22 Apr 2021
SCIP for Importers
Data Gaps & Batteries Case
According to Art 9(1)(i) of the Directive 2008/98/EC (Waste Framework Directive), starting 5 January 2021 articles containing SVHC above 01,%w/w need to be notified to the ECHA SCIP database before they are placed on the market. The SCIP notification needs to be done by all actors placing such articles on the market e.g. EU producers or assemblers, EU importers and EU distributors. For importers it is difficult to collect the necessary information.
Each supplier of the product is responsible for obtaining and keeping up to date the information on the presence of SVHC in its products. The data can be obtained by researching the literature or publically available sources, having branch specific knowledge, requesting information from its supplier of raw materials or products or by testing (last resort). The most common method in the industry is to include information requirements in the commercial contracts with the suppliers, combined with regular enquiries to the suppliers (e.g. annual).
For importers of finished products it is especially difficult to get this information because they have low or no knowledge on the materials / parts used and basically need to rely on the information provided by the non-EU manufacturer, which might understand the EU requirements or not.
Even when the importers know which SVHC are contained in which articles incorporated in their products, the problems for the SCIP notifications are not over. For example, part of the mandatory information that needs to be provided are the exact location of the articles in the product or the TARIC code for the article affected, which are often not made known by the manufacturer and not possible to be precisely determined by the importer.
The good news is that the EU authorities are aware of the situation and the European Commission is currently reconsidering the legal interpretation on the SCIP requirements for importers. ECHA will revise its Q&A 1609 when a new interpretation will be available.
Special case: Batteries
If batteries are incorporated into the products you import into the EEA market and your supplier didn’t inform you that they contain SVHC, it is highly advisable to address your supplier and explicitly ask about this information. Here there are three good reasons why you should do this:
- It is very likely that batteries contain SVHC. A simple search on the Internet would reveal that Lithium batteries might contain 1,2-dimethoxyethane; ethylene glycol dimethyl ether (EGDME) (EC 203-794-9; CAS 110-71-4) or 1,3-propanesulton (CAS 1120-71-4)
- SCIP database will be one source for inspectors / authorities to plan inspections and check products. Batteries are incorporated in many electronics and if not included in the notification of electronics, it might raise suspicions and trigger checks. In addition, batteries are legally uncomplicated and easy to check. There has already been a decision at EU level that batteries are regarded as articles and no discussions on the legal interpretation between inspectors and the industry is necessary (see page 70, ECHA Guidance on requirements for substances in articles).
- Batteries will get more attention within EU in the coming years. The Batteries Directive is under review and will be significantly revised to allow all in all better control of batteries and to reduce their number in the waste stream (e.g. the ban of single use batteries is intended).
ALSTER can help to prepare:
– strategies and tools for SCIP notifications
– enquiries to non-EU suppliers
– solutions to fill in data gaps
– SCIP submissions