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1 in 4 imported products do not comply with REACH and CLP

A pilot project carried out by the European Chemicals Agency's (ECHA) enforcement authorities found that 23% of the products imported to the EU and checked do not meet the requirements under Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP). Out of 1400 products checked by the authorities and customs inspectors, more than 300 were found to be in breach of the European law on chemicals restrictions and/or non-compliant with CLP. The products were checked at strategic entry points into countries, such as airports and harbours but also at inland customs offices. The majority of checks focused on the presence of restricted substances and it was discovered that cadmium, lead and nickel were found in many articles imported mainly from China, as well as the United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand, North Macedonia and Madagascar. The highest rate of non-compliance was found for cadmium in jewellery. Those findings indicate that a significant amount of those products that are in breach of the EU legislation would put the health of the customers at risk if those products entered the market. In relation to CLP, out of 167 items checked, 64% were found to be non-compliant, with the majority of issues involving the incorrect use of pictograms, lack of national language and signal words on the hazard label, which could compromise the user's safety and health if the safety measures were not followed due to wrong labelling. The overall results show that importers need to intensify their efforts to supply safe products which are compliant with REACH and CLP, and that is a continued need for targeted enforcement on these specific restrictions and more stringent enforcement of REACH and CLP at European points of entrance.

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