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Authorisation to use a substance of very high concern - first opinions adopted

ECHA/PR/14/01

ECHA's scientific committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) have adopted their opinions on an application for authorisation to use a substance of very high concern (SVHC).

Helsinki, 3 January 2014 – The application, from Rolls-Royce plc., is for specific uses of DEHP (Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate) within the manufacture of aero engines. This is the first application for authorisation to use an SVHC to be processed by ECHA.

Industry can apply for authorisation to use an SVHC listed on the REACH Authorisation List (Annex XIV). Authorisations can be granted if the applicant can demonstrate that the risk from the use of the substance is adequately controlled or that the socio-economic benefits of using the substance outweigh the risks and that there are no suitable alternatives available.

The authorisation procedure aims to assure that the risks from SVHCs are properly controlled and that they are progressively replaced by safer alternatives while ensuring the good functioning of the EU internal market.

In their opinions, the committees conclude that adequate control has been demonstrated for the specific use applied for. Given the risks posed by the use in question, the analysis of alternatives and the substitution plan provided by the applicant, the Committees propose to review the authorisation in seven years' time. The European Commission will make the final decision on the application, based on ECHA's opinions.

In 2013, ECHA received a total of eight applications for authorisation to use SVHCs, covering two different phthalates and 17 different specific uses. In 2014, the Agency expects approximately twice that number of applications, in particular for chromium-containing substances and the solvent trichloroethylene.