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Chemicals Coffee Time, 8th March 2024

Dear Friend,

Happy Friday! The signs of spring increase daily for us. Mike and I saw a curlew yesterday, and the daffodils are pushing through the soil ready for when the nicer weather comes. But we’re still having a lot of cloudy dull days, so it’s a real treat when the sun does come out.

There’s no shortage of Regulatory news this week, so we recommend putting the kettle on for a brew before you start to read!

By the way, if you’ve given up biscuits for Lent, you can still eat Jaffa Cakes, as these are legally cakes and not biscuits following a court case in the 1990s. Cakes are soft, and harden as they go stale, but biscuits are hard and soften with age. In the UK, cakes are considered essential food, and non-VATable, but biscuits do attract VAT as they are deemed to be luxuries.

Can you help? Extended Producer Responsibility

DEFRA are looking for feedback on the Extended Producer Responsibility packaging regulationss, survey ends 15th March 2024 https://createsend.com/t/t-BE3EB2B0FDE05F572540EF23F30FEDED

There’s also a useful link to a DEFRA webinar on the changes here:



Breaking news – Indian Chemicals Inventory

It might be time for Ali to stop rolling her eyes at any mention of ‘India REACH’ or ‘India Chemical Inventory’, because they’ve actually pulled the rug out from under everyone and implemented something!

On February 19th, the India Gazette (announces new legislation), published a Notification from the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers that all companies with an Indian Entity are required to submit data on Production, import, export and sales of chemicals to their web-portal on a monthly basis.

The information must be submitted by the 10th of each month and is quite in depth. (Formulations, tonnages, impurities, destination countries for export etc…)

Whilst enforcement can be lacking in India, non-compliance will have negative consequences for companies because the data submitted will form the initial list of substances that comprise the Indian Chemical Inventory. This means that if you fail to submit information you may find yourself needing to get a costly registration when the data collection period ends and the inventory closes.

The Gazette announcement can be found here: https://egazette.gov.in/writeReadData/2024/252438.pdf (Scroll down for the English language section).

The web-portal for data submission is being run by the Indian Government partner ‘ChemIndia’. The portal is English language, and they have a user manual available for download here: https://chemindia.chemicals.gov.in/LandingPage/Home/UserManual

Even if you don’t have an Indian sales Entity, expect to start receiving requests for full formulation information from your Indian customers so that they can meet their new obligations.

This has been so badly publicised that when Ali learned about it, there was only a single google link to the gazette announcement, which is apparently fairly typical of the Indian government (according to one of our Regulatory Affairs contacts there). Please feel free to let your colleagues know about this issue.

Question about the Indian arrangements

After Ali published the above post on LinkedIn, we had a query from Dr Rashmi Naidu, an Independent Advisor & Trainer (Chemical Regulations & SDS) from Mumbai, as follows “If Alison could indicate from where she got the info. pertaining to “if companies do not submit data to the ChemIndia portal, they will have to comply with costly registration…”. Interestingly, the notification does not mention such information. Thank you again for forwarding my query to Alison.”

Ali replied: Thanks for your query. We haven’t given specifics about registration requirements or costs because the exact legislation is still in draft. However this refers to the Indian Chemicals Management and Safety Rules (CMSR) which is often referred to as ‘India REACH’. There have been 5 drafts of this legislation since 2018 and the implementation date is unknown (it was significantly delayed by Covid and the subsequent economic problems).

The key expectations are:

  • Chemicals on the inventory will be split into Priority and Standard Chemicals -Priority Chemicals will have reporting requirements
  • Chemicals not on the inventory will need to be notified or registered based on their hazards and usage (both of which incur fees). There will be costly data requirements for these activities. Notification/Registration will have to be completed before use, as in other countries with REACH type legislation.

The draft is expected to change again before publication and these changes will include fees, data requirements and implementation time scales.

The Reporting requirement in our post (and the Web portal) is intended to build the initial inventory to form the framework for the CMSR.

Keeping an Eye on ECHA and the EU

Detergents and Surfactants

I think we were all expecting a bigger fight on this one, but it slipped through the EU parliament with only around 100 amendments https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/PV-9-2024-02-27-ITM-007-11_EN.html (barely anything in comparison to its big brother the CLP Legislative Act).

Yet another instalment in the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability the new Detergent and Surfactant Legislation will repeal the existing act (EU 648/2004) and bring in a raft of new measures, many of which you will recognise:

  • A ban on ‘eco-safe’, ‘green’ and other uncertified