June 28, 2023
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Enforcement Forum recently announced that it will be launching another EU-wide project to inspect products sold online and their compliance with REACH restrictions and the Classification, Labelling, and Packaging (CLP) regulation. The project, REACH-EN-FORCE (REF)-13, will be prepared in 2024 and will take place in 2025, with reports expected in 2026.
In a previous inspection project ((REF)-8, the results of which were published in 2021), inspectors found a non-compliance rate of 78% for the 2692 product labels examined for compliance with REACH restrictions; 5% for the 956 product labels examined for REACH Article 31 (SDS) compliance; and 75% for the 2752 product labels that were examined for CLP compliance. Of the mixtures examined in the study, 54% were found to have compliance issues with CLP, while 41% of substances did not include any hazard information in the online advertisement and were therefore not compliant.
Since new regulations surrounding e-commerce have come into force since the REF-8 results, investigators are hoping there will be a reduction in non-compliance. The Digital Services Act came into force in 2022 and seeks to protect the rights and safety of users of online businesses and to foster a fair environment for online businesses. Additionally, the General Product Safety Regulation will come into force December 2024 and establishes obligations for businesses selling products online to ensure that their consumer products are safe.