SAFEGUARDS | Hardgoods NO. 166/16

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has recently circulated a notification from the European Union (EU) announcing its intention to include methanol under Annex XVII of REACH. The restriction could become effective by the second half of 2018.

On October 6, 2016, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) circulated notification number G/TBT/N/EU/410 announcing a draft Regulation from the EU to restrict methanol in certain mixtures, namely windscreen washing or defrosting fluids and denatured alcohol. The draft regulation, attached to WTO document number 16-5331, [1] would create a completely new entry 69 in Annex XVII of REACH. The restriction aims at the following:

  • To minimise incidences of severe methanol poisoning resulting from consumption by people suffering from alcohol addiction
  • To prevent methanol poisoning resulting from accidental ingestion, including poisoning in children.

The draft Regulation is proposed to be adopted in the first half of 2017. The restriction could become effective by the second half of 2018; approximately 13 months after the date of entry into force.

Highlights of the draft Regulation are summarized in Table 1.  

Table 1: WTO Document # 16-5331 of October 6 2016, Proposed entry 69 to Annex XVII of REACH

Substance Scope Requirement Effective date
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Windscreen washing or defrosting fluids
≤ 0.6% (w/w) Potentially by the second half of 2018

In the last few months, the EU has intentions to restrict bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal paper [2] and decabromodiphenyl ether (deca-BDE) in consumer products under [3] Annex XVII of REACH.

SVHC may be introduced into various consumer products due to the complexities of both the supply chain and production process. Identifying high risk products or materials or having a test strategy can also be a smart way to ensure compliance and save costs.  If you would like to learn more about how SGS can support your REACH compliance activities please visit

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Hing Wo Tsang
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