The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) is planning to develop a notification system for substances of unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products, or biological materials (UVCB). Japan wants the system to improve risk assessment for and monitoring of such types of mixtures. The changes are being added to the Japanese Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL). Details on the notification system are still being discussed, but the system should be complete in April of next year.
The plan calls for collecting the formulas and components of UVCB to enable better assessment of their hazards. Moreover, a screening test of chemical substances (priority assessment of chemical substances: PACs) is to identify chemicals that should have a higher priority in the assessment because of their hazardous characteristics. According to the CSCL, manufacturers and importers of PACs must submit information on the chemicals and explain their use. Special regulations cover the manufacture and use of PACs that involve special risks.
The following are sample items in the list of UVCB:
- Substances with carbon chains of varying length
- Substances extracted from oil or oil-like sources
- Extracts from biologic materials (natural fragrances, natural oils, and so on)
- Complex biological macromaterials (enzymes, proteins, and hormones)
- Concentrates or melts (like residues of smelting processes and slag)
This document offers a good overview of UVCBs.
In Germany, all registrants are responsible for identifying their substance in the appropriate manner.
For more details, see chapter 4.1 of the guidelines (German only) for the identification and classification of substances according to REACH and CLP.
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