REACH update: Advocate General’s opinion on the application of the 0.1% threshold for substances in articles
On 12 February, Advocate General Kokott of the EU’s Court of Justice issued an opinion on the interpretation of the 0.1% SVHC concentration threshold in articles under the REACH Regulation. Below, we set out the context and the key takeaways.
The ongoing debate between Member States as to the correct application of this threshold has been a cause of considerable uncertainty. This opinion, although providing further guidance, could result in an additional administrative burden for product manufacturers and importers.
There has been a debate for many years as to whether the 0.1% Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) notification and information communication obligations (in Article 7(2) and 33 of REACH respectively) apply to articles as a whole, or to ‘component’ parts. A classic example is a bicycle whose plastic handlebars contain plasticisers on the SVHC ‘candidate list’: the 0.1% (w/w) threshold may be met in respect of the handlebars, but would unlikely be met for the bicycle as a whole.