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Sunset date for Trichloroethylene - 21st April 2016

This information is an extract from HSE Engineering Information Sheet EIS47


Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)

This is the current system that regulates the supply and use of chemicals (including solvents) in Europe.
It became law in the UK on 1 June 2007. It includes an obligation for substances supplied in quantities of one tonne per year or more to be ‘registered’ with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

It also includes an ‘authorisation’ procedure for substances that have been identified as ‘Substances of Very High Concern’ or SVHCs (see www.hse.gov.uk/reach/resources/svhc.pdf) and included within Annex XIV of REACH (which is regularly updated). When a substance has been listed on Annex XIV it will be necessary for companies wishing to use these substances to seek an ‘authorisation’ from the EC unless it meets one of the exemptions in REACH. Further information can be found in the leaflet REACH – Authorisation (www.hse.gov.uk/reach/resources/19authorisation.pdf), produced by the UK REACH Competent Authority.

Trichloroethylene has been registered under REACH. It is also on Annex XIV – the authorisation list with a latest application date for authorisation of 21 October 2014 and a ‘sunset date’ of 21 April 2016. This means that after 21 April 2016 an authorisation will be needed for continued use of trichloroethylene. Users will have to follow the terms of any authorisation with respect to the specified risk management measures in order to continue using trichloroethylene. If an authorisation is either not applied for or not granted for any specific use, then that use must cease after the sunset date.

Note that the largest supplier of trichloroethylene has applied for authorisation for ‘closed’ systems only. Therefore, use of ‘enclosed’ systems will have to cease after 21 April 2016. For definitions of ‘closed’ and ‘enclosed’ systems, see the European Chlorinated Solvent Association’s information, Recommendations for cleaning machines using chlorinated solvents (www.eurochlor.org).
©HSE 3/15


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page last modified on 28/10/15

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