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.

Understanding Documentation

This new revision will require the inclusion of Unique Formula Identifiers (UFI), the documentation of additional information on nanomaterials, additional information for substances and mixtures with endocrine-disrupting properties and the addition of Specific Concentration Limits (SCLs) M-factors and Acute Toxicity Estimates, amongst other changes.

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.

Dust Explosion Data

The revision is the first time in which dust explosion data will need to be submitted to an SDS under EU law. This will require an immediate response from all companies in the chemical production and safety industry.

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.”

How Sigma-HSE can help

Sigma-HSE is happy to offer free advice and guidance regarding the new EU Safety Data Sheet regulations for new and existing powdered products.

Please contact Samuel Ayres to discuss how the changes to your Safety Data Sheets may affect your business and how we can help at [email protected] or +44 (0)7719 360385 or +44 (0)1962 840570.

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