Opinion of the Advocate General to the European Court of Justice concerning the application of the 0.1% rule for substances of very high concern in complex articles.

23 February, 2015

The Advocate General to the European Court of Justice Juliane Kokott issued an opinion on case C-106/14 on February 12th 2015. In this case the concept of articles and the related interpretation of the 0.1% (w/w) rule for the presence of substances of very high concern (SVHC) in articles is discussed. Currently the European Commission considers that the threshold value refers to the whole of a complex article that consists of several articles itself. On the contrary, some member states including Norway share the opinion that the 0.1% concentration limit has to be applied to each component article a complex article is built from. 

In her opinion the Advocate General proposed to the European Court of Justice: Producers of articles need to notify to ECHA the presence of SVHCs above the concentration limit for the complex article itself without taking into account the single articles the product is made of and the other conditions of article 7(2) are satisfied. On the other hand, importers of complex articles are required to notify to ECHA the presence of SVHCs above 0.1% in each component article and the other conditions laid down in article7(2) are satisfied.
Without prejudice the suppliers of complex articles need to communicate the presence of SVHCs above 0.1% for each component article to its customers and, upon request, to consumers.

This opinion is not binding for the parties in the case nor the European Court of Justice.

Further information:

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=svhc&docid=162239&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=61745#ctx1

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Dr. Elisabeth Wekel Head of Business Chemicals & Biocides - Product Safety
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