NEWS UPDATE

Current information on Chromium(VI) authorization

APRIL 2022
Latest update on the ChromeXtend application

The next milestone has been reached. At the beginning of March 2022, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) submitted a detailed draft and voting recommendation to the EU Commission regarding the ChromeXtend authorization application for the European gravure and embossing industry. The Commission is likely to make its decision in the 4th quarter of 2022.

To ensure companies can continue to use currently indispensable chromium (VI) electrolytes beyond the expiration of the present CTAC authorization on September 24, 2024, K.Walter is working intensively and in cooperation with users on the strategic and technological “ChromeXtend” initiative.

As explained in the December 2021 update on ChromeXtend, the chromium trioxide exposure measurements for operating personnel that were reported by all participating customers were consistently low and within the legal limits. The authorization application was submitted to the ECHA in February 2021 and has been reviewed and processed in various procedures and dialogs to date. This application covers the use of chromium trioxide for the European gravure and embossing market.

The official recommendation that has now been communicated is the last step before the European Commission votes on the application.

Here are the key points in the ECHA’s recommendation:

  • 12-year review period (starting from the application submission date, i.e. up to 2032)
  • Further improvements are to be made to current exposure levels (see K.Walter Health and Safety Package)
  • Annual exposure measurements still to be mandatory
  • Authorization is to apply to horizontal chromium systems and the use of liquid chromium

Thanks to the excellent feedback from the organizations involved, K.Walter is highly optimistic that the application will be successful.

In December last year, K.Walter once again ran a major reminder and detailed support campaign to help all its customers submit the legally required notification to the ECHA and upload measurement data. Due to the positive feedback this support received, K.Walter will continue to offer this service to customers and expand it so it is available for all matters relating to chromium and its authorization process.

If you have any questions about the implementation of the current chromium regulations, please contact Ms. Sylvia Berger (s.berger@kwalter.de, +49 (0)89 785 96 188).

 

Timeline and current status

December 2021
Progress report on ChromeXtend

Please note the following deadline: Measurement results must be submitted by December 18, 2021

 

 

Over recent months, K.Walter has supported the implementation of the CTAC authorization in Europe and assisted users in a variety of ways. Across the board, the chromium trioxide exposures that have been measured have been low, and well below the legal limits.

 

K.Walter would like to remind chromium trioxide users once again that measurement results must be submitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) via REACH-IT by December 18. To assist in this process, K.Walter is once more offering support with completing the ECHA measurement template and uploading the data.

 

Since K.Walter submitted its application for authorization to the ECHA in February 2021, the application has been processed and handled by various ECHA bodies. There has been constructive dialog between K.Walter and the ECHA at various points and K.Walter has been able to answer the last substantive questions satisfactorily. Based on initial discussions about operating conditions and risk reduction measures, it appears that the ECHA views the high process standards and safety measures in gravure and embossing electroplating as credible and adequate.

 

We anticipate that the ECHA will complete its report on our application in the next few weeks and pass it on to the European Commission. Based on the ECHA recommendation, the Commission will evaluate the application once again and a legal text will then be drawn up. This text will be passed into law when the member states in the European Commission’s REACH Committee vote on it. Due to the large number of applications for authorization that have been presented to the Commission, it is currently anticipated that a final decision will be reached at the end of 2022/beginning of 2023.

 

If you have any questions about the implementation of the current chromium regulations, please contact Ms. Sylvia Berger (s.berger@kwalter.de, +49 (0)89 785 96 188).

 

Timeframe and current status of CTAC authorization

January 2021
Update on chromium trioxide authorization in Europe

On December 18, 2020, the EU issued a positive ruling on CTAC authorization. The European gravure and embossing sector is therefore permitted to use chromium trioxide under the terms of the CTAC authorization until September 21, 2024.

 

European users of chromium trioxide must now comply with various regulations such as registering with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and carrying out annual workplace exposure and environmental emissions measurements. To help customers meet the requirements, country-specific webinars have been held and detailed discussions have been organized on how the new provisions need to be put into practice. Information about this can be found here.

 

 

For further help with implementing the new regulations, do not hesitate to get in touch – we’re happy to provide our customers or anyone interested with advice or support. Please contact our project manager Julian Rotter (j.rotter@kwalter.de) directly.

 

To ensure chromium trioxide can continue to be used even after the CTAC authorization period, and therefore beyond 2024, K.Walter worked intensively last year on the ChromeXtend authorization application. This application, tailored specifically to the gravure and embossing sector, aims to safeguard hard chrome plating using chromium trioxide for the long term, beyond CTAC.

 

Initial discussions with the ECHA before submitting the application went well and there was very positive feedback on the extensive survey in the industry last year. We are now pleased to announce that K.Walter has completed the application and submitted it to the ECHA in February. The ChromeXtend authorization application has requested an authorization period of 12 years. A decision on authorization and its ultimate duration is expected between the start and middle of 2023.

