EU Safety Data Sheets 2021: important update
- The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has amended and recently enforced Annex II of REACH regarding the compilation of Safety Data Sheets.
- The Safety Data Sheet amendment has the potential to disrupt both suppliers and producers of chemicals for the foreseeable future.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently published and enforced regulation 2020/878. This is an amendment to Annex II concerning REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations. EU REACH regulations, which have been in place since 2007, have required suppliers and manufacturers of chemical substances to provide Safety Data Sheets. An SDS details information on hazards, handling, storage, and other measurable characteristics of the substances present.
The amendment to Annex II of REACH came into effect on the 1st of January 2021. This means that all new SDSs, issued from this date, must adhere to the new requirements. There is however a two-year grace period whereby all existing SDSs (except for bulk mixtures requiring UFIs) will continue to be valid. After the grace period, all SDSs will have to be updated following new requirements.
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It should also be noted that the revision to REACH will affect trading between the UK and the EU. Following the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, UK authorities have indicated that the UK will not be adopting the EUs update to Annex II. However, any manufacturer, importer or supplier of chemicals should ensure that their SDSs are compliant in both the EU and the UK to avoid potential trade disruption. It should also be noted that the regulation will affect the global trade of chemicals so we recommend that all companies trading with the EU update their SDSs in accordance with new EU regulations.
Sam Ayres, Business Development Executive at Sigma-HSE said “Companies will need to act fast to make sure that their new products are registered in line with the new requirements. They will need to create a structured plan for their existing powdered products to be tested to meet the target date of 31st December 2022.”