REACH authorisation update: HBCDD consortium now set up

January 2013

Nine manufacturers of expanded polystyrene in buildings join forces to set up HBCDD authorisation consortium

Brussels, January 9, 2013 - Nine manufacturers of expanded polystyrene (EPS) have joined forces and have set up a hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) authorisation consortium for the preparation of an application for Authorisation of the use of the substance as a flame retardant in EPS in buildings. The nine EPS manufacturers are downstream users of HBCDD and are preparing the joint part of an application dossier. The membership of the consortium is open to any entity meeting the criteria for downstream user as mentioned in the consortium agreement.

The founding members of the consortium are: Ineos Styrenics, Monotez S.A., Polidux S.A., StyroChem Finland Oy, Sunpor Kunststoff GmbH Austria, Synbra Technology B.V., Synthos S.A, Unipol Holland B.V., Versalis S.p.A.

The members of the consortium want to ensure to their customers a continued safe supply and use of EPS for use in building insulation material. Sufficient supply of insulation materials is crucial for the European Union to achieve the goal of a reduced carbon footprint. At present HBCDD is the only flame-retardant for EPS commercially available. Suppliers have announced that commercial quantities of alternative flame retardants will be available in the course of 2014. Nevertheless some delays in the production development cannot be excluded and so members of the consortium believe that alternative flame retardants may not be available in sufficient commercial quantities before August 2015 to allow for a smooth market transition from HBCDD.
The aim of the consortium is to obtain an authorisation for a continued safe use of the product, until a valid alternative is available.

Consortium members selected three service providers to help them prepare the application dossier for authorisation. Peter Fisk Associates Limited (PFA) and Economics for the Environment Consultancy (eftec), both based in the United Kingdom, were selected on the basis of their knowledge of HBCDD from past experience and of their knowledge of chemicals risk assessment, the Authorisation process (PFA) and socio-economic analysis (eftec). ReachCentrum was selected as the consortium secretariat based on its experience with consortia and financial aspects related to consortia management.

“The service providers together offered a professional turnkey solution” said Stephen Long, the chairperson of the HBCDD authorisation consortium from Ineos Styrenics.

One of the uses of HBCDD is as a flame retardant in EPS in buildings. HBCDD (CAS# 25637-99-4) is placed on Annex XIV of REACH, indicating that after the sunset date (21 August 2015, Official Journal of the European Union L49/52, dated 24.2.2011) the use of HBCDD in any application is prohibited unless the use in an application is granted. The application for authorisation of HBCDD in a specific use needs to be submitted to ECHA at the latest by February 21, 2014. Consortia founding members are inviting entities to join that meet the criteria contained in the group’s consortium agreement.

Note to editors:

About ReachCentrum
ReachCentrum is the professional services body established by Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, which has been designed to help companies all through the value chain to fulfill the REACH requirements. ReachCentrum provides guidance to get acquainted with the REACH requirements, managing consortia, organising workshops and delivering in-company trainings. ReachCentrum services are available for European Union and non-EU chemical manufacturing companies.

About Peter Fisk Associates Limited (PFA)
PFA is an environmental chemistry, (eco)toxicology and regulatory compliance consultancy with extensive experience with various aspects of chemicals assessment including risk assessment and risk management of chemicals.

About Economics for the Environment Consultancy (eftec)
eftec is the leading environmental economics consultancy in the UK.  They have extensive experience in valuing impacts on human health and the environment and together with chemical scientists (e.g. those at PFA) they provide a comprehensive REACH socio-economic analysis (SEA) service.

For further information:
Contact Francesca Furlan, ReachCentrum, at [email protected] or on +32.2.6767425