Why Full Material Disclosures Are the Best Way to Collect Data

Why Full Material Disclosures Are the Best Way to Collect Data

What’s in a product?

Companies are required to answer that question when they comply with certain declarable and restricted substance regulations.

These regulations, like REACH and RoHS, require companies to perform due diligence through their supply chain ensuring no restricted substances are used in the manufacturing of their products. If any of these substances are found, depending on the regulation, they must either be declared or the product removed from the market if concentrations are too high.

Although some products don’t change much year over year, the regulations do. For instance, the REACH Candidate List is reviewed and amended twice annually. The list grows every year, a trend expected to continue well into the future.


What Do Expanding Regulations Mean for Your Company?

As regulations evolve and scopes expand, companies must constantly update their compliance data with new substance information. That requires contacting each supplier down the chain and requesting new material disclosures.

This is challenging for companies and suppliers who receive many such requests each year. This process gets increasingly difficult to complete as supply chains get larger, or more clients submit declaration requests.

In order for companies to keep up, they must become more efficient in their data collection process. One of the best ways to achieve this is through full material disclosures (FMDs).


The Evolution of Data Collection

As the name implies, FMDs are used to collect data on every material present within a product. The level of detail provided depends on what kind of FMD is requested by the customer. Under the IPC-1752A Standard, customers may request any of four types of declarations (Class A, B, C or D). These range from simple yes/no surveys to full homogenous-level product declarations.

Having access to this information is of significant benefit to companies in scope of restricted substance regulations. They would no longer need to query their supply chains every time a new substance becomes restricted. Instead, they can refer to their FMD database for a complete list of the materials within the product, their composition and substance concentrations.

For their part, suppliers are able to produce a single FMD for their supplied product and send it out as requested. This saves them countless hours filling out individual requests for information.

Per the IPC-1752A Standard, FMDs are captured in Class D and are formatted into .XML Schema. This language is readable by certain third-party compliance solutions, such as the Assent Compliance Platform (ACP), making it a nearly universal document that can be utilized around the world.

Since not all companies are bound to use this one standard and version, the Assent Compliance Platform also allows for the input of older versions of IPC 1752 and other standards that allow the creation of an FMD (e.g. IEC 62474).

The information contained within FMDs can be used to meet compliance requirements, to strategically design products and proactively plan for regulatory changes.


Getting the Most Out of FMDs

Full material disclosures are a powerful tool, but only if companies have the ability to access and utilize their data. Assent Compliance provides that ability with a solution designed to unlock their full potential.


For more information on FMDs and how Assent can help, click here or contact us at info@assentcompliance.com.