition, the online retailers want to take the following measures:

  • Provide customers with a contact point on the platform so that they can easily and quickly register hazardous goods
  • Inform consumers about products that have already been recalled
  • Provide EU countries with a central point of contact they can work with
  • Inform sellers about product safety regulations and require them to comply with applicable law (the E-Commerce Directive, for example)

Vera Jourovà called on other online retailers to join the initiative and make the marketplace safer for consumers. To ensure that the pledge is implemented quickly, the signatories plan on checking progress along with the EU every six months and issuing a report on their findings.

After the March appearance of a report, Rapid Alert System 2017, European consumer protection agencies reported on about 2,200 hazardous products last year. The report resulted in about 4,000 recalls or cases of stopped sales or imports.

According to Statista, online and mail-sales in 2017 made up about 13% of overall retail sales in Germany.

Make sure that you don’t take any risks with the safety of your products. We are pleased to answer any of your questions at reach@kft.de.

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APEC: Barriers to Cross-Border Trade

As part of its annual meeting, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum identified barriers to trading in chemical products and suggested solutions for how the barriers can be overcome. The information comes from the Final Report published by APEC.

Barriers to trade primarily arise from:

  • Lack of uniform coordination between customs agencies and agencies that regulate chemicals when it comes to determining responsibility for assessments
  • Lack of uniform requirements for assessments across the entire spectrum – from comprehensive monitoring to self-declarations by importers

The delegates of the individual countries agreed upon the following measures:

  • To develop best-practice approaches for importers
  • To identify best-practice case studies
  • To request training on chemical imports from customs and supervisory agencies
  • To provide training capacity sufficient to support best-practice solutions

A useful tool to collect and supply information on GHS is the updated Web site, G.R.E.A.T.“ (GHS Reference Exchange and Tool). Since it was published in 2010, the site has garnered 146,000 hits.

You can find a good overview of customs activities in individual countries in the APEC Customs Survey Responses.

APEC is an international organization that seeks to create a free-trade zone in the Pacific area. Its 21 members include Australia, Brunei, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zeeland, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam. These countries represent more than half of the world’s economic activity.

Thanks to our network, we are thoroughly familiar with import regulations and restrictions in the countries of the APEC zone. Please contact us at sds@kft.de.

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ECHA: Siloxanes D4, D5, and D6 Classified as SVHC

The Member State Committee (MSC) of the ECHA has approved the classification of siloxanes D4, D5, and D6 as substances of very high concern (SVHC). The German Environmental Ministry submitted the required reports (Annex XV Report on D4 and Annex XV Report on D5: Annex XV – Identification of D4 and D5 as SVHC in March of this year. The ECHA submitted the Report on D6.

The experts in the MSC rated D4 as persistent, bioaccumulative (it accumulates in the food chain), and toxic (PBT), but they assigned only persistent and bioaccumulative (vPvB) properties to D5 and D6. Nevertheless, D5 and D6 can also be classified as PBT when both substances show D4 impurities in a concentration equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight.

The EU has had its eye on the three siloxanes for some time. REACH (EU) 2018/35 has been in effect since January 10, meaning that wash-off cosmetics products may not be marketed after January 31, 2020 if they contain siloxanes D4 and D5 in a concentration of 0.1 % or higher by weight. The regulation is based on an initiative of Great Britain that had recommended restrictions as early as 2015.

Industry has criticized the decision of the MSC. Pierre Germain, the general secretary of the CES-Silicones Europe organization, accused the MSC of not having considered all the available scientific data and facts in its decision. He also noted that the amounts found in the environment were very small. Germain and other critics base their arguments on a current U.S. study that indicates no environmental dangers whatsoever from D4.

On April 2, representatives of European and U.S. silicon industry associations began a legal action against current U.S. study the EU Commission. See: Official Journal of the European Union Volume 61, 11 June 2018, (Case T-226/18) (2018/C 200/57). They argue that the criteria for SVHC defined in Annex XIII of REACH regulation are inappropriate to describe the properties of siloxanes correctly.

Silicone compounds D4 (cyclotetrasiloxane), D5 (cyclopentasiloxane), and D6 (cyclohexasiloxane) are often found in personal care products and flow into the environment along with waste water. They are also important source materials for certain silicones and are often found as residues in finished products.

Do you have any questions about the legal compliance of your products? We’re happy to help. Please contact us at reach@kft.de.

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The State of New York Issues Guidelines for Cleaning Products

At the beginning of June, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) published a cleaning product disclosure policy. The policy requires manufacturers to disclose the contents of cleaning products that they want to sell in New York State and provide the public with information on the contents on corporate Web sites. The Department issued a press release on the publication.

As early as last year, the State had accounted that as part of its Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program, it would require more transparency from manufacturers. The policy applies to products like soaps and detergents that are used to clean textiles, dishes, and so on and that can be used for home and commercial purposes. According to Commissioner Basil Seggos of the NYSDEC, the primary goal is consumer protection. The initiative, he said, will “help the State better understand what chemical hazards the public is exposed to, especially from products made in countries with less protective environmental laws than the U.S.”

The policy requires that manufacturers list the name and CAS number of all substances they use, such as fragrances, in the order of their total proportion by weight. They must also list all byproducts, such as 1,4 dioxane, along with substances contained in authoritative lists issued by the State, the United States, or international bodies. The policy also states that the presence of substances that might be contained be-cause of impurities must be listed. Manufacturers are required to provide the following information:

  • A toll-free number that consumers can call for more information
  • Studies on the health and environmental effects of the contents (as a PDF file)
  • Nanosubstances with a particle size between 1 and 100 nanometers (as defined by the new TSCA)

Manufacturers that want to see their products in New York State must meet all the requirements by July 1, 2019. Companies with fewer than 100 employees have until July 1, 2020. Page 20 of the policy gives additional exceptions.

Cleaning agents and other products that come into contact with the skin must be especially safe. You must be concerned with the safety of your products. We are happy to help you at cosmetic@kft.de


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ECHA and CEFIC Sign Joint Statement

The ECHA and CEFIC signed a joint statement on June 14 in Helsinki that aims at closer cooperation in the implementation of REACH. In concrete terms, the risks of critical substances and groups of substances are to be estimated on a more scientific basis in the future while communication along the supply chain is also improved.

The ECHA promises to:

  • Inform industry when specific substances or groups of substances are difficult to evaluate and when cooperation among experts from both sides would help reach a common solution more quickly
  • Simplify such cooperation among experts, particularly before any planned regulatory measures
  • Inform companies how the quality of registration dossiers can be improved continually.

Represented by CEFIC, industry promises to:

  • Increase promotion of continuous and targeted improvement in the compliance, quality, and understanding of registration dossiers
  • Inform the ECHA when a substance or group of substances is expected to create scientific or technical challenges
  • Organize meetings of scientific and technical experts from industry to discuss any critical issues

In a joint press release, ECHA President Björn Hansen once again stressed the importance of the agreement, saying “The EU Commission has asked us in their recent report to work with industry to increase efficiencies in implementing REACH and this is a step in doing so.” Marco Mensink, General Director of CEFIC was equally satisfied, saying that close cooperation is the right step so that all REACH stakeholders can benefit along with industry and the ECHA.

You can maintain the marketability of your products by updating your dossiers regularly. If you have any questions, we are pleased to offer you support at reach@kft.de.

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