European Union Regulation No.301/2014 dated 25th March 2014
May 21, 2014
Members of the Council
Sub : European Union Regulation No.301/2014 dated 25th March 2014 regarding limits of Chromium VI in Leather Articles
The European Union has issued a Regulation No. 301/2014 dated 25th March 2014 (copy enclosed) stating the following.
Leather articles coming into contact with the skin shall not be placed on the market with effect from May 1, 2015 where they contain Chromium VI in concentrations equal to or greater than 3 mg/kg (0,0003 % by weight) of the total dry weight of the leather.
Articles containing leather parts coming into contact with the skin shall not be placed on the market with effect from May 1, 2015 where any of those leather parts contains chromium VI in concentrations equal to or greater than 3 mg/kg (0,0003 % by weight) of the total dry weight of that leather part.
The above Paragraphs shall not apply to the placing on the market of second-hand articles which were in end-use in the Union before 1 May 2015.
The aforementioned Regulation No. 301/2014 dated 25th March 2014 has been issued under REACH regulation of the European Union. REACH is the European Union Chemical Regulation (EC) (N°1907/2006 dated 18th December 2006) governing the Registration, Evaluation, Aurthorization and Restrictions of Chemicals. The REACH regulation Directive came into force on 1st June 2007 to streamline and coalease various regulations on chemicals of the European Union (EU). REACH is a dynamic regulation that places onus on industry to manage the risks that chemicals may pose to the health and the environment. Under REACH directive, all manufacturers, importers and distributors of chemical substances, preparations and Articles shall ensure that they manufacture, introduce to the market or use substances that have no harmful effect on human health or the environment. The EU Regulation (and the former EU Directives) restricts either: the sale or manufacture within the EU of product formulations containing more than certain amounts of chemical substances or the presence of certain chemical substances in consumer goods.
Under REACH, there are two lists namely Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) which are listed in Annexure XIV and Restricted Substances List (RSL) listed in Annexure XVII of the Regulation (EC) N°1907/2006. Producers, importers and other suppliers of articles containing SVHC included in the Candidate List in a concentration above 0.1% (w/w) have to provide information about the SVHC to the recipients of the articles. According to Article 33 of the Regulation (EC) N°1907/2006, the information can be automatically provided, or it must be available upon request by consumers, free of charge and within 45 days. This information shall ensure safe use of the article and as a minimum shall include the name of the substance. The information can be provided by different means to the customer, including in sales literature, on a website or in separate communications. As of 1 June 2011, producers and importers are required to notify the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) when a SVHC in the Candidate List is present in their articles above a concentration of 0.1% (w/w) and in an amount totaling over 1 tonne per year per producer or importer. Notification can lead to a requirement for registration
As far as Restricted Substances are concerned, there are separate limits for different substances. If RSL chemicals are present above the prescribed limits, the goods concerned cannot be shipped/exported to the European Union. As per aforementioned Regulation No. 301/2014 dated 25th March 2014, the limits of Chromium VI has notified under Annexure XVII of Regulation (EC) N°1907/2006 i.e under Restricted Substances List (RSL), considering its risk posed to human health. It may be mentioned that as far as leather industry is concerned, materials like Azo dyes, Penta Chloro Phenol (PCP) etc., are already placed in the RSL.
Thus, as the regulation concerning restrictions on Chromium VI has been issued under REACH regulations of European Union, the Indian leather, leather products and footwear exported to EU must also comply with the prescribed limits.
As far as Indian leather industry is concerned, the industry is already adhering to the various regulations under REACH by testing their products with REACH compliant laboratories. The Council for Leather Exports has also created awareness on REACH among member-exporters through organisation of awareness seminars, publication of articles in monthly magazine LEATHER NEWS INDIA and issuing circulars. As far as Chromuim VI limits are concerned, it is learnt that the the Indian leather, leather products and footwear exported to EU are already adhering to the limits prescribed under Regulation No. 301/2014.
Members may kindly note the above for adherence please.
Thanks and regards
R. Ramesh Kumar
COUNCIL FOR LEATHER EXPORTS