On 8th June 2022, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) announced a draft European Union (EU) regulation on its intention to extend the scope of the restriction of lead and its compounds under entry 63 of Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 (entry 63 of Annex XVII of REACH)” to restrict lead in PVC polymers and copolymers.
Of particular note:
It allows certain PVC articles containing recovered rigid PVC to be used for 10 years after the date of entry into force of the regulation, but provided that there is less than 1.5% lead in the recovered rigid PVC, and less than 0.1% lead for a newly produced PVC layer or other material covering the recovered rigid PVC. These PVC articles containing recovered rigid PVC are profiles and sheets for 1) specific applications in buildings and civil engineering works, 2) roofing and decking, and 3) specific applications inside buildings, as well as certain multilayer pipes and fittings.
Requires suppliers of PVC articles containing recovered rigid PVC with 0.1% or more lead to include the statement “Contains lead” on the article; this statement can be placed on the packaging of the article if it is not possible to do so on the article.
It requires suppliers of PVC articles containing recovered rigid PVC to provide documentation to national law enforcement authorities, upon request, to substantiate claims about the recovered origin of PVC in such articles. Justification of such claims may include certificates issued by systems to demonstrate traceability and recycled content, such as EN 15343:2007 “Plastics – Recycled plastics – Traceability of plastics recycling and assessment of compliance and recycled content”, or equivalent recognised standards. Declarations on the recovered origin of PVC in imported articles must be accompanied by a certificate providing equivalent proof of traceability and recycled content, issued by an independent third party.
The following cases are exempt:
– PVC-silica separators in lead-acid batteries for 10 years from the date of entry into force.
– Articles of jewellery’ and ‘articles supplied to the general public which can be put in the mouth by children’.
– Articles included in the scope of application of the following legislative acts:
o Regulation (EC) 1935/2004 ‘Food contact materials and articles
o Directive 2011/65/EC ‘Electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS)
o Directive 94/62/EC ‘Packaging and packaging waste’
o Directive 2009/48/EC ‘Toy safety’.