Frequently Asked Questions About the
EU Waste Framework Directive
Your Requirements Under the EU Waste Framework Directive &
SCIP Database Explained
In 2018, the European Union (EU) Waste Framework Directive (WFD) was amended to promote a circular economy and better communicate the presence of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) in articles to waste operators. The revised framework resulted in the creation of the Substances of Concern In articles, as such or in complex objects (Products) (SCIP) database.
What the SCIP Database
Means for You
By January 5, 2021, companies operating in the EU that manufacture, import or distribute products with SVHCs present above threshold will be obligated to submit information to the SCIP database. Submissions are required for each article and substance present in a product, potentially requiring numerous related submissions for a single product. We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions companies have asked about the SCIP database and the EU WFD.
What Is the EU Waste Framework Directive?
The EU WFD (2008/98/EC) was originally implemented to prevent or reduce the adverse impacts of waste generation and management on the environment and human health.
The updated EU WFD 2018/851 establishes concepts and definitions related to waste management, including recycling and recovery. It outlines when waste should be considered a secondary raw material, allowing stakeholders to distinguish between waste and by-products. Additionally, it lays out waste management principles, requiring that waste be managed without endangering human health or the environment, with an emphasis on waste prevention and the long-term replacement or removal of wasteful or harmful substances in products.
Who Is in Scope?
Generally speaking, everybody in scope of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation is in scope of the EU WFD. European Union manufacturers and importers of products into the EU will be responsible for submitting information into the SCIP database where SVHCs are present above 0.1 percent weight over weight (w/w). Those importers often need to turn to their suppliers of articles to request information in order to fulfill their regulatory obligations. The following need to provide information to the SCIP database:
- EU producers and assemblers.
- EU importers.
- EU distributors of articles and other actors who place articles on the market.
One exemption to this is if a distributor does not alter a product, they are exempt from submitting any information.
Retailers and other supply chain actors supplying articles directly to consumers are not obligated to submit information to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). There is still contention about the ability of non-EU manufacturers appointing some kind of legal representative in the EU to cover the responsibilities of the importers.
What Is the SCIP Database?
The SCIP database was mandated on May 20, 2018, as part of an amendment to the EU WFD. 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.
Who Maintains the SCIP Database?
The ECHA is in charge of the implementation and ongoing maintenance of the database.
I’m Not a European Company. Do I Have SCIP Requirements?
Only EU companies are in scope of the EU WFD, however, you may be required to provide article or substance information if your customers make SCIP submissions.
When Is the Deadline to Make SCIP Submissions?
Companies must be ready to submit data into the SCIP database on January 5, 2021. When the Candidate REACH SVHC list expands, it will also trigger ongoing and changing deadlines.
The ECHA will make a test version of the SCIP database available to companies so they can connect and test data prior to the go-live date.
What Are the Penalties if I Miss the Deadline?
The exact enforcement penalties will be determined by the EU member state in which the violation occurs. Member states have until July 5, 2020, to transpose the EU WFD requirements into national law.
What Is the First Importer Rule?
A first importer is defined as the entity that places a product onto the European marketplace.
The first importer is responsible for submitting into the SCIP database on behalf of non-EU based suppliers, followed by submissions against the complex object that contains those components.
If a Supplier Enters a Component Into the System, Is There a Way to Use That Existing Record?
Yes, the ECHA Article ID can be used to refer to the article record submitted by a supplier. Importers should therefore encourage their EU-based suppliers to create REACH-IT accounts, submit relevant records into the ECHA SCIP system so they can provide importers with relevant Article IDs.
What Substances Are In Scope?
Currently, the substances in scope for EU WFD matches the Candidate REACH SVHC Candidate List. Where an SVHC is identified on the REACH Candidate List above 0.1 percent w/w, the supplier of that product must report it to the SCIP database. This does not change if the article is then assembled into complex objects.
Products or components that do not contain SVHCs do not have to be reported.
If a Supplier Enters all SVHCS in Parts Into the Database, Do They Still Need to Provide Information to Customers?
Even if a supplier enters all SVHCs into the SCIP database, they still must provide sufficient data to downstream users. This is primarily for two reasons.
Under Article 33 of the EU REACH Regulation, SVHC content in articles must be identified to downstream users, so companies are able to report on the SVHCs in complex articles. The EU WFD addresses the handling of products at the end of life state and is applicable to all products with SVHC content over 0.1 percent w/w.
Are Raw Substances or Mixtures In Scope?
No. Other EU regulations such as EU REACH handle substances and mixtures.
What Kind of Data Needs to Be Collected?
Only data on articles containing REACH Candidate List substances in a concentration above the 0.1 percent w/w threshold must be collected. Besides administrative contact details, suppliers of articles need to provide extensive article and substance information.
How Do I Submit Data?
It is expected that SCIP database submissions will require the aggregation of data collected from the supply chain and from clients for formatting and manual upload of article related data in the International Uniform Chemical Information Database (IUCLID) i6z file format into the IUCLID. This is the same format currently used to enter chemical substance, mixture and other related data types into the Chemical Management Database. Data can be submitted in the following ways:
- Using the IUCLID software installed on a computer to generate a dossier file with the article file attached and then submit it online to the ECHA submission portal.
- Using the IUCLID cloud service to create the article file and dossier file and submit it to the ECHA submission portal.
- A system-to-system (S2S) connection via an API for IT solution providers to transmit and receive data, which is in development by the ECHA SCIP IT user group.
What Is IUCLID?
The International Uniform Chemical Information Database (IUCLID) is software used to record, store, maintain and exchange data on intrinsic and hazardous properties of chemical substances. It was co-developed by the ECHA and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The structure of IUCLID Version 6.4 released in October 2019 was expanded to include the data fields required for SCIP submissions.
Is IPC-1752A an acceptable format for submissions?
Although IPC-1754, IPC-1752B and IEC-62474 are acceptable formats to collect supply chain data, IPC-1752A is not a suitable format to collect data for the SCIP database. This is because companies will have to extract data from those declaration formats to submit into the SCIP database.
How Will the ECHA Bundle Parts in a BOM?
SCIP submissions begin with the submission of lower-level part data which in turn generates necessary IDs, such as the ECHA Article ID. Then, the record for the complex object must be created that references the lower-level article IDs.
Who Provides the Primary Article Identifier?
The primary article identifier is provided by the supplier submitting data into the article record.
How Public Is the SCIP Database?
It is currently unclear how transparent the SCIP database will be to the general public. The ECHA will ensure the protection of confidential business information where justified. For example, the required mandatory data that is used to establish links between actors in the same supply chain will not be made publicly available.
How Will SCIP Protect Business Confidentiality?
Confidential business data will be protected by providing data only as-needed, depending on use case, as outlined in a presentation from 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 monitoring and enforcement of regulations.
Will SCIP Data Requirements Change?
Yes, the data required for successful SCIP submissions will update at least twice per year as the REACH Candidate List grows. Companies will also be required to update their dossiers as substance, article and/or company information changes.
Leverage Your Supply
The Assent Compliance Platform offers a complete EU WFD solution. Learn how your company can leverage automation and centralization to manage all aspects of your SCIP data requirements, from collection to submission.DOWNLOAD GUIDE
How Assent Can Help
Assent has helped hundreds of companies manage their REACH requirements, and has been involved with the ECHA SCIP — IT working groups as the database has been developed. With this unique insight, Assent helps you prepare by offering a deep understanding of the new requirements for companies.