Our regulatory subject matter experts are always available to educate compliance professionals through content, webinars and events. They also provide advice to Assent clients. With the upcoming Substances of Concern In articles, as such or in complex objects (Products) (SCIP) database coming into effect in January 2021, our Regulatory team has been busy. Here are a few questions the team fielded in a recent webinar about the upcoming database.
Question: What is the SCIP database?
James: On May 20, 2018, the SCIP database was mandated as part of an amendment to the European Union (EU) Waste Framework Directive (WFD) (2008/98/EC). The database has three main objectives:
- Decrease the generation of waste containing hazardous substances by supporting the substitution of substances of concern in articles placed on the EU market.
- Make information available to further improve waste treatment operations.
- Allow authorities to monitor the use of substances of concern in articles and initiate appropriate actions over the whole lifecycle of articles, including at their waste stage.
Question: What is the first step toward maintaining compliance?
James: The first step is to educate yourself and your organization on what SCIP database requirements cover and which of your products are in scope. This allows you to get a sense of how large an undertaking compliance will be for your company, and where you could be exposed to risk if your organization does not exercise due diligence.
Once you have an understanding of SCIP database reporting obligations, begin developing a program and set expectations for your suppliers. At the same time, you will want to put processes in place to ensure your customers know they can rely on you to provide them with any information they need to meet their own compliance requirements.
Question: When will the first data requests be sent?
James: Industry received the first data requirements in September 2019. Companies hoping to get a jump on requirements will likely start sending out requests during the first half of 2020. Those first requests may only set expectations and requirements, but many companies will be looking to begin setting up data submission systems as soon as possible to prepare for the January 5, 2021, deadline.
Question: In what format will SCIP data be requested?
James: Although the format for data submission has not yet been confirmed, it is expected SCIP database dossier submissions will require a format similar to the one currently used to enter chemical substance, mixture and other related data types into the Chemical Management Database. Companies will have to aggregate and format article-related supply chain and client data into a IUCLID i6z file, and upload it into the International Uniform Chemical Information Database (IUCLID) or apply system to system connection for complex products.
Question: What enforcement should be expected?
James: Each EU member state will be responsible for determining their penalties for non-compliance. Since SCIP requirements were established by a directive, each member state must transpose it into their own domestic laws. As a waste law, one can reference other transposed waste laws like the EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive to determine precedent for penalties of non-compliance. European Union member states are expected to establish national laws by July 5, 2020.
After it was discovered 88 percent of suppliers are failing to communicate sufficient product information concerning Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) to their customers, the EU began doubling down on enforcement. Enforcement bodies will have more streamlined access to product information as a result of the SCIP database as well as the Regulation on Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products (Regulation 2019/1020/EU). This, combined with a new legal obligation that requires companies found to be importing products with SVHCs to pay for any testing fees incurred during the audit process, will likely lead to more frequent audits if product data is not immediately available.
Question: How do we reconcile the needs for comprehensive data and protection of intellectual property?
Raj: Confidential business data will be protected by providing data only as needed, depending on the use case, as outlined in a presentation from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Some examples of use cases are:
- Waste operators leveraging data to be safer and more efficient in recycling processes.
- Consumers being able to make informed decisions and properly dispose of products.
- Authoritative bodies supporting the monitoring and enforcement of regulations.
How Assent Can Help
Assent’s software automates supply chain data management, enabling companies to more efficiently meet their SCIP database reporting requirements. The Assent Compliance Platform leverages a workflow-driven, programmatic approach to engage the supply chain and identify articles containing SVHCs and retrieve the required data for SCIP dossier submissions. The platform integrates to provide companies with a viable third-party option for submissions. For more information about how Assent can help your company, contact us today.