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The revised Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, which entered into force in July 2018, provided a role for ECHA to establish and maintain a database with information on substances of concern in articles, as such or in complex objects (products), named the “SCIP database”.
The information is submitted by companies supplying articles containing SVHCs on the Candidate List placed on the EU market. The SCIP database will ensure that this information is available throughout the whole lifecycle of articles and materials, including at the waste stage.
The three main objectives of the SCIP database to support the circular economy are the following:
- 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.
The primary goal remains the substitution of the Candidate List substances of very high concern in articles with safer alternatives, and thus preventing the generation of waste containing those hazardous substances.
The information available in the SCIP database will support waste operators to improve their waste separation and recycling techniques and processes over time, based on the increased knowledge of which substances are present in which articles. Waste operators do not currently have sufficient information about hazardous substances in the waste they are processing –leading, in the worst case– to such substances being incorporated in recycled materials. The database aims to bridge the current gap in the information flow.
The increased transparency will also benefit consumers and give them the opportunity to make better informed purchase decisions, as well as give them transparent information on safe use and disposal advice for articles on the EU market.
Finally, improved knowledge of the presence and use of substances of concern will benefit authorities in their regulatory work.
Ultimately, the database should facilitate the transition to a more sustainable material management by increasing the efficiency of resource use, and ensuring waste is valued as a resource.
Duty holders only need to provide information on those articles which contain Candidate List substances. The vast majority of articles on the EU market do not contain them.
Substitution remains the overall goal: the most hazardous substances should be phased out over time.
The information required for the SCIP database must already be communicated throughout the supply chain under REACH Article 33(1). The SCIP database therefore complements the existing communication and notification obligations for Candidate List substances in articles under Articles 33 and 7(2) of REACH, and should reinforce compliance with them.
ECHA has introduced features for reusing the information already submitted by the upstream supplier to allow duty holders to refer to each other’s notifications in case it concerns the same article, thereby reducing administrative burden and avoiding duplications. Please see Reusing data.
ECHA has also provided a system-to-system (S2S) submission solution which will automate the submission process for these articles. Companies are also able to connect their supply chain tracking tools to the SCIP database to set up automated submission procedures and avoid manual work.
Since the beginning of the project, ECHA has been in contact with several industry sectors and supply chain communication-tool providers to understand the needs and existing practices.
No, the aim of Article 33 under REACH is to ensure that sufficient information is communicated down the supply chain to allow the safe use of articles by actors in the supply chain, professional and industrial end-users, and consumers. The information flow along the supply chain enables all operators to take, at their stage of the use of the article, the appropriate risk management measures to guarantee the safe use of articles containing Candidate List substances. The information should also allow the operators in the supply chain and consumers to make informed purchase choices on the articles they buy. The SCIP notification obligation under the Waste Framework Directive is aimed to ‘ensure that the information about the presence of substances of very high concern is available throughout the whole life cycle of products and materials, including at the waste stage’ (emphasis added, see recital 38 of the Directive (EU) 2018/851) and it complements the obligations already existing under REACH by also allowing waste operators to access the data. For more information see Q&A 1605.
Since REACH entry into force on 1 June 2007 onwards, companies have been required to comply with their communication obligation under Article 33 of the REACH Regulation. According to Article 33 (1), a supplier of an article which contain such a substance of very high concern on the Candidate List in a concentration above 0.1 % (weight by weight) must provide enough information to allow the safe use of the article to customers, i.e. industrial or professional users and distributors. Consumers can request similar information.
As from 5 January 2021 onwards, information on articles containing a Candidate List substance of very high concern above 0.1 % (weight by weight) needs to be submitted to the SCIP database maintained by ECHA.
ECHA understands that Directive 2018/851 of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste is still under scrutiny for incorporation into the EEA Agreement. For more information you are advised to contact the relevant EEA institutions. EEA countries cannot make SCIP notifications until the WFD is incorporated in the EEA Agreement.
As of the date publishing of this Q&A, the following countries can make SCIP notifications: Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), Croatia (HR), Cyprus (CY), Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK),Estonia (EE), Finland (FI), France (FR), Germany (DE), Greece (GR), Hungary (HU), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Malta (MT), Netherlands (the) (NL), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovakia (SK), Slovenia (SI), Spain (ES), Sweden (SE).
Legal entities from the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland are not allowed to submit SCIP notifications. The Waste Framework Directive (WFD) is not listed in the Annex to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Consequently, there is no obligation for the UK to comply (in respect of NI) with any of the obligations of the WFD. United Kingdom (including NI) suppliers of articles to EU-based companies are in the SCIP context non-EU suppliers. For further details see Q&A 1610 and Q&A 1698.
For more information, we kindly invite you to contact your United Kingdom authorities.
- The substance is present in their relevant articles above a concentration of 0.1% (weight by weight).
- The substance is present in these relevant articles in quantities totalling over one tonne per year.