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Highlights from November Enforcement Forum meeting

The Enforcement Forum agreed to run a pilot project in the future to control restrictions of dichloromethane and N-methyl-pyrrolidone. The Forum also started preparing projects to enforce safety data sheet obligations and to check compliance of the classification of detergents and cleaning products.

Helsinki, 22 November 2021 – The Forum agreed to run a pilot project on controlling the placing on the market and use of dichloromethane (DCM) in paint strippers and N-methyl-pyrrolidone (NMP) in workplaces.

While many REACH restrictions focus on the placing on the market and use in articles, these two restrictions define strict conditions under which these two hazardous substances need to be used in workplaces. Inspectors will check whether these conditions are fulfilled and may cooperate in these controls with inspectors responsible for enforcement of occupational safety and health legislation. Timelines for the project are still to be confirmed.

The Forum also kicked off preparations for two projects for which controls will start in 2022 and 2023. Work has begun on a project on classification of mixtures, which focuses on the use of bridging principles in classification of detergents and cleaning products. Controls in this pilot project may start as early as the second half of 2022.

Preparations have also started for the 2023 EU-wide enforcement project (REF-11) that will look at the quality of information in safety data sheets.

The Forum also adopted the report for the REF-8 project, which focuses on enforcement of CLP, REACH and BPR duties related to substances, mixtures and articles sold online. This will be published in December.

The Forum's Biocidal Products Regulation Subgroup (BPRS) also concluded the preparation for the EU-wide enforcement project (BEF-2), which will focus on checking the compliance of biocidal products and use of approved active substances while also emphasising compliance checks of disinfectants that are widely in use in course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspections will start in January 2022.

During an active open session with representatives of 29 stakeholder organisations and four candidate countries, the Forum and BPRS discussed a broad range of topics including controls of devices generating biocides in situ, consistency of enforcement between Member States, enforceability of restrictions covering multiple substances, as well as limitations and opportunities for cooperation between inspectors and stakeholder organisations. Depending on feedback from members, the Forum may further explore the potential for cooperating with national consumer organisations to identify non-compliant consumer products.

The Enforcement Forum met remotely on 9-12 November and the BPRS from 16-17 November 2021.