Ask the Experts: August 30 Edition

Ask the Experts: August 30 Edition

Our regulatory subject matter experts are always helping a range of stakeholders solve compelling regulatory challenges associated with supply chain data management. We compile these insights to help educate compliance professionals through content, webinars and events. They also provide advice to Assent clients. Here are the top five questions our Regulatory team has responded to over the past month.


Question:

Dishwashers are not mentioned in the China Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. As household electronic equipment, are they still in scope? 

Valerie Kuntz: 

Dishwashers are not one of the 12 products specifically defined in the China RoHS catalog that are required to be compliant (or compliant by exemption) with the substance restrictions that went into effect in March 2019. So while dishwashers fall in scope of the RoHS Directive as electrical and electronic equipment, they are not required to have substances below threshold. They do, however, need to include an Environment-Friendly Use Period label and Hazardous Substance Table on the product box and in the documentation. 

Question: 

If the data collected from suppliers suggests the substance of very high concern (SVHC) concentration in an article is just below the threshold, should companies still report it in accordance with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation to account for possible error? 

Raj Takhar:

If companies determine the SVHC concentration of a product is very near the 0.1 percent weight by weight (w/w) concentration, it is recommended they communicate its presence in accordance with Article 33. However, if there are very strict and documented process controls in place that would inhibit the possibility of the SVHC concentration reaching the threshold, this is not necessary. 

Question: 

A new material being added to an existing product has the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65) listed on its safety data sheet. Does this mean the final product is now in scope of Proposition 65? 

Neil Smith & Valerie Kuntz:

Yes, like most products sold in California, the product is in scope of Proposition 65. From here, it is important to establish the level of exposure a consumer or employee will likely have to the product to determine if a warning label is needed. 

Question: 

Can a product containing substances listed on the Candidate List of SVHCs be labeled compliant with the REACH Regulation? 

Travis Miller: 

Products containing an SVHC on the candidate list over the 0.1 percent w/w threshold at the article level are required to be disclosed under Article 7 and Article 33 of the REACH Regulation. This disclosure makes the product compliant with those articles. However, the REACH Regulation has a wide scope and is complex. Depending on the substance and other factors that relate to specific products, additional requirements may apply. Additionally, simply stating that the product is compliant with the REACH Regulation may not actually provide any useful information to the recipient.

Question:

How often do Slavery and Trafficking Risk Template (STRT) changes occur, and what changes were made in the last update? 

Sarah Carpenter: 

The STRT is updated annually. It was last updated from version 1.2 to version 1.3 in November 2018. Highlights for this update include the ability to collect data on North Korean labor in accordance with Title III of the The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, improved risk assessment of supply chain labor, improved risk assessment of indirect supply chain labor and improved risk assessment of labor in developed countries. 


In terms of business best practices, providing customers with a DoC regardless of a product’s CE certification status is a sound business decision.

For more questions and answers, visit the last edition of Assent’s Ask the Experts blog.

Assent’s regulatory subject matter experts frequently provide actionable insight into regulatory programs through webinars and other events. To learn more, contact info@assentcompliance.com.

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