ZeroPM Regulatory Watch Update April 2023

Another huge update on the roll out of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability as it relates to persistent and mobile substances.

Opening of the public consultation on the PFAS restriction

The public consultation on the PFAS restriction is open until 22 September 2023. An online information session on the consultation will be organised by ECHA on 5 April.

RAC and SEAC support the restriction of PFAS in firefighting foams

ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) have adopted their opinions and support the proposed restriction on the placing on the market, formulation and use of firefighting foams containing PFAS. The opinion of the SEAC is open for consultation for 60 days until 15 May 2023.

CoRAP update includes suspected vPvM

The Community rolling action plan (CoRAP) 2023-2025 contains 24 substances suspected of posing a risk to human health or the environment to be evaluated by Member State Competent Authorities under the substance evaluation process of the REACH Regulation. The update from March 2023 added six substances to the list included a suspected vPvM, Sodium 3-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-5-sec-butyl-4-hydroxybenzenesulfonate (CAS no. 92484-48-5), to be evaluated in 2023.

Delegated Regulation on new CLP hazard classes and criteria published in the Official Journal

The Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/707 amending Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 as regards hazard classes and criteria for the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, introducing the new hazard class for PMT and vPvM substances has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 31 March 2023. The Regulation will officially enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal (20 April 2023).

Adoption of the Implementing Regulation on the identification of unacceptable co-formulants in plant protection products

The implementing Regulation setting out detailed rules for the identification of unacceptable co-formulants in plant protection products was adopted on 13 March 2023 (it was published in the OJ on 14 March and is now in force). The Regulation sets criteria to determine whether a co-formulant might have harmful effect on human or animal health or on groundwater or unacceptable effects on the environment as per Article 27(1) of the Plant Protection Product Regulation (Regulation (EC) 1107/2009) and should consequently not be accepted for inclusion in a plant protection product. Those criteria include, among others, the classification of the co-formulant as CMR, its inclusion in the annexes to the POPs Regulation, its inclusion on the Candidate List (for reasons other than its classification as CMR) or as having endocrine-disrupting properties in accordance with the BPR. The criteria do not refer to new hazard classes under the CLP Regulation (e.g. PMT/vPvM). The Regulation also lays down rules for including new substances in the list of co-formulant not accepted for inclusion in plant protection products (Annex III to the PPPR).

Draft report from European Parliament’s Rapporteur on UWWTD calls for public funding to complement the EPR

The Commission proposal for the recast Directive on urban wastewater treatment, published in October 2022, proposed to introduce Extended producer responsibility (EPR) for producers of pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products to finance the costs of quaternary treatment, newly introduced in the Directive, to remove micro-pollutants from waste water. The draft report from European Parliament’s Rapporteur proposes to share the responsibility of financing quaternary treatment between the EPR, governments and the public, though the establishment of ‘national financing programmes’. These programmes would be financed through contributions from national funding, municipal levies, existing water tariffs, and by those producers. The rapporteur also calls on the Commission to assess by 2030 the possible extension of the scope of the EPR to products containing PFAS placed on the market, taking into account any future restrictions. The draft report will be presented by the rapporteur to the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee at the end of April.

Council reaches an agreement on the revision of the IED

The Council adopted its general approach on the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive on 16 March 2023. The Council proposed to add to the permit conditions (Article 14 of the IED) and the Environmental Management System (EMS) (Article 14a) a focus on the prevention and reduction of the emissions of the most hazardous substances, including ‘substances fulfilling the criteria of article 57 or substances addressed in restrictions in Annex XVII to the REACH Regulation’. The Council agreement also introduces transitional periods for competent Authorities and installations to comply with the new provisions of 16 years for existing activities and 10 years for new activities. Further details on changes made by the Council can be found in the excel sheet. The adoption of the Parliament’s position is expected in June and the trialogues in September.

European Parliament’s amendments to the revision of the F-gas Regulation adopted in Plenary

The European Parliament adopted on 30 March 2023 its amendments to the Commission proposal on the recast F-gas Regulation. MEPs largely backed the report from the ENVI Committee calling for complete HFC production and consumption phase out in the EU by 2050. The EP amendments make a clear link between F-gases and PFAS pollution. The amendments state that the ‘Regulation should not encourage substitution of HFCs with fluorinated greenhouse gases that are also PFAS, whose production produces PFAS or otherwise decomposes into PFAS’ and introduce an obligation for the Commission to assess, within three months following the adoption of the revised REACH Regulation, the coherence between the revised F-gas Regulation and the revised REACH Regulation, and if necessary to publish a legislative proposal to align the F-gas Regulation with REACH. Further details can be found in the excel sheet.

Upcoming consultation deadlines:

Gantt Chart and Detailed Spreadsheet and more info of upcoming actions related to persistent and mobile substances

For more information of regulations under the regulatory watch, as well as a Gantt Chart of the roll out, continuously updated spreadsheet and more information, please visit