EU Plans to Restrict DecaBDE

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Courtesy of SGS

One year after the last expansion of the list of Persistent Organic a first indication on a possible restriction of Bis(pentabromophenyl)ether (DecaBDE) under REACH Annex XVII or POPs Regulation (proposed by Norway in May 2013) was published on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) website on August 1, 2013 (3).

The group of polybrominated diphenylethers has a long history of restriction in the European Union including the POP (Regulation (EC) No. 850/2004 (4) and amendments), REACH Annex XVII (Regulation (EC) No 552/2009 (5)) and RoHS (Directive 2011/65/EU (6)). Whereas an earlier RoHS exemption of DecaBDE was annulled by the European Court of Justice (7), it was so far not included in the EU POPs or REACH Regulations like lower degrees of polybrominated diphenylethers (TetraBDE to HeptaBDE and OctaBDE).

DecaBDE – A Restricted Substance with an unclear future

DecaBDE is classified as a substance with persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic or very persistent and very, bioaccumulative (PBT/vPvB) properties. Norway has filed an official proposal in May 2013 to include DecaBDE in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (8). The European Commission consequently asked ECHA to evaluate the substance and prepare a proposal in line with the proposal for a global restriction under the Stockholm Convention. Such a proposal shall cover mixtures and articles but include possible derogations if justified. The proposal is expected to be submitted on August 1, 2014. The current status is insofar interesting as the European Commission tries to avoid double regulations and acted on such a fact for PentaBDE with Regulation (EU) No. 207/2011 (9) which eliminated REACH Annex XVII Entry 44 in the favor of the parallel existing entry of the POPs Regulation (EU) No. 757/2010 (10).

Scope of Restriction under REACH or POP Regulation

A possible scope of restriction in Annex XVII of REACH or the EU POPs Regulation may include the restriction of the manufacture, use and placing on the market of DecaBDE and of mixtures and articles containing it.

Using the examples of current entries of OctaBDE under REACH Annex XVII (Entry 45) or current restriction limits for the TetraBDE to HeptaBDE in the EU POPs scope, a list of applicable restriction scenarios for DecaBDE is summarized within the latest Safeguards bulletin (


( ) “EU Expands List of Persistent Organic Polluants (POPs)” - Safeguards 107/12, July 2012 (
(2) “REACH Annex XVII Updates 2 Substances Classified as POPs” – Safeguards 055/11, March 2011 (
(3) Registry of current Restriction proposal intentions, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
(4) List of Persistent Organic Polluants (
(5) Commission Regulation (EC) No 552/2009 (
(6) Directive 2011/65/EU (
(7) “EU RoHS Exemption of DecaBDE annulled by European Court of Justice” – Safeguards 037/08, May 2008 (
(8) POPRC9 Working Documents (
(9) Commission Regulation (EU) No 207/2011 (
(10) Commission Regulation (EU) No 757/2010 (

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Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services
Dr. Udo Krischke
Global Technical Manager Restricted Substances Testing Services
SGS Germany GmbH
Im Maisel 14
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