On 13 January 2023, the authorities of five European countries (The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) have jointly submitted to ECHA a restriction proposal on PFASs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) under the REACH regulation.
Indeed, it was concluded that these substances are not sufficiently controlled and should be restricted from a public health and environmental point of view. This restriction proposal therefore aims to limit the use and production of these substances in order to reduce the risks of PFASs to man and the environment.
Consultation periods have been organised to obtain additional information and evidence to prepare this restriction proposal.
After administrative checks by ECHA, this restriction proposal will be published on 7 February 2023.
In March 2023, ECHA’s committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-Economic Analysis Committee (SEAC) will evaluate whether this proposal complies with the legal requirements of the REACH regulation and then carry out the scientific evaluation of the proposal.
A 6-month public consultation will be launched on 22 March 2023 and an online information session will be organised by ECHA on 5 April 2023 to explain the restriction process.
The RAC and SEAC are expected to publish their opinions within 12 months of the start of the scientific evaluation. However, it is likely that more time will be needed, considering the complexity of the proposal and the extent of information to be reviewed.
If the restriction proposal is adopted by the ECHA committees, it will then be sent to the European Commission to decide to implement a potential restriction in agreement with the Member States of the European Union.
Moreover, France supports this restriction proposal with the publication, on 17 January 2023, of its national action plan on PFASs with the purpose of protecting the environment and the health of the population by eliminating the risks associated with the use and marketing of PFASs.
Thus, in view of the concerning hazards of PFASs, Europe is rallying in the fight against these harmful substances, which could be banned by 2025.