Last reviewed 29 September 2021

SCIP is the public database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products) established under the Waste Framework Directive (WFD). In this feature article, Caroline Raine gives us an update on, and overview of, the SCIP Database.

Introduction

From the 5 January 2021, companies supplying articles that contain substances of very high concern (SVHCs) on the Candidate List in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight (w/w) on the EU market have to submit information on these articles to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

To support this reporting requirement, ECHA have created SCIP, the database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products).

The requirement was established under the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), the intention being to gather information on products which is then made available to waste operators and consumers.

The SCIP database has three main objectives.

  • Decrease the generation of waste containing hazardous substances by supporting the substitution of substances of concern in articles placed on the EU market.

  • Make information available to further improve waste treatment operations.

  • Allow authorities to monitor the use of substances of concern in articles and initiate appropriate actions over the whole lifecycle of articles, including at their waste stage.

There is no requirement in Great Britain to make notifications on SVHCs in articles.

What is an article? And what is an SVHC?

An article is an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition.

And a complex object refers to any object made up of more than one article. For example, a car made up of several articles.

The Candidate list contains a list of substance of very high concern (SVHCs). Substances with the following hazard properties may be identified as SVHCs.

  • Substances meeting the criteria for classification as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR) category 1A or 1B in accordance with the CLP Regulation.

  • Substances which are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) according to REACH Annex XIII.

  • Substances on a case-by-case basis, that cause an equivalent level of concern as CMR or PBT/vPvB substances.

The candidate list can be found on the ECHA website and currently contains 219 entries.

Requirements

Detailed requirements and the data that is required to be shared can be found in the SCIP topic.

In a nutshell, any articles or complex products that contain substances of very high concern (SVHCs) on the Candidate List in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight (w/w) must be notified.

Information requirements for the article include the following items.

  • Article name — Main name assigned to the article as such or the complex object.

  • Other names* — eg Brand; Model.

  • Primary Article Identifier — Numerical or alphanumerical identifier assigned to the article as such or the complex object and identification of its type. The primary Article Identifier will be used to support the preparation of a notification.

  • Other Article Identifier* — Other numerical or alphanumerical identifier and identification of its type.

  • Article category* — Identification of the article as such or the complex object from a harmonised list (with codes and description) which cannot be achieved by the article name(s) assigned, until a certain level of granularity, based on function/use. It is important to identify certain relevant waste streams.

  • Production in European Union — In this field, the duty holder answers to the question: is the article produced or assembled in the EU?

  • Picture — Visual identification of the article as such or the complex object.

  • Characteristic type — Article or complex object’s characteristic(s) that may help to distinguish the reported article or complex object from similar articles or complex objects, eg Height; Length; Width; Diameter; Density; Weight; Volume; Colour.

  • Characteristic value — Value of the (selected) characteristic.

  • Unit — Unit of measure for the (selected) characteristic, when applicable

  • Safe use instructions — Safe use information. It includes the possibility to state that there is “No need to provide safe use information beyond the identification of the Candidate List substance”.

  • Disassembling instructions — Disassembling instructions document (eg pdf format).

Information requirements for the Concern Element and substance include the following.

  • Candidate List version — Identification of the Candidate List substance version based on which the information on the article as such or complex object has been assessed against before being submitted to ECHA.

  • Candidate List Substance — Name, EC and CAS numbers, when available, of the Candidate List substance is selected from the Candidate List entries.

  • Substance name — Name of the specific substance belonging to a group entry.

  • EC number — EC number of the specific substance belonging to a group entry.

  • CAS number — CAS number of the specific substance belonging to a group entry.

  • Concentration range — Possible concentration ranges of the substance in the article:

    • 0.1% w/w and < 0.3% w/w

    • ≥ 0.3% w/w and < 1.0% w/w

    • ≥ 1.0% w/w and < 10.0% w/w

    • ≥ 10.0% w/w and < 20.0% w/w

    • ≥ 20.0% w/w and < 100% w/w

    • 0.1% w/w and ≤ 100% w/w.

  • Material category - Identification of the material the article (containing the Candidate List substance) is made of from a list to be provided by ECHA.

  • Mixture category - Identification of the mixture category from the European product categorisation system (EuPCS) containing the Candidate List substance(s) incorporated in the further processing step (eg coating) of an article or incorporated when joining or assembling two or more articles in a complex object (eg. adhesive, solder).

SCIP database

Whilst the requirement to make notifications has existed since January 2021, the searchable database was not available to the public. The searchable database was released, went live in September. Around 6 000 companies have completed over four million article notifications.

The most commonly notified product categories in the database are:

  • machinery and their parts

  • measuring instruments and their parts

  • electronic equipment and their parts

  • vehicles and their parts

  • articles made of rubber

  • furniture.

The most common substances of very high concern in notifications are:

  • lead (eg in ball bearings, batteries)

  • lead monoxide (eg in lamps, vehicle parts)

  • lead titanium trioxide (eg in electric cookers)

  • silicid acid, lead salt (eg in lead crystalware, vehicle coatings)

  • 1,6,7,8,9,14,15,16,17,17,18,18-Dodecachloropentacyclo[12.2.1.16,9.02,13.05,10]octadeca-7,15- diene, more commonly referred to as “Dechlorane PlusTM” (eg in paints, glues)

At the time of writing this article there are 4,669,387 entries. The database is a large searchable table that shows the article name, other article identifiers, article category, the last update and then details. By clicking on details access to the full information provided in the notification can be seen.

The database can be searched by:

  • Article Identity

  • Article category

  • Material & Mixture category

  • Substance of concern

  • Concern/Reason for inclusion.

The database can be accessed here.

Conclusions

  • The database will help consumers make informed decisions and aid the waste industry when dealing with the end of life of materials supporting the use of re-cycling and circular economy.

  • Make sure that you have met all your legal obligations.

  • Check your products; are they articles?

  • And if so, do they contain substances of very high concern?

  • If so, make sure you meet your obligations in the EU by notifying them to the SCIP database.