Chemical Management FAQ Roundup

How do I calculate tonnage for substances under REACH?

Each registrant has to calculate the yearly tonnage for the registration dossier. The yearly tonnage is calculated as the volume per manufacturer/importer per calendar year, unless stated otherwise. For phase-in substances that have been imported or manufactured for at the least 3 consecutive years, quantities are calculated on the basis of the average production or import volumes for the three preceding calendar years (Article 3 (30) of the REACH Regulation).

We have a HVAC product that is installed by contractors in townhomes, condos, apartment buildings, and hotels/motels. It is used by the general public, but not sold to the general public. Would this product be exempted from RoHS?

The applicable products covered by RoHS are listed as categories in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. Ten categories are listed in WEEE and are in Appendix IA:

  1. Large household appliances
  2. Small household appliances
  3. IT and telecommunications equipment
  4. Consumer equipment
  5. Lighting equipment
  6. Electrical and electronic tools (with the exception of large-scale stationary industrial tools)
  7. Toys, leisure, and sports equipment
  8. Medical devices (with the exception of all implanted and infected products)
  9. Monitoring and control instruments
  10. Automatic dispensers

The most reasonable category for HVAC equipment is Category 9, which includes smoke detectors, heating regulators, thermostats, and other monitoring and control instruments.

Category 9 is not yet included in RoHS, but it is eligible for later inclusion–within 3 years according to the European Commission.

Equipment that is part of a fixed installation is excluded from RoHS. A more comprehensive definition of a fixed installation, provided by the European Commission, is “a combination of several equipment systems, finished products and/or components assembled and/or erected by an assembler/installer at a given place to operate together in an expected environment to perform a specific task, but not intended to be placed on the market as a single functional or commercial unit.” To the extent that this definition describes the types of installations you install and operate, this is further support of a position that RoHS does not apply to that HVAC equipment–it is exempted.

I am a spare parts warehouse and I have been requested to sign a statement for compliance with REACH. Would I have to evaluate only chemicals or all parts (including non-chemicals like fittings and screws and such) against the list of prohibited substances?

Since June 2009, Article 67 of REACH requires suppliers to comply with the substance restrictions listed in Annex XVII when they supply components or subassemblies to manufacturing customers. Manufacturers should insist that their suppliers comply with these legal obligations because they need this information to assist them to meet their legal obligations to comply with Article 67 substance restrictions and to provide information on Candidate List substances.

Under REACH Article 3(33), you are an actor in the supply chain for an entity “placing an article on the market” in the European Union. REACH defines an “article” as

“an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than its chemical composition”

An easy example is a polystyrene cup. Although it is pure polystyrene, its form (a cup shape) means that it is classed as an article and not a substance or preparation. Other examples include board-level components, a circuit board itself, a screw, a bolt, a motor, a battery, a power supply unit, fittings, packaging.

Therefore, as a supplier, you have the same REACH compliance requirements as the manufacturer/importer and you must evaluate all parts against the list of prohibited substances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.