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The latest EU law enforcement report : Hazardous substances in a large number of consumer products exceed standards ! Release Time:2023-12-22

On December 13, 2023, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Forum announced the latest EU-wide 10th joint enforcement project REF-10 report. The main focus of this enforcement project is on REACH regulations, POPs regulations, RoHS Chemicals in products (substances, mixtures and articles) are comprehensively controlled under different legislative scopes such as the Toy Directive and the Toy Directive.

A total of 2,407 products from 26 countries were inspected during this enforcement, and the overall non-compliance rate was 18% . Among them, the non-compliance rate for items is 20%, and the non-compliance rate for mixtures is 9%. Inspection data shows that products sold to consumers contain excessive levels of harmful chemicals such as lead, phthalates, short-chain chlorinated paraffins.


During random inspections, law enforcement agencies implemented corresponding measures against these products. It has been observed that the most commonly used enforcement measure is to issue written notices (accounting for 61% of cases where non-compliance is found), but there are still many other cases where announcements, orders, fines, criminal prosecutions, etc. have been adopted measure. For non-compliant products, the responsible parties can ultimately only take actions such as recall, withdrawal from the market, destruction, removal from the website, fines, etc., causing varying degrees of losses to sellers .



Main types of non-compliant products

Item material type:

electronic product :

Such as electric toys, chargers, cables, headphones. 52% of these products were found to be non-compliant, mainly due to excessive amounts of lead in solder, phthalates in soft plastic parts, cadmium in circuit boards and other substances .


Sports Equipment :

Such as yoga mats, bicycle gloves, balls or rubber handles for sports equipment. 18% of these products were found to be non-compliant, mainly due to excessive levels of short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) and phthalates in soft plastics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in rubber .


Toys (including electric toys) :

Such as bath/water toys, dolls, clothing, play mats, plastic dolls, shake toys, outdoor toys, slime and child care products, etc. 23% of these products were found to be non-compliant, mainly due to the presence of phthalates, short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCP), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nickel, boron, nitrite in soft plastic parts Amine and other substances exceed the standard .


Fashion products :

Such as bags, jewelry, belts, shoes and clothes. 15% of the products did not meet the requirements because they contained phthalates, lead and cadmium. 


Mixture type:

The largest number of non-compliances in the mixture were : paint strippers containing methylene chloride (38 % ), followed by glues containing toluene and chloroform (12%).



Proportion of products that do not comply with regulations/directives

● RoHS Directive (49%, 164/329); 

● REACH regulation (13%, 259/2038); 

● Toys Directive (10%, 21/218); 

● POPs regulations (9%, 61/645), among which 7 cases of textile products were found to be non-compliant due to PFOA and related substances (Note: In recent years, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have It has become a major category of substances of global concern. More or stricter restrictive laws and regulations have been or will be introduced in Europe and the United States. All relevant parties must pay attention).


Source of illegal products

The country of origin of the products under this survey was unknown for 523 cases . It is worth noting that products from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or with unknown origins have a higher non-compliance rate, accounting for the majority (1,289 items). Among these illegal products outside the EEA, China does not comply with the RoHS directive. The proportion of products is as high as 98%, and the number of Chinese products that do not comply with POPs regulations is as high as 95%.


Future Law Enforcement Trends

In early December 2023, the ECHA Enforcement Forum announced the 2024-2025 work plan on the ECHA official website, determining the 2024-2025 EU-level REACH regulations, CLP regulations, PIC regulations, POPs regulations and BPR regulations (biocidal product regulations) enforcement priorities. These include taking action in areas where the risk of non-compliance is higher, such as online sales, imported items, classification and labeling or compliance with restriction requirements. In addition, the work plan also determined that imported products will be the key inspection objects of the 12th Joint Enforcement Action (REF-12), which will be inspected in 2024 and an enforcement report will be released in 2025.

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