Q&As

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REACH

Substance Identification

A. General Q&As

Why do I need to provide analytical information for my substance?

This information is needed to verify the composition of your substance and to ensure that the chemical identifiers, such as IUPAC name or CAS number, are appropriate. 

What spectral data does ECHA require?

ECHA requires, as a minimum, ultra-violet (UV), infra-red (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra (Annex VI section 2.3.5, REACH). You can also provide a mass spectrum in place of an NMR spectrum. For some substances, this information is not sufficient or appropriate and, in such cases, you need to provide other types of spectral data. For example, in the case of inorganic substances, X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) or atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) are likely to be more appropriate techniques.

Is it possible to get access to the analytical information of other (potential) registrants?

No.  ECHA protects the confidentiality of the analytical information submitted by (potential) registrants. 

What type of justification is acceptable for not submitting certain analytical data?

An acceptable justification should be based on technical feasibility or scientific necessity, meaning robust scientific argumentation. 

Does 100 % of the substance composition have to be accounted for?

Yes. The sum of the typical concentrations of each constituent should add up to 100 %.

Where can I find further information that would help me in complying with the requirements related to substance identification?

When preparing your dossier to be submitted to ECHA, we recommend that you also read the following documents:

B. Specific questions

Within a solution of a complexing agent and a metal salt, a metal-complex will be formed. This complex remains in solution and will not be isolated at any time. Does this complex have to be registered?

Yes. Ionic substances in an aqueous solution are exempted from registration only if:

  1. All starting substances (salts, acids and bases) of the aqueous solution are registered;
  2. None of the salts in the aqueous solution is isolated from the solution; and
  3. The salts remain in their ionic form in the solution.

In this particular case, the third condition is not fulfilled, since the salts do not remain in their ionic form in the complex. Therefore, this exemption does not apply and the complex would be subject to registration. This case is discussed in Attachment 1 ‘Ionic Mixtures' of the Guidance document to Annex V.
Complexes consisting of chelated ions must be registered if they are themselves manufactured, imported or placed on the market. However, there are different exemptions in Annex V which could be considered, for example if the complex results from a chelating agent functioning as intended (‘substances which are not themselves manufactured, imported or placed on the market and which result from a chemical reaction that occurs when: (a) a [...] chelating agent [...] functions as intended').

Must the water-free (anhydrous) substance and the hydrates of this substance be regarded as the same substance?

For the purpose of registration, hydrates of a substance and the anhydrous substance are regarded as the same. If the anhydrous substance is registered by the manufacturer/ importer, and if a company uses that substance to manufacture the hydrated substance, this company is regarded as a downstream user. Therefore, the respective registration dossier must include the necessary information for the anhydrous and the hydrated substance occurring within the supply chain, i.e. the chemical safety assessment with exposure assessments and risk characterisations of hydrated substances and the water-free substance. This information needs to be communicated along the supply chain in safety data sheets which should include all the necessary facts, e.g. exposure scenarios and identified uses for the water-free as well as the hydrated substance which occur within the supply chain. The registration number of the registered anhydrous substance must be specified in section 1 of the SDS. The provisions foreseen for downstream users according to Articles 37 and 38 can be implemented for both the hydrates of a substance and the anhydrous substance.

Registrants need to take into account in their CSA the potential implications of specific forms of the substance on downstream uses, in particular when the form is changed during downstream use.

When my substance contains an anionic and cationic part, do I have to provide analytical data for the identification of each ion?

Yes.  To confirm the presence of the ions, you need to provide analytical data for the identification and quantification of each ion. 

My substance includes configurational isomers. Should I regard it as a mono-constituent substance?

Configurational isomers (e.g. enantiomers, diastereoisomers) are regarded as different constituents. Therefore your substance may only be regarded as a mono-constituent substance if one specific isomeric form is present at a concentration of at least 80%.

My substance is a multi-constituent substance which consists of a reaction mass of all the possible stereo isomeric forms for my substance. Am I technically required to name my substance as a "reaction mass"?

Provided your well-defined substance consists of all possible stereo isomeric forms as the main constituents of that substance, you can identify your substance in IUCLID section 1.1 using only the IUPAC name of the substance without specifying the stereochemistry. However you should still identify your substance as a multi-constituent substance. Information on the identity and concentration of each of the individual stereoisomers should be reported in IUCLID section 1.2.

C. How to report substance identification in IUCLID

How do I specify unknown impurities in IUCLID?

