APPEAL members complete chrome-free REACH authorisation

European steel for packaging manufacturing remains assured during transition to chrome-free passivation alternative

The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APPEAL) has confirmed that its members have all successfully completed the REACH authorisation process for the use of chromium trioxide and sodium dichromate in the passivation of electrolytic tinplate (ETP) and the manufacture of electrolytic chromium coated steel (ECCS).

This is an important milestone for the packaging manufacturing landscape during the active development and qualification of the alternative technologies for our uses and will ensure the continued supply of European steel for packaging.

APEAL members have time-limited authorisation to use these substances in the passivation of ETP until the end of 2027 and, where relevant, in the manufacture of ECCS until the end of 2028.

The authorisations were obtained through individual applications by APEAL members, tailored to their respective application strategies.

There will be no further possibility to extend the authorisation period beyond the 2027 and 2028 deadlines imposed by these authorisations as there is the intention of the Commission to replace the authorisation process for those compounds by a restriction.

Supply chain partners are urged to implement these solutions before the end of the authorisation period, facilitating a seamless transition away from chromium VI compounds. APEAL and its members emphasise their commitment to the transition in line with the conditions of the authorisations.

The inclusion of several chromium VI compounds in REACH Annex XIV, listing substances subject to authorisation in Europe with a sunset date of September 21, 2017, necessitated a rigorous authorisation process overseen by the European Commission.

The European Commission considers that suitable alternatives are available in the European Union and has imposed strict conditions on authorisation holders, including the documentation of efforts to substitute chromium VI compounds, the need to persuade customers to adopt the alternative solutions, and ensuring all steps towards risk reduction for workers are taken. This information must be made available to the competent authority of the Member State where the authorised uses occur.

Developed by APEAL members, the alternative technologies for both ETP and ECCS that ensure continued product and consumer safety, while adhering to global food contact regulations, are now being qualified by stakeholders throughout the supply chain.

By proactively embracing alternative solutions, APEAL members aim to uphold the highest standards and regulatory compliance in European manufacturing.

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