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22 Oct 2020

Trade chemicals in/from Germany?

Don’t forget ChemVerbotsV

Are your products labelled with one of the following pictograms and hazard statements

and they originate or are sold from or in Germany, even if only in the accountancy books?

Then your company needs to implement ChemVerbotsV before it starts to trade.

ChemVerbotsV stands for the German Chemicals Restrictions Regulation. It requires, besides imposing national restrictions for chemicals, that chemicals of special concern (life threatening, serious health risks, flammable properties) are well controlled during their entire life-cycle, along their entire supply chain: the staff handing over such products is qualified, proper safety information is available to all actors in the supply chain and the transactions are well documented.

The requirements differ if the products are provided to consumers or professional users, being lighter for products supplied to professional users. For example, suppliers to consumers need a license and certified staff in each branch, while suppliers to professional users must only notify its activity to the authorities and it is enough to have staff trained by any certified expert (in-house or external). In both cases, the staff handling or being involved in the transactions needs to be 18 years old and reliable (not legally defined). Also the level of information collected from customers is the same, but the way it is recorded is different: for consumer products a physical register needs to be maintained, while for professional products any form of record keeping would be accepted.

ChemVerbotsV is not new, but till recently neglected by many because its requirements were conflicting with EU legal provisions (e.g. REACH Annex XVII and CLP). With its republication in 2017 this changed and its implementation and enforcement increased. It is also better structured and easier to read. However, its practical implementation is not easy. Just to name a few of the questions you might need to solve:

  • What are the responsibilities of different branches and warehouses?
  • How to check that customers use or resell the products legally?
  • How to deal with exports from Germany?
  • How to organise the needed expertise?
  • How to use the IT systems in place (e.g. SAP) to keep appropriate records?
  • Who is regarded as reliable?

Do you need help or a strategy to implement ChemVerbotsV? You are right by us.