When your substance contains impurities that you are unable to identify, you need to create a generic reference substance for them in IUCLID. In the reference substance, you need to state the following:

  • "unknown impurities" in the IUPAC name field; and
  • the number and the individual concentration range of each unknown impurity in the remarks field.

In addition the typical concentration and concentration range of the unknown impurities has to be provided.
An illustrative example on how to report unknown impurities in IUCLID can be found in section 9.4.2 of the manual How to prepare registration and PPORD dossiers, which is available at: http://echa.europa.eu/manuals

Do I need to report concentration ranges for each constituent?

Yes. You need to report concentration ranges (i.e. both minimum and maximum values) for each constituent. These should be representative of the substance as manufactured/imported and you can take them from, for example, certified specification limits that often form part of a certificate of analysis (CoA). It is important that the concentration ranges are realistic and do not cover different substances. 

What happens if I do not assign an EC entry to my phase-in substance?

REACH-IT will provide you with a list number once your registration passes the business rules. You will be able to download this automatically created EC entry as an i6z file from REACH-IT. You will be requested to assign this list number when submitting any update of your registration.

My substance is a UVCB substance. I cannot derive any IUPAC name for it. What should I report in the ‘IUPAC name' field of IUCLID Section 1.1?

You must report the chemical name of your UVCB substance in the ‘IUPAC name' field of IUCLID Section 1.1. You can find the naming conventions for deriving the chemical name of UVCB substances in Chapter 4.3 of the Guidance for identification and naming of substances under REACH and CLP. An example of a chemical name for UVCB substances is "Oligomerisation reaction products of formaldehyde and phenol".

My substance is a multi-constituent substance. I cannot derive any IUPAC name for it. What should I report in the ‘IUPAC name' field of IUCLID Section 1.1?

You must report the chemical name of your multi-constituent substance in the ‘IUPAC name' field of IUCLID Section 1.1. The generic format for the chemical name is "Reaction mass of" followed by the name of each main constituent separated by "and". In principle, the name of the main constituents should follow the IUPAC rules. An example of a chemical name for multi-constituent substances is "Reaction mass of ethylbenzene and m-xylene and o-xylene".

Where should I report the ratio of isomers present in my substance?

You should normally report each individual isomer and their typical, upper and lower concentration levels separately in IUCLID Section 1.2.
As a deviation, you may report the isomers under one entry in IUCLID Section 1.2. This approach may be considered appropriate when the isomers are present as a racemic mixture or when the number of isomers is large. In that situation, you should do the following:

  • Specify the overall typical, upper and lower concentration level of isomers covered by the entry in the relevant IUCLID Section 1.2 fields;
  • Indicate the relative ratio of isomers in the "Remarks" field in the repeatable block for that entry. If the relative ratio of isomers varies, you will need to report it in the form of a range;
  • Indicate that specific isomers have not been reported separately in the "Justification for deviations" field.
My substance is a component of a mixture. Can I report the composition of the mixture as a "Legal entity composition of the substance" in IUCLID Section 1.2?

No. The "Legal entity composition of the substance" should only be used to report compositions of the substance on its own that you manufacture or import. For instance, if your substance is formulated with a solvent upon manufacturing, you should only report the composition of the substance without the solvent as "Legal entity composition of the substance".

If your substance is only made available as a component of a mixture, the "legal entity composition of the substance" to be reported should still be for the substance on its own.

You should not confuse a mixture with a multi-constituent substance or a UVCB substance. Under REACH and CLP, a mixture is obtained by blending two or more substances without a chemical reaction. Substances within a mixture should be registered separately. A multi-constituent substance or a UVCB substance is normally the result of a chemical reaction. A multi-constituent substance or a UVCB substance should be registered as such.

I want to make use of the specific provision in Annex V(6) to the REACH Regulation for the registration of hydrates. How should I report the different compositions that are covered by the registration?

You should proceed as follows:

  • Assign the reference substance for the anhydrous substance and select the corresponding type of substance (mono-constituent, multi-constituent or UVCB) in Section 1.1.
  • For technical reasons, report the composition of the anhydrous substance as the first composition with the composition type "Legal entity composition of the substance" in Section 1.2.
    • If you manufacture or import the anhydrous substance, you should report the composition of that substance as the first composition.
    • If you do not manufacture or import the anhydrous substance, you will still need to report a composition corresponding to the anhydrous substance as the first composition in Section 1.2. In this case, we recommend you to report a theoretical composition where the reference substance for the anhydrous substance is reported at a typical concentration of 100 % (w/w). Select "Legal entity composition of the substance" as the type of composition. In the "Description" field, indicate that the reported composition is theoretical. In the "Justification for deviation" field, indicate the following: "This composition is neither manufactured nor imported. It is only reported for technical reasons because the derogation for the registration of hydrates is applied".
  • Report all other relevant compositions, including the composition of the different hydrates that are covered by the registration. For the compositions referring to hydrates, indicate "Hydrate covered by the registration of the anhydrous substance" in the "Justification for deviation" field. The ‘Type of composition' of the reported hydrate compositions should be ‘legal entity composition of the substance'.

 

As a polymer importer, what should I report as analytical information in IUCLID Section 1.4 of my registration for the monomer?

You should provide sufficient analytical information to verify the identity of the monomer you register. The analyses typically consist of spectral and chromatographic data and a chromatogram of the original monomer or other substance used in the manufacture of the polymer. For further information, please consult Q&A 72 agreed with national helpdesks.

I encounter difficulties in getting hold of the analytical data for the monomer from the non-EEA manufacturer/supplier of the polymer. Is this a valid justification for not attaching any analytical data in IUCLID Section 1.4?

No. You should provide sufficient information in IUCLID Section 1.4 to identify the monomer to be registered.
If you encounter difficulties in getting hold of the information from the non-EEA manufacturer/supplier of the polymer, you may consider one of the following options:

  • Propose to the non-EEA manufacturer of the polymer that they appoint an only representative (OR) in accordance with Article 8 of the REACH Regulation;
  • Identify the non-EEA manufacturer of the monomer and request the analytical information directly from them;
  • If an OR has already been appointed by the non-EU manufacturer, propose to that OR to take on the legal responsibility envisaged in Article 8 of REACH for the polymer importers (see also Q&A 834).

You may also consider any relevant scientific method to fulfil this information requirement. Should you consider information that is not limited to analytical data on the original monomer, we recommend you follow a clear and transparent approach carefully documented when reporting the information in IUCLID Section 1.4 of your registration.

What is the substance type of an inorganic substance with variable stoichiometry and how should this variability be reported in the IUCLID dossier?

The substance is in principle identified as an inorganic UVCB due to the variability of the molecular formula.

In this case please select “inorganic” as origin under the Type of substance heading of IUCLID section 1.1.

The variability in the stoichiometry should be reported under the molecular formula field (e.g. MxGyO2, x=a-b, y=c-d).

In case only one constituent block is reported in section 1.2 of the IUCLID dossier, a justification for reporting a single constituent in the composition of a UVCB substance (expected to have a variable complex composition) should be provided in the “justification for deviations” field.

One example of a valid justification would be:
“The substance is a UVCB due to variations at the elemental level and these variations cannot therefore be represented by reporting different constituents but only in the form of a variable molecular formula.”

D. How to report the manufacturing process description for a UVCB substance

Do I need to give a description of the manufacturing process for the identification of my UVCB substance, and, if yes, to what level of detail?

Yes. The manufacturing process description is one of the identifiers for UVCB substances. The information should be included in the "Description" field of IUCLID Section 1.2. The description generally consists of the following:

  • Identity and ratio of starting materials;
  • Description of the relevant manufacturing steps in the order they occur;
  • The relevant operating parameters applied to control the composition (e.g. temperature, pressure, solvent, catalysis type…);
  • Details on any extraction/isolation/purification step.

In addition, you can also report the reaction schemes or process workflows to complement the description of the manufacturing process as an attachment under the "Attached description" heading of IUCLID Section 1.2.

Can the chemical name of a UVCB substance be sufficient to describe the manufacturing process required for its identification?

No. The chemical name alone does not include all the process circumstances determining the composition of the UVCB substance and therefore its identity. For further details on the information expected to be reported on the manufacturing process of UVCB substances, please consult the Q&A 1199.

I encounter difficulties getting hold of the full details of the manufacturing process for the UVCB substance I intend to import. How shall I proceed?

You first need to define which information on the manufacturing process is relevant for the identification of the UVCB substance. The Q&A 1199 will assist you in deciding which information on the manufacturing process matters for the identification of your UVCB substance.

The more you know about the composition of the UVCB substance, the less you will be dependent on the manufacturing process to identify your substance. For instance, you may not need to specify the ratio of reactants used to manufacture the substance if you can define the reaction yield and the content of residual starting materials from the compositional information. Be aware that in this case you will still need to explain why some elements of the manufacturing process expected to be submitted are not provided, as indicated in Q&A 1318.

If the missing information on the manufacturing process prevents you from identifying the substance and the non-EEA manufacturer does not share this information directly with you, you may propose to the non-EEA manufacturer of the UVCB substance that they appoint an only representative (OR) in accordance with Article 8 of the REACH Regulation.

ECHA has also prepared a template that can be used to collect the necessary information from the non-EEA manufacturer. The template is available through our website here.

 

I consider that part of the information expected to be reported on the manufacturing process description according to Q&A 1199 (e.g. ratio of reactants, purification steps, isolation) are not necessary for the identification of my UVCB substance because it is identified and named based on the exact identity of its constituents only. How should I report this in IUCLID?

You need to provide all the relevant information on the manufacturing process in IUCLID section 1.2 as instructed in the Q&A 1199. If you consider that some of the information is not relevant, you need to clearly explain why this information is not included in the same field where the manufacturing process description is provided (i.e. in the ‘Description’ field of IUCLID Section 1.2).

For the identification of a UVCB substance, I am supposed to provide information on the manufacturing process. Can I instead report in IUCLID what I know about the composition of the UVCB substance?

No. The manufacturing process description is necessary to circumvent the limitations of identifying UVCB substances by their composition only. You therefore need to provide both types of information (composition and manufacturing process description) in IUCLID section 1.2. For further information on how to report the manufacturing process description and the composition of UVCB substance, please refer the Q&A 1199 and chapter 9.4.2 of the manual ‘How to prepare registration and PPORD dossiers’ available on the ECHA website: https://echa.europa.eu/manuals.

 

Some of the information on the manufacturing process description I need to include for the identification of my UVCB substance is confidential. Will this information be disseminated?

No. ECHA will not disseminate the manufacturing process description reported by registrants in compositions of the type ’legal entity composition of the substance’ in IUCLID section 1.2.  This concerns both the information reported in the field ‘Description’ and any document included as ‘Attached description’.

Lead registrants need to additionally provide generic information on the manufacturing process of the jointly registered UVCB substance in the section 1.2 field ‘Description’ in compositions of the type ‘boundary composition of the substance’. This information will be displayed on the REACH-IT Joint submission page for the members of that joint submission to see.

My substance is a petroleum UVCB substance. What kind of information should be provided in the manufacturing process description?

The manufacturing process description is one of the identifiers for petroleum UVCB substances. This description should contain the following information:

  • The source material from which the petroleum stream is obtained. This could be crude oil in the case of straight-run atmospheric distillates and atmospheric residue. For other petroleum substances, the source materials are often intermediate stocks and the name of the petroleum stream(s) to which the refinery process is applied should be specified. For example, for reformate fractions the source material could be heavy naphtha fraction from the atmospheric distillation of crude oil; for vacuum distillates the source material could be the residue from the atmospheric distillation of crude oil; the source material for base oils is normally a vacuum distillate; the source used to manufacture a naphtha fraction as a result of cracking process could be a vacuum distillate or heavy atmospheric gas oil. For imported gas oil, the source material could be various petroleum streams derived from crude oil, however they need to be specified as far as possible.
  • The refinery process(es) applied to the source material(s). This may include blending processes (blending to specification), for which specification described by an international standard (e.g. EN228, EN590, etc.) should be provided. For a light reformate fraction, for example, the refinery processes include crude oil fractionation, naphtha hydrotreatment, catalytic reforming and reformate fractionation.
  • The description as to how the final fraction is collected (atmospheric distillation, distillate/residue fraction; vacuum distillation, distillate/residue fraction; solvent extraction, extract/raffinate phase, etc.).
  • Specification of the registered substance. Measured typical values of boiling point range and carbon number range need to be provided. If a stream is defined in its EC description by other parameters, e.g. viscosity, they also need to be provided. The refinery specific process parameters (e.g. refining temperature, catalysts, solvents, etc.) do not need to be provided.

It is important to mention that all the relevant information on manufacturing process description should be included in the “Description” field in section 1.2 of IUCLID. Information on manufacturing process that cannot be provided as free text (graphs, schemes, etc.) should be provided in a document and attached as instructed in Q&A 1199.

Does REACH apply to substances occurring in nature or to their synthetic analogues?

REACH applies both to substances occurring in nature, as defined by Article 3(39) of REACH, and to their synthetic analogues.

However, Annex V to REACH states that the following substances occurring in nature are exempted from registration if they are not chemically modified: minerals, ores, ore concentrates, raw and processed natural gas, crude oil and coal. These substances can only be processed by certain means (e.g. dissolution in water, flotation), which are specified in Article 3(39) of REACH and do not include chemical modification (Article 3(40)).

Other substances occurring in nature are also exempted from registration if they are not chemically modified, unless:

  • they meet the criteria for classification as dangerous according to the CLP Regulation (Regulation 1272/2008), or
  • they are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic or very persistent and very bioaccumulative in accordance with the criteria set out in Annex XIII, or
  • they were identified in accordance with Article 59(1) at least two years previously as substances giving rise to an equivalent level of concern as set out in Article 57(f).

Further explanations and background information on the different exemptions in Annex V are included in section 2.2.3.4 - 'Substances covered by Annex V of the REACH Regulation' of the Guidance on registration: http://www.echa.europa.eu/guidance-documents/guidance-on-reach

The REACH Registration Q&As provide guidance on substances occurring in nature that are obtained by extraction processes.

For particular guidance on polymer substances occurring in nature, see section 3.2.1.3 - 'Case of a natural polymer or a chemically modified natural polymer' of the Guidance for monomers and polymers: http://www.echa.europa.eu/guidance-documents/guidance-on-reach

Since the synthetic analogues of naturally occurring substances do not meet the criteria for substances occurring in nature as defined in Article 3(39) of REACH, any manufacturer or importer of these substances in quantities of one tonne or more per year is required to register them.

 

 

Are modified substances derived from substances listed in Annex IV also exempt from registration?

Substances listed in Annex IV to REACH are exempt from registration. Modified substances derived from these substances are also exempt if the modified substance is still covered by the same EINECS entry; whether the same EINECS entry applies is a case-by-case decision. For example, for plant oils such as soybean oil (EINECS no 232-274-4; CAS no 8001-22-7) the physically modified derivatives are explicitly covered in the EINECS entry. Whereas chemical modification (e.g. hydrogenation) is not mentioned and hence considered not to be covered. For further information, see Article 3(40) of REACH and Section 2.2.3.3- 'Substances included in Annex IV of the REACH Regulation' of the Guidance on registration: http://echa.europa.eu/guidance-documents/guidance-on-reach

Do I have to register alloys?
The REACH Regulation refers to alloys as "special mixtures" (Recital (31), Annex I (0.11.), as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008). Therefore, an alloy is to be treated in the same way as other mixtures under REACH, which means that the alloy as such is not subject to registration but the alloying elements (e.g. metals), irrespectively of the production process of the alloy are. However, components which are not important for the properties of the alloy should be considered as impurities (i.e. they are part of a substance in the mixture) and therefore need not be registered separately. Please note that intermetallic compounds are often wrongly regarded as alloys, although they have a well defined stoichiometry. Such substances are listed in EINECS (e.g. "aluminium, compound with iron (1:1)", "iron, compound with titanium (2:1)", etc.) and cannot be regarded as mixtures, therefore these intermetallic compounds have to be registered as such. This means that e.g. separate (pre-)registrations of the substances Al and Fe do not cover the substances "aluminium, compound with iron (1:1)" or "aluminium, compound with iron (1:3)". For each intermetallic compound with a different metal ratio a separate (pre-)registration is required.
Do I have to register a substance occurring in nature if I have to apply a process to extract this substance?
Substances occurring in nature are exempted from the duty to register in accordance with Article 2(7)(b) and Annex V, point 8 of REACH, as long as they are not chemically modified, not classified as dangerous in accordance with Directive 67/548/EEC, nor substances of very high concern, such as PBT or vPvB substances. If a process is applied to extract such a substance, it has to be verified whether the process applied is one of those listed in Article 3(39) of the REACH Regulation. If this is the case, the substance still qualifies as substance that occurs in nature that does not have to be registered.
The processes mentioned in Article 3(39) of REACH are manual, mechanical or gravitational processes, dissolution in water, flotation, extraction with water, steam distillation, heating solely to remove water and extraction from air. Please note that extraction with solvents other than water, like e.g. hexane or ethanol, are not covered by Article 3(39) of REACH. Substances which are extracted with these solvents do not qualify as a substance that occurs in nature and cannot be exempted from registration on the basis of Annex V, point 8 of REACH.
Lavender oil, for example, is extracted from flowers of certain species of lavender (which occur in nature) by means of steam distillation. The subsequent spontaneous separation of oil and water allows an easy isolation of the lavender oil. As this extraction process is mentioned in Article 3(39) of REACH, the lavender oil can be regarded as a substance that occurs in nature.
On the contrary, chrysanthemum oil, for example, which is extracted from chrysanthemum blossoms and leaves (which occur in nature) with a solvent mixture of water and ethanol (1:10), cannot be regarded as a substance that occurs in nature.
In general, it is important to remember that it is up to the manufacturer to assess the process applied and to determine if the definition of Article 3(39) of REACH is applicable or not.
Do I have to register chemically surface treated substances?
The surface treatment of a substance is a "two dimensional" modification of macroscopic particles. A "two dimensional" modification means a chemical reaction between the functional groups only on the surface of a macroscopic particle with a substance which is called a surface treating substance.By this definition it becomes clear that this kind of modification means a reaction of only a minor part (surface) of a macroscopic particle with the surface treating substance, i.e. most of the macroscopic particle is unmodified.
Therefore a chemically surface treated substance cannot be regarded as a mixture nor be defined by the criteria of the Guidance for identification and naming of substances under REACH: http://echa.europa.eu/guidance-documents/guidance-on-reach.
With the same reasoning, a chemically surface treated substance could not be reported for EINECS nor be notified according to Directive 67/548/EEC because it was covered by the separate EINECS entries of both the basis substance (macroscopic particle) and the surface treating substance.Taking this decision up under REACH means a consequent continuation of former decisions. Using the same line of arguments, chemically surface treated substances should not be registered as such under REACH, but the following requirements should be fulfilled:
1. Registration of the basis substance (macroscopic particle)
2. Registration of the surface treating substance
3. Description of the use "surface treatment" in the registration dossier of the surface treating substance and in the registration dossier of the basis substance
4. Any specific hazards or risks of the surface treated substance should be appropriately covered by the classification and labelling and by the chemicals safety assessment and resulting exposure scenarios.
Is a metal hydroxide manufactured from the metal oxide covered by the exemption from registration in Annex V, point 6 of the REACH Regulation?
According to Annex V, point 6 of the REACH Regulation hydrates of a substance or hydrated ions, formed by association of a substance with water are exempted from registration, provided that the substance (i.e. the anhydrous form) has been registered by its manufacturer or importer.
 
Hydrates of a substance are characterised by the fact that water molecules are linked by molecular interactions, in particular by hydrogen bonds, to other molecules or ions of the substance. For the purposes of Annex V, hydrates and water free forms (anhydrous) of compounds shall be regarded as the same substance (e.g. CuSO4.5H2O and CuSO4).
 
In contrast, a metal hydroxide (e.g. Ca(OH)2) and a metal oxide (e.g. CaO) cannot be regarded as the same substance as both substances have different structures, regardless of the manufacturing process. The formation of the hydroxide involves forming new covalent bonds, which is different from forming a hydrate which only involves weak intermolecular bonds. Therefore a metal hydroxide manufactured from the metal oxide is not covered by the exemption from registration in Annex V, point 6.
Is a registrant required to update their registration dossier with a new analysis dataset each time the substance is imported from a new non-EU manufacturer?
There is no explicit legal obligation for registrants to update their registration dossier every time an import is made from a new non-EU source. However, according to Article 22(1)(b) of REACH, there is a legal obligation to update the composition of the substance as given in Section 2 of Annex VI. The registrant has to assess the sameness of the substance every time an import of the substance is made from a new source, according to Guidance for identification and naming of substances available on the ECHA website.
There are three possible outcomes of this assessment:
 
1. Registrants find that the substance has the same impurity profile as previous imports and is already registered by them. They do not have to update the registration dossier for the substance.
 
2. Registrants find that the substance has a different impurity profile from previous imports. They then have to update the relevant sections of the registration dossier (e.g. concentration ranges or changes in C&L) with the new composition of the substance.
Is biomethane obtained by the purification of biogas exempted from registration under REACH?

