Trade deal makes dis­tri­bu­tors into importers: new requi­re­ments in accordance with the CLP Regulation

As of 1 Janu­ary 2021, importers and down­stream users of hazar­dous mix­tures in terms of Artic­le 45 of the CLP Regu­la­ti­on are sub­ject to cer­tain requi­re­ments to pro­vi­de infor­ma­ti­on. The­se requi­re­ments are also evi­dent from Annex VIII to the CLP Regu­la­ti­on, which was revi­sed by Dele­ga­ted Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2020/1677 (PDF). The revi­si­ons ser­ve to har­mo­ni­ze infor­ma­ti­on rela­ting to emer­gen­cy health respon­se and pre­ven­ti­ve measures. 

Which infor­ma­ti­on must be provided?

The scope of the infor­ma­ti­on which must be pro­vi­ded is evi­dent from Part B of Annex VIII. Exten­si­ve infor­ma­ti­on is to be pro­vi­ded about the pro­duct so as to enable clear iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of the mix­tu­re. This includes the “uni­que for­mu­la iden­ti­fier” (UFI) as well as the trade/brand name. Addi­tio­nal infor­ma­ti­on must also be pro­vi­ded, such as e.g. the clas­si­fi­ca­ti­on of the mix­tu­re, label ele­ments and toxi­co­lo­gi­cal infor­ma­ti­on (Part B, No. 2) and exten­si­ve infor­ma­ti­on about the manu­fac­tu­rer must be pro­vi­ded as well, inclu­ding infor­ma­ti­on about noti­fi­ca­ti­on requi­re­ments and the respon­si­ble cont­act person.

To whom do the requi­re­ments apply?

The infor­ma­ti­on must be pro­vi­ded to the respon­si­ble body pur­su­ant to Artic­le 45 of the CLP Regu­la­ti­on (pur­su­ant to § 16e(1) of the Che­mi­cals Act (only in Ger­man), the respon­si­ble body in Ger­ma­ny is the Fede­ral Insti­tu­te for Risk Assess­ment, BfR). Only “importers” in terms of Artic­le 2 No. 17 and “down­stream users” in terms of Artic­le 2 No. 19 of the CLP Regu­la­ti­on are requi­red to sub­mit infor­ma­ti­on. Dis­tri­bu­tors or con­su­mers are gene­ral­ly not con­side­red to be down­stream users and the­r­e­fo­re are not requi­red to pro­vi­de information.

But with the United Kingdom’s with­dra­wal from the EEA, the roles of the mar­ket ope­ra­tors have chan­ged vir­tual­ly over­night. Dis­tri­bu­tors purcha­sing mix­tures from the EEA will now be import­ing pro­ducts from a third coun­try and may qua­li­fy as importers under cer­tain cir­cum­s­tances. It should be kept in mind, howe­ver, e.g. that the CLP Regu­la­ti­on will con­ti­nue to app­ly in Nor­t­hern Ire­land based on the Pro­to­col on Nor­t­hern Ire­land (Artic­le 5(4) of the Pro­to­col in con­junc­tion with Annex 2 No. 23). Accor­din­gly, no infor­ma­ti­on has to be sub­mit­ted in the­se cases, sin­ce the infor­ma­ti­on pro­vi­ded by the sup­pli­er in Nor­t­hern Ire­land remains valid as long as the com­pa­ny based in the EEA con­ti­nues to ope­ra­te as a dis­tri­bu­tor only.

Tran­si­tio­nal peri­od in effect through 1 Janu­ary 2025 …

The duty to pro­vi­de infor­ma­ti­on gene­ral­ly appli­es as of 1 Janu­ary 2021. Importers and down­stream users which sub­mit­ted infor­ma­ti­on about hazar­dous mix­tures to an appoin­ted body pri­or to that date which did not (yet) con­form to the pro­vi­si­ons of Annex VIII have until 1 Janu­ary 2025 to cor­rect the­se pro­blems (Annex VIII, Part A, No. 1.4).

… but not for everyone!

Howe­ver, the wor­ding of this pro­vi­si­on rai­ses ano­ther pro­blem, sin­ce the vali­di­ty of the peri­od depends on which ope­ra­tor sub­mit­ted the infor­ma­ti­on. Only a dis­tri­bu­tor based in the EEA which has its­elf sub­mit­ted infor­ma­ti­on pri­or to 1 Janu­ary 2021 has until 1 Janu­ary 2025 to com­ply with the Annex. But if a com­pa­ny based in the UK sub­mit­ted the infor­ma­ti­on to BfR, the Ger­man “dis­tri­bu­tor” or importer may not invo­ke the tran­si­tio­nal period.


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