June 2020
Successful completion of the ChromeXtend survey

The ChromeXtend authorization initiative launched by K.Walter for the use of chromium trioxide in the gravure printing and embossing industry continues to be driven forward. An important milestone has now been reached:

 

In the past weeks, we have asked cylinder manufacturers based in the European Economic Area to participate in a survey for ChromeXtend. We are pleased to report that we received an extensive response from 80 % of the 121 locations contacted. The data will now be evaluated anonymously and prepared for the registration dossier. As a result of the numerous responses, it is possible to provide comprehensive evidence of the high safety standards in cylinder production and to demonstrate the economic consequences of a potential ban. We would like to thank the companies for their support!

 

The submission of the authorization application is planned for the end of 2020. As we continue to anticipate an authorization period for the CTAC application till September 2024, this provides a secure period for approving the ChromeXtend application.

 

On May 13, the CTAC application was again discussed in the REACH committee of the EU, but no final decision was taken.

 

We will keep you up to date on how the application is progressing in this newsletter and at www.kwalter.de. Should you have any specific questions on this matter, you can also e-mail our project manager Dr. Julian Rotter at any time at j.rotter@kwalter.de.

April 2020
ChromeXtend Info Newsletter 03

Current information on the subject of chromium(VI) authorization in e-mail newsletter format

February 2020
ChromeXtend Info Newsletter 02

Current information on the subject of chromium(VI) authorization in e-mail newsletter format

October 2019
ChromeXtend Info Newsletter 01

Current information on the subject of chromium(VI) authorization in e-mail newsletter format

September 2019
ChromeXtend - the Chromium(VI) authorization application for gravure in EU

ChromeXtend is an initiative launched by K.Walter to secure an authorization from the European Commission that is tailored to the specific requirements of the gravure and embossing industry. The aim is to enable continued long-term use of chromium(VI), beyond 2024, in line with the highest possible safety standards.

 

We will keep you up to date on how the application is progressing in our helioscope newsletter and on our website. Should you have any specific questions on this matter, please feel free to contact us at any time by emailing chrome@kwalter.de.

Latest statement from the CTACSub Consortium on September 19, 2019

The European Commission’s revised application for authorization needs to be voted on again at the REACH Committee’s next meeting. This vote will take place at the meeting on either November 19/20, 2019 or February 3/4, 2020.

 

The Commission is expected to continue supporting the CTACSub application and agree to the authorization of the uses covered by the application.

 

Despite the delays in the authorization process, downstream users will still be allowed to utilize chromium trioxide during the defined review period.

 

K.Walter will naturally keep its customers informed of any relevant changes in the authorization process. If you have any questions, please phone +49 (0)89 78596-0 or send an e-mail to chrome@kwalter.de.

May 2019
Update on Cr(VI) authorization

The recent decision by the European Commission with regard to chromium authorization has resulted in the following change:

 

Although the EU Parliament has approved the draft, the European Commission is still to revise it. We do not anticipate there will be any major changes to the content of the draft. However, the indicated timeline will be extended. It can also be assumed that the review period as a whole will remain unaffected (September 21, 2024).

 

The next decision is likely to be made during the next REACH Committee meeting in mid-June. Although, on the whole, we can only speculate as to the outcome of this decision, we will nonetheless keep you up to date on developments and document all the necessary steps for you. In the meantime, should you have any questions, you can still reach us on +49 (0)89 78596-0 or by sending an email to chrome@kwalter.de.

February 2019
Decision on Cr(VI) authorization

Following the decision made by the REACH Committee on February 15, 2019, we are delighted to inform you of the following:

 

The European Commission has agreed to authorize the use of Cr(VI) for functional hard chrome plating (application 2, incl. “gravure”) for seven years. The authorization period begins on the sunset date of September 21, 2017 and is thus valid till September 21, 2024.

 

The following action plan (excerpt) has been drawn up in light of this decision:

April 1, 2019
Authorization decision notified to applicants (date estimated)
July 1, 2019
Authorization holders to draw up and distribute (as annexes to safety data sheets) specific exposure scenarios for representative processes, operations and individual tasks
July 1, 2019
Downstream users to notify uses to ECHA under Art. 66 REACH
October 1, 2019
Downstream users to finish first exposure measurement campaigns
April 1, 2020
Downstream users to notify data from exposure measurements and air and waste water monitoring to ECHA
October 1, 2020
Authorization holders to validate exposure scenarios with new data from exposure measurements and air / wastewater monitoring which they will have received from Downstream users via ECHA
September 2017
The complete “4-in-1” solution for chrome plating

The new HelioChrome® Rapid EC from K.Walter revolutionizes the chromium plating of gravure cylinders


Chromium trioxide – nothing is changing for users yet

Update on the REACH authorization of CrO3 by the EU

June 2017
Chromium trioxide – what’s next?

News and status on the REACH authorization of CrO3 by the EU