The European Commission has issued a draft regulation to set a limit value for hexachlorobenzene under the POP Recast Regulation. The draft law is proposed to be adopted in Q4 of 2021.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 152/21

SG 15121 Chemical

Since the publication of Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants (POP Recast Regulation) in 2019, Annex I to Part A of this important piece of legislation has been amended on several occasions – these include setting a limit of 5 mg/kg for pentachlorophenol (PCP), its salts and esters (SafeGuardS 25/21).

When the POP Recast Regulation was published, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) was listed in Annex I to the POP Recast Regulation without an Unintentional Trace Contaminant (UTC) limit value (consolidated version to March 2021). Since the publication of that Regulation, the European Commission (EC) has determined that HCB is an impurity in certain substances, mixtures and articles, including chlorinated solvents, coatings, inks, paints and toners, pesticides, wood and textile applications, as well as plastics.

The EC website has made available a draft Regulation to set a limit of no more than 10 mg/kg for HCB in Part A to Annex I of the POP Recast Regulation. This defined limit would facilitate enforcements.

Comments on the draft Regulation will be accepted until December 6, 2021

According to the EC website, the draft Regulation is proposed to be adopted in Q4 of 2021 and will enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU).

Highlights of HCB in the draft legislation and a comparison with the POP Recast Regulation are summarized in Table 1.

Part A to Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2019/1021
‘Substances Listed in the Convention and in the Protocol as well as Substances Listed Only in the Convention’


Draft Regulation to amend Part A to Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 

Part A to Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2019/1021

Substance

Hexachlorobenzene 
(CAS 118-74-1)

Hexachlorobenzene
(CAS 118-74-1)

Specific exemption on intermediate use or other specification

≤ 10 mg/kg (0.001%) as constituent of substances, in mixtures or in articles

None

Effective date

20th day after publication in the OJEU (potentially early 2022)

July 2019

Table 1

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