On October 28, 2020, ECHA opened the EU SCIP database to submissions.
Various questions on sales and distribution scenarios are emerging as at who is required to submit notifications into the SCIP database, and how to best support downstream economic actors. These scenarios are discussed below.
In the ECHA SCIP FAQ on “Which suppliers of articles have the obligation to provide information to ECHA?”, ECHA states:
The following suppliers of articles need to provide information to ECHA:
– EU producers and assemblers,
– EU importers,
– EU distributors of articles and other actors who place articles on the market.
Retailers1 and other supply chain actors supplying articles directly to consumers are not covered by the obligation to provide information to ECHA.
1 Excluding retailers who are importers and/or producers.
When the Manufacturer is the EU Importer
The obligation to submit SCIP notifications for manufacturers is clear for those who manufacture in the EU or have their own EU import subsidiaries – these organizations are able to use their own legal entity to submit their product information into SCIP. This in-turn makes it easy for distributers to do a simplified SCIP notification (SSN) to meet their regulatory obligations.
When the Manufacturer is not the EU Importer
The business implications are less clear for foreign manufacturers who do not have direct control of import into the EU. A downstream actor will need to do the detailed SCIP submission for the product. This will normally be the EU importer if they are an EU entity.
ECHA has already started providing guidance to distributors that they can use the simplified SCIP notification (SSN) process to meet their submission obligations (unless they are also the importer). To use the SSN process, the distributor needs to obtain the SCIP number from their upstream partner – the manufacturer or importer – and then include this number in their SSN upload into the SCIP data. They do not need to know any technical details about the product or the SVHC contents. This is possible because the full submission will already be in SCIP by the time the product gets to them.
Note 1: if the distributor is also the importer and the product is not already in SCIP, the distributor will need to make the detailed SCIP submission.
Note 2: if the distributor is a retailer who sells directly to consumers and is not the importer, they are exempt from SCIP reporting. This assumes that an upstream EU importer has already made the SCIP submission.
Import of components and subassemblies into the EU
Another scenario with some uncertainty is when a component or subassembly is imported into the EU, especially when the integrator is the importer of record. This scenario is not well addressed in the guidance documents. In general, the SCIP obligation is triggered when a product is placed on the EU market. The evidence for the above position may be found in the ECHA SCIP FAQ on “Which suppliers of articles have the obligation to provide information to ECHA?”, states…
According to Article 3(33) of the REACH Regulation, the supplier of an article means ”any producer or importer of an article, any distributor or other actor in the supply chain who places an article on the market“.
Impact on EEE Manufacturers
We will need to see how this plays out in the EEE sector, including the level of awareness of importers and distributors to their SCIP legal obligations. The speed with which EU member states enforce the requirements may also be a factor.
Regardless of how this plays out, the product manufacturer is the entity with the Bill of Materials and SVHC information needed to create the SCIP dossier. Importers and distributors will not have necessary technical information. Therefore, product manufacturers should be prepared to provide the necessary information – either as an IUCLID SCIP dossier or some other format that can then be compiled into a SCIP dossier.