ZeroPM Regulatory Watch

As the EU Green Deal roles out, the ZeroPM regulatory watch will announce upcoming initiatives related to persistent and mobile substances. Our most recent update was prepared on June 6, 2024.

France and Denmark take action on PFAS in consumer products ahead of the EU PFAS restriction

Two Member States are taking action to ban certain PFAS uses before the adoption of the PFAS restriction under REACH, which is currently evaluation by RAC and SEAC. A draft legislation in France aims to ban the manufacturing, placing on the market, import and export of cosmetic products, waxes, clothing, shoes and waterproofing agents (with the exception of protective clothing and footwear for professional uses) containing PFAS, and of all textiles containing PFAS (with some exceptions for essential uses) from 2030. The draft legislation has been adopted by the French Parliament and Senate in first reading, but still has to be endorsed by the Parliament in a second reading. The Danish government also announced in April 2024 the adoption of a national ban on PFAS in clothing, shoes and waterproofing agents applying from 1 July 2026 and until the EU PFAS restriction comes into effect. Denmark had already adopted a national ban on PFAS in paper and cardboard food packaging in 2020, later introduced at EU level in the Packaging and packaging waste Regulation.

The French draft legislation also contains a number of provisions related to PFAS in drinking water, including an obligation for regional health authorities to control a wider list of PFAS in drinking water than required by the transposition of the Drinking water Directive (Sum of 20 PFAS), which will be later determined by implementing act. The draft legislation also requires the government to adopt a national action plan for the gradual reduction of industrial emissions of PFAS in water, with the aim of eliminating these discharges within 5 years of the adoption of the law and to put forward an action plan for financing the decontamination of drinking water within a year of the adoption of the law. The draft law introduces a fee based on PFAS discharges into water payable by certain industrial installations to the water agencies (similar to what already exists in France for other pollutants like phosphorus, nitrites or nitrates). The fee (€100 per 100 grams) will help local authorities clean up their water. As mentioned before, this is still a draft law, which must to be endorsed by the Parliament in a second reading before official enactment, and may be subject to further amendments.

Council adopts its position on the revision on the Toys Regulation

The Council adopted its mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on 15 May. The Council marginally amended the list of hazardous substances prohibited in toys (Part III of Annex II), adding skin sensitizers category 1A to the list of prohibited substances (in agreement with European Parliament’s amendments), and restricting the prohibition of endocrine disruptors to substances classified as endocrine disruptors for human health (while the Parliament proposed to cover all endocrine disruptors, for human health and the environment). The Council did not extend the list of substances prohibited further, unlike the Parliament, which had proposed to include PBT, vPvB, PMT, and vPvM. The Council maintained the scope of the generic prohibition limited to substances with a harmonised classification (as in the Commission proposal), when the Parliament had proposed to extend the generic prohibition to all substances meeting the criteria of the hazard classification covered. The Council also introduced a ban on toys that have a biocidal function and a ban on the treatment of toys with biocidal products, as well as restrictions to the use of preservatives in toys. Interinstitutional negotiations on the text will start after the elections; the newly elected Parliament could decide to adopt a new negotiating position at the beginning of its mandate.

Commission seeks feedback on the Safe and sustainable by design framework

The Commission adopted its assessment framework for ‘safe and sustainable by design’ (SSbD) chemicals and materials in December 2022. To complement it, the JRC published in May 2024 a Methodological Guidance clarifying some aspects of the framework, and the Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC) developed a toolbox. The Commission is seeking feedback from stakeholders who are using the framework in order to support the improvement of assessment methods, models and tools. Feedback can be provided until 30 August 2024 on the Commission’s website.

Commission adopts regulation for the gradual review of safener and synergists in plant protection products

On 29 May, the Commission adopted a Regulation establishing the work programme for the gradual review of the safeners and synergists used in plant protection products. The Regulation sets out the approval procedure and the data requirements for the application for approval. The Commission will publish the list of safeners and synergists known to be used in plant protection products by the end of July, which will become definitive after a consultation period by March 2025. The Commission will adopt the work programme, designating rapporteur Member States for the approval of each product, by December 2025, and manufacturers will have until June 2028 to submit an application. The Regulation should allow safeners and synergists to be reviewed within five years of the adoption of that work programme.

Upcoming consultation deadlines:

  • Deadline to provide feedback on the ‘safe and sustainable by design’ framework: 30 August 2024.

Gantt Chart of upcoming actions related to persistent and mobile substances

Spreadsheet for further information

The ZeroPM regulatory watch itself is presented in this spreadsheet, which contains links for further information. This can be downloaded below.

The ZeroPM regulatory watch was last updated on 2024-06-06.

ZeroPM Regulatory Watch Year in Review 2023

Need a recap of all the updates on EU policy initiatives contributing to the prevention, prioritisation and removal of persistent and mobile substances in 2023? We have compiled the biggest updates in 2023, as well as a list of issues we are looking towards in 2024 in the following document (based on Deliverable 3.1).

Please see also our video explaining the ZeroPM regulatory watch!