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REACH-EN-FORCE (REF) projects are one of the main Forum enforcement projects of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The projects aim to harmonize the enforcement in each Member State and to check the current level of compliance regarding the obligations imposed by regulations such as REACH, CLP and PIC. 

In Sweden, REF-projects are carried out by The Swedish Chemicals Agency, KEMI, which is a government agency that inspects chemical products, biotechnical organisms and other articles that are manufactured and imported into Sweden.  Under the provisions of the Environmental Code, inspections are carried out so as to ensure the products placed on the market comply with the related rules and regulations.

Recently, a major enforcement project carried out by KEMI found out that certain consumer products purchased from online stores contains illegal levels of hazardous chemicals. 

The inspection checked 449 consumer products from 138 companies. The result shows that electrical products have the highest rate of non-compliance (47%). The most common violations were lead in solders, short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) and phthalates in soft plastic materials.  

Examples of electrical products violation in this investigation:

Products Violation(s)
Wired Headphones

Excessive:

  1. Phthalate (DEHP): 0.13% by weight
  2. Lead: 58.4% - 56.2% 
Wireless Headphones

Excessive:

  1. Phthalate (DEHP: 2.41 – 2.5%; DIDP: 0.38 – 0.42%; DINP: 1.28 – 1.44%)
  2. Lead: 41.1 – 71.7%
  3. SCCPs: 3.02 – 3.82%
  4. Flame retardant (DBP): 0.09 – 0.14%
Charger Adapter

Excessive

  1. Phthalate (DINP): 14.7 – 16.1%
  2. Lead: 46.1 - 56%
Electric Ear Cleaner

Excessive:

  1. Cadmium: 34.1 – 42.7%

In addition, there are labelling requirements for electrical goods that are manufactured in and imported into the EU. The products shall be labelled with CE marking, identification mark and contact details of the manufacturer and importer. In this project, KEMI found, out of 15 electrical goods investigated, 3 of those lack a CE mark (20%) and 8 of those lack proper contact details (53%). 


The challenges of eradicating non-compliant products sold online were highlighted in the report. Based on the findings of this inspection, Sweden will prioritize future actions on hazardous chemicals such as phthalates and SCCPs in articles. Next phase of the project will be the evaluation phase, which is expected to be completed in Q3 2021.

SGS can provide a wide array of services on REACH, as testing, training, consulting, process auditing, document preparation and other services to help you deal with these new green requirements more efficiently and effectively.

 

Please contact our Customer Service Team for more information!

To obtain a copy in PDF, please click here.