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#22.02.2019 REACH committee approves continued use of chromium trioxide in tinplate and tin-free steel

APEAL welcomes the decision of the European Commission’s REACH committee to agree to the authorisation for continued uses of chromium trioxide for the passivation of tinplated steel (ETP), as well as, for the manufacture Tin-Free Steel / Electrolytic Chromium Coated Steel (ECCS).

Chromium trioxide is used globally in the steel for packaging industry as a treatment to stabilise the surface of tinplated steel, and to manufacture ECCS. It is not present on the surface of the final material used for the manufacture of steel cans.

Nevertheless, as a substance on the authorisation list of the REACH Regulation, any and all uses of chromium trioxide within the EEA require an authorisation, from the European Commission, in order to continue after the REACH Sunset Date.[1]

The REACH Committee, assisting the European Commission, has on Friday 15th February issued a favourable opinion agreeing with the draft decision of the Commission that the uses covering ETP and ECCS be granted an Authorisation with a 4-year review period. This review period will commence from the date of adoption of the agreed decision and should expire around March 2023. The Commission is expected to publish its corresponding decision in the coming weeks.

Nonetheless, APEAL members are committed to the implementation of CFPA, a Chromium Free Passivation Alternative for tinplate in Europe. The decision will safeguard APEAL members’ supply chains and allow additional time for this, maintaining the high quality of tinplate while ensuring continued consumer safety. 

[1] Date after which the use of an Annex XIV substance needs an authorisation within the EEA (EU + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein)