EU Revises POPs Recast Regulation

The European Union (EU) has recently published several amendments to Regulation (EU) 2019/1021, the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Recast Regulation.

These amendments include:
• Regulation (EU) 2020/1203 – revises the exemption requirements for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). Changes include the deletion of the third paragraph in point 4 and the replacing of the first paragraph with:

“If the quantity released into the environment is minimized, manufacturing and placing on the market shall be allowed until September 7, 2025 for use as mist suppressant for non-decorative hard chromium (VI) plating in closed loop systems. Provided that those Member States where PFOS is used report to the Commission by September 7, 2024 on progress made to eliminate PFOS and justify the continuing need for this use, the Commission shall review the need for a prolongation of the derogation for this use of PFOS for a maximum of five years by September 7, 2025.”
• Regulation (EU) 2020/1204 – adds dicofol (CAS No 115-32-2) to the Part A of Annex I

Both amendments were released on August 18, 2020 and came into force on the twentieth day following publication in the OJEU.

The EU has also issued draft amendments to the POPs Recast Regulation and held public consultations that closed on September 29, 2020. These include draft amendments relating to:
• PFOA and its salts and PFOA-related compounds – equal to or below 2 mg/kg (0.0002 % by weight) where they are present in medical devices other than invasive devices and implantable devices
• Pentachlorophenol (PCP) and its salts and esters – equal to or below 5 mg/kg (0.0005 % by weight) where they are present in substances, mixtures or articles

POPs are organic chemicals that persist in the environment, accumulate through the food chain, and have adverse effects on human health and the environment. They are highly toxic and can bio-accumulate and survive long-range transport. In 2001, several countries signed the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants to promote their elimination and reduction.

The EU recast the POPs Regulation on June 25, 2019, which took effect on July 15, 2019, thereby repealing the originals regulation, (EC) No. 850/2004.

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