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What Is the Waste Framework Directive?

The European Union (EU) Waste Framework Directive (WFD) was implemented to protect the environment and human health from hazardous substances during waste processing, and reintroduce reusable materials to the supply chain. In the past, workers had limited access to safety documentation, which exposed them and disposal environments to significant risks.

In 2018, the EU introduced amendments to several pieces of legislation that regulate how products sold in the European Economic Area (EEA) are reused, repurposed, recycled, or disposed of. These included the updated EU WFD (2018/851), which applies to all products placed on the market in the EU, regardless of manufacturing origin. This simultaneously works toward moving to a single market and creating a level business landscape across the EU.

Key Features of the EU Waste Framework Directive

The revised EU WFD 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.

Key features:

Introduces binding waste reduction targets.

Establishes a hierarchy for waste processing.

Improves recycling systems within the EU.

Facilitates waste recovery through decontamination.

Outlines mandatory requirements for a centralized database containing information on Substances of Concern In articles, as such or in complex objects (Products) (SCIP).

SCIP Digital
Scoping Tool

Since January 5, 2021, companies have been required to submit information to the SCIP database — are you in compliance? If you aren’t sure, you need answers, and the SCIP Digital Scoping Tool is the best place to get them. You’ll learn what you need to do to meet your requirements and avoid enforcement action.

Please select the option that most applies to your company

Are you exporting any parts/products to the EU directly or to downstream customers who intend to place those parts/products on the EU market?

Do you have parts or products containing SVHCs over 0.1% weight by weight at an Article Level?

Are you or do you have an EU Legal Entity?

You are in scope!

As established by the EU Waste Framework Directive, you must submit to the SCIP database, or risk enforcement action. Assent can help you get the data you need to file your submission or act as a EU Legal Entity and file on your behalf. To learn more, speak to one of our experts.

You are out of scope

You are currently out of scope of the EU Waste Framework Directive, but the scope expands with every change to the REACH SVHC Candidate List and data fields. You can monitor those changes by subscribing to our newsletter.


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Speak With A SCIP Expert

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With no SVHCs above threshold, you do not have an obligation to submit to the SCIP database. The SVHC list changes bi-annually which could bring you into scope at a later date. Stay on top of evolving SCIP requirements by joining our newsletter.

You will receive requests for data from your EU customers as they rush to meet their SCIP requirements. Assent can act as your EU Legal Entity and submit data on relevant parts to the database. This can provide you with an efficient way of quickly meeting those requests so you can maintain a strong relationship with your customers. To learn more, speak to one of our experts.

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The Waste Framework Directive & the Circular Economy

The EU WFD (2018/851) supports the broader EU circular economy initiative, which aims to move the European economy toward sustainable production and consumption. The current closed-loop economic model relies on ceaseless consumption of scarce natural resources. Goods are produced, used, and disposed of in waste streams with low levels of recycling. In contrast, the open-loop economic model, which the EU is moving toward, encourages companies to design and manufacture products using resources that are non-scarce and non-toxic, and which can be easily disassembled and recycled using waste streams.

The Waste Framework Directive & Existing Legislation

Under the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation, there is an obligation to make downstream users aware of products containing substances of very high concern (SVHCs) above the 0.1 percent weight by weight (w/w) threshold. Under the new EU WFD, SVHC reporting obligations expand significantly.

These expanding reporting obligations stem from a legal mandate under the EU WFD that compels the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to establish a central database of products containing hazardous substances. Reporting obligations for the SCIP database began on January 5, 2021. As a result, producers, assemblers, importers, and distributors of articles containing SVHCs above 0.1 percent w/w threshold have to collect more information on these items in addition to the data required under the REACH Regulation.

SCIP Database Requirements

The SCIP database will require in-scope companies to name the substance over threshold, provide a concentration range, supply safe use guidance, and submit additional information.The additional information will allow waste stream operators to quickly access instructions on the proper recycling and repurposing of complex products, and make it easier for workers to access safety information about materials they come into contact with.

The database, and the increased visibility it brings to company product data, is expected to result in a decline in the use of SVHCs in products. Companies should be aware of safer alternative solutions and be prepared to justify their use of SVHCs as regulations continue to evolve. Smaller businesses and non-duty holders can support compliance by accessing free tools such as the SCIP Registration Center.

Find out how Assent can help you meet your requirements under the amended EU WFD.
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