ePIC – Prior Informed Consent IT system
The Prior Informed Consent Regulation (PIC, Regulation (EU) 649/2012) governs the import and export of certain hazardous chemicals and places obligations on companies who wish to export these chemicals to non-EU countries.
The new PIC Regulation became applicable on 1 March 2014. From this date, ECHA has been responsible for the administrative and technical tasks related to the new regulation and will provide scientific and technical guidance to industry, the designated national authorities (DNAs) from the EU and from third countries, and the European Commission.
ePIC is the IT tool which has been established and is maintained by ECHA to ensure that requirements under the PIC Regulation are supported by appropriate IT systems. ePIC has three independent interfaces, one dedicated to industry users, one to authority users (ECHA, DNAs and the Commission) and one for customs officers. It allows information to be securely exchanged between industry users, authority users and customs users.
The ePIC industry interface addresses industry users, enabling them to securely communicate and exchange data with authority users. Once logged into the ePIC application, the following functions are available to industry users:
- Submit export notifications: the system allows the creation and submission of export notifications for both chemicals and mixtures/articles by selecting the appropriate link depending on the type of export. Once the notification is ready, it is possible to review it in the confirmation page which summarises all the previously provided information. When the export notification is finalised, it can be sent to the relevant DNA through the system. If the submission is successful, a confirmation message will appear. If corrections are needed after the submission, the relevant DNA (or ECHA) can send the notification back and it will be accessible in the industry interface for editing and subsequent resubmission (if time allows for this).
- Submit special RIN requests (single and bulk): where relevant, industry can submit special RIN requests. If the request covers a large number of chemicals to be exported to one or several countries or one chemical to be exported to several countries, a bulk submission function is available. An RIN will be generated per case and each request will be handled by the respective DNA as a separate case.
- Request a waiver: if applicable under the provisions laid down in Article 14 (7) of the PIC Regulation, industry users can request a waiver, by searching for the concerned notification and selecting "Propose a waiver".
- Manage mixtures and articles prior to the notification of an export: new mixtures and articles can be created within the application. Following the creation, they can be selected in the export notification form and the information provided during the creation will be automatically retrieved and copied in the respective fields of the export notification form.
By using this interface, industry users are also able to see and update their own data, and monitor their notifications. They can also send messages to their DNAs (with reference to a specific submission), and check the status of the submitted notifications and special RIN requests.
The ePIC authority interface is dedicated to authority users, supporting the day-to-day work in the regulatory process. Once logged in to the ePIC application, authority users are presented with the home page where links to "To do Actions" (grouped by category) are available for easy access to tasks and pending actions.
Within the application, the following functions are available to authority users:
- Check and monitor the open tasks: the list of open tasks is available from the ePIC authority interface home page. This pre-defined list of tasks can also be refined by using the filtering search criteria. In the task list, the users are presented with information on the actions to be performed, the chemicals covered by the task, importing country and the due date for completing the task. Tasks reaching the due date are marked in orange while tasks which have passed the deadline are in red.
- Perform and complete tasks: the task item opens the notification details, where additional information concerning the task and the request are provided. A submission history is available and lists the events in the lifecycle of the case. There is a section on messages where all messages previously sent with regard to the case are available to the user. Once the task has been claimed by the user, it can be performed and completed by selecting the appropriate action from the "Task Action Menu".
- Request for additional information/corrections from industries: if authority users notice that some information is missing and/or corrections to the submission are needed, they can request the industry users to amend their requests or supplement them with additional data. The system allows authority users to include a message in the notification clarifying the nature of the changes to be made.
The ePIC customs interface is dedicated to customs officers, providing them with the necessary information to perform their duties. They can carry out ad-hoc searches (based on a positive match between an RIN and an importing country) and check whether the export is allowed at a given moment in time together with other relevant information on the export.