Yes, biomethane obtained by the purification of biogas is considered to be covered by the exemption from registration according to Annex V entry 12 to REACH. This exemption does not refer to biomethane as such, but to biogas (consisting mainly of methane) produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter (e.g. agricultural waste, municipal waste, sewage) in the absence of oxygen. Nevertheless, biomethane obtained by the purification of biogas to remove undesirable components is still considered as biogas and is, therefore, exempted from registration according to Annex V entry 12 to REACH.

For methane processed from raw natural gas, the exemption in Annex V entry 7 to REACH applies. Methane obtained from other sources than fossils is not regarded as natural gas and is, therefore, not covered by this entry. 

Do chromic acids and their oligomers, generated in water from chromium trioxide, require their own registration under REACH?

When brought in contact with water, chromium trioxide (EC number 215-607-8) forms two acids and several oligomers: Chromic acid (EC number 231-801-5), Dichromic acid (EC number 236-881-5), Oligomers of chromic acid and dichromic acid.

These chemical species are identified as substances of very high concern (SVHC) and included in the Candidate List1 as two separate entries.

Chromic acids and their oligomers generated in water from chromium trioxide are commonly referred to as an aqueous solution of chromium trioxide. With regard to the obligation to register, it may be justifiable in some specific situations described in the table below, to consider for practical reasons chromic acids and their oligomers as an aqueous solution of chromium trioxide. Hence, in these specific cases, chromic acids and their oligomers present in an aqueous solution of chromium trioxide can be covered by a registration dossier for chromium trioxide.

Important note: The presented approach is strictly limited to chromium trioxide and chromic acids and their oligomers generated from chromium trioxide in water. It derives from very specific aspects of the Chromium VI aqueous chemistry; the system in aqueous solution is a complex equilibrium between multiple chemical species which depends on several physico-chemical parameters and the different chemical species cannot be isolated from the aqueous solution. The approach can thus not be applied by analogy to any other substance.

Manufacturers and importers of chromium trioxide and chromic acids and their oligomers have to consider the following situations:

 

Actor / Scenario Legal requirement Explanation
Manufacturer or importer of chromium trioxide who generates chromic acids and their oligomers in water One registration according to Article 10 for chromium trioxide

The generation of chromic acids and their oligomers by adding chromium trioxide to water and their further use have to be included in the registration dossier and have to be considered for the chemical safety assessment (CSA) and the chemical safety report (CSR).

In case a downstream user (DU) generates chromic acids and their oligomers from chromium trioxide, this use has to be communicated up the supply chain and has to be included in the registration dossier.

Importer of both chromium trioxide and chromic acids and their oligomers generated in water from chromium trioxide

One registration according to Article 10 for chromium trioxide The registrant has to register chromium trioxide and chromic acids and their oligomers in one dossier for chromium trioxide. It has to become clear from the registration dossier that chromic acids and their oligomers are also imported. Therefore, at least two compositions have to be provided in section 1.2 of the IUCLID dossier. The first composition refers to chromium trioxide; the second composition refers to the composition of chromic acids and their oligomers. A remark has to be entered to clarify the approach.  The tonnage to be reported is the aggregated tonnage of both chromium trioxide and chromic acids and their oligomers. The tonnage has to be reported on the basis of equivalent chromium trioxide tonnage. 
Importer of chromic acids and their oligomers generated in water from chromium trioxide Registration according to Article 10
either for chromic acids and their oligomers generated from chromium trioxide
or for chromium trioxide

In case the importer decides to register chromic acids and their oligomers in a dossier for chromium trioxide, it has to become clear from the registration dossier that what is actual imported are chromic acids and their oligomers.

Therefore at least two compositions have to be provided in section 1.2 of the IUCLID dossier. The first composition refers to the generic substance "chromium trioxide"; its purity and composition should be indicated as 100 %. The second composition shall refer to the actual composition of chromic acids and their oligomers which are imported. A remark has to be entered to clarify the approach.  
Manufacturer or importer of chromic acids and their oligomers generated by alternative methods other than from adding chromium trioxide to water
or
Importer who is unaware of the manufacturing methods of the chromic acids and their oligomers
Registration according to Article 10 for chromic acids and their oligomers The approaches described above cannot be applied as the starting material for manufacturing chromic acids and their oligomers is not chromium trioxide or is not known. 

 

Please, also see Q&A=805 (Can an application for authorisation for chromium trioxide cover the use of the chromic acids and their oligomers generated from adding chromium trioxide to water?)

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