SCIP Database Notifications
Where does the SCIP database come from?
The starting point of the legal requirement is the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC). The WFD has the overarching objective to support the transition to a circular economy. The measures of the directive aim to prevent or reduce the harmful effects of waste generation and management on the environment and human health. At the same time, it aims to improve the efficiency of resources.
The amended Waste Framework Directive entered into force in July 2018. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was tasked with establishing a database with information on articles containing substances of very high concern on the REACH Candidate List. This database is called the SCIP Database (“Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products)”).
What are Candidate List substances?
The Candidate List refers to the list of so-called Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) that are subject to the REACH Regulation due to their potential risks for human health or the environment. The list typically gets updated twice and year with additional substances being added. Suppliers of articles containing Candidate List substances in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight need to comply with the communication obligations of REACH Article 33.
Does my company need to submit a notification?
Any supplier of an article as defined by REACH Article 3(33) is required to submit a notification to ECHA if that article contains a Candidate List substance above 0.1 % weight by weight, i.e. every supplier subject to the communication obligations of REACH Article 33(1).
- EU producers and assemblers,
- EU importers and distributor
- Any other actor in the supply chain that places articles on the EU market
Retailers and other supply chain actors that supply articles directly and exclusively to consumers are exempted by the obligation. Member States may define additional exemptions related to matters of defense.
What are the information requirements?
Suppliers of relevant articles must submit the following information to the database:
- Information to allow the identification of the article (e.g. Name, Primary Identifier, etc.)
- Information on the concern element, i.e. the name, location and concentration range of the Candidate List substance(s) present in the article
- Information to allow the safe use of the article, particularly in the waste stage
As shown in the following figure, the information to be provided to the SCIP database differs between articles as such and complex objects:
How can I prepare and submit my notification?
ECHA provides different methods for companies to prepare their submissions:
- Online in IUCLID Cloud
- Offline in IUCLID Software
- Using a IUCLID-compatible dedicated format for SCIP submissions in the company’s own system
For more info, see Choosing the Right Tool for SCIP Notifications.
After the preparation of the information, ECHA provides two methods for submitting the dossier:
- Manual submission: Online through the ECHA Submission portal;
- System-to-System (S2S) submission: Through a system-to-system transfer from the company’s own system to the ECHA Submission portal for submissions (dossiers) created in your own system (as described above).
Does a system-to-system interface solution make sense for my company?
The S2S interface is intended to facilitate SCIP notification processes. It provides the opportunity to prepare and submit notifications to the SCIP database within your own ERP system. Additionally, it allows the automation of notification processes.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to implement a S2S solution if you have to submit many notifications, carry out frequent updates to products, and have an existing system in place.
(European Chemicals Agency, “SCIP IT User Group 28 Feb System to System”)
Manual submissions by using the ECHA IT tools will not be a viable option for many companies, considering the size of their portfolio and/or the complexity of their products in conjunction with the amount of manufacturing, purchasing, sales, and supply chain driven updates to their products.
An estimation published by Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie (ZVEI) estimates the effort for a typical article supplier in mechanical engineering with about 2,500 products. They came out at 23 additional full-time employees for manually preparing and submitting the initial notifications for to ECHA – not considering any potential updates to the submissions.
How is ECHA protecting my confidential business information?
The SCIP database requires detailed product information to be disclosed. Thus, protecting confidential business information (CBI) is naturally a concern for many duty holders.
In this context, it is crucial to avoid the disclosure of links between the actors in the supply chain and information on supply sources. Therefore, ECHA is not going to publish the link between a SCIP notification and its submitter, i.e. the legal entity. In cases of complex objects, only the identifiers and names for the top-level article, i.e. the complex object, will be disclosed. For its complex object components, only the name and the article category are disclosed. See European Chemicals Agency, “Confidential Business Information & SCIP”.
The following figure illustrates the CBI concept in the SCIP database:
When is the deadline?
The notification obligation for affected products will enter into force on 5 January 2021. When the obligation to notify comes into effect, a notification must be available in the SCIP database for all products that are on the market on this date.
Notifications are possible with the first productive database version, which is to be published in October 2020.
What triggers do I have to look out for that could require a new or updated SCIP notification?
Although not obvious at the current stage of preparing for the obligation to kick-in, potentially the biggest challenge with regards to SCIP notification will be keeping the submissions up to date. The following scenarios trigger a re-evaluation and possible (re-)submission to the SCIP database:
- engineering redesigns
- changes within the supply chain
- new market introductions for existing products,
- updates to the REACH SVHC Candidate List with new substances subject to reporting being added typically two times per year