Ask the Experts: February 1 Edition

Ask the Experts: February 1 Edition

Our regulatory subject matter experts are always helping a range of stakeholders solve compelling regulatory challenges associated with supply chain data management. This insight is compiled to 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: Although it isn’t necessary to report on lead monoxide (PbO), production of glass (e.g. matrices in capacitors, glass solder) separates the lead into its original molecules, which is a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC). Is it necessary for suppliers to report on the substance in these instances?

James Calder: Many SVHCs are precursor substances to the formation of glass, and those that still remain in the glass after formation (i.e. becoming an article) above a threshold of 0.1 percent weight-by-weight (w/w) must be reported under Article 33 requirements.

The following FAQ on REACH from the trade association Glass Alliance Europe provides a composition for crystal glass:

  • 25 percent oxygen
  • 30 percent silicon (originating mainly from quartz sand)
  • 25 percent lead
  • 10 percent sodium or potassium
  • 10 percent calcium (originating mainly from limestone)
  • 1 percent other components, such as titanium, iron and fluorine, to give specific properties to the glass

This shows that if the glass in question is an article, then lead is present at 25 percent w/w — far above the 0.1 percent w/w reporting threshold.

Question: If our product is RoHS compliant by exemption, but we have only received responses for 50–60 percent of the parts associated with it, how should I declare my compliance status?

Valerie Kuntz: You should report on any data you’ve collected. If the substances in your products are compliant by exemption, claim them and the specific exemption(s). State that you are still collecting information, and as more information is collected, it will be provided.

Question: If a product is labeled with an Environmental Protection Use Period (EFUP) of 15, but then several months later the EFUP changes because of new RoHS data, would my company incur any penalties as a result of this change?

Valerie Kuntz: If your products are in scope of the recently-released catalog naming 12 specific product types required to be compliant or compliant by exemption, they need to be compliant to be placed on the market. You should be able to update the EFUP without penalty if you have put something different into your product that could change the use period or require different labels.

Question: One of my suppliers has a company policy that all products shipping to California must have a Proposition 65 label, whether it is compliant or not. How should we handle uploading declarations? Should all parts be uploaded as non-compliant?

Valerie Kuntz: This is not recommended. One of the intentions of the update to Article 6 Clear and Reasonable Warnings was to reduce the over-labeling of products, while providing relevant, pertinent information to consumers so they can make informed decisions about products they purchase. Just ensure that any products containing one or more listed substances are identified as containing substances over safe harbor levels.

Question: My company is responding to a request for human trafficking and slavery data. Question 3 of the Slavery & Trafficking and Risk Template asks: “Does your organization or do your suppliers have operations in any of the sectors listed on the ‘Sectors tab'”?” If our company is involved in these industries indirectly, is our answer “Yes”? For example, if we buy paper for office printer, are we active on the “Agriculture, Forestries and Fishing” industry tab?

Sarah Carpenter: No. Unless your company is directly involved in the exploitation of vegetal and animal natural resources, your company is not classified as working in this sector. However, the question also asks if your suppliers work in these sectors. Your company needs to understand if any of its suppliers are directly involved in these activities. For example, if you are directly purchasing a hotel room from a hotel, your supplier is a hotelier and would place in the accommodation and food services industry.

For more guidance, check out another recent edition of Ask the Experts. To learn about how Assent’s subject matter experts can help your company manage supply chain data and stay ahead of the regulatory landscape, contact our team at info@assentcompliance.com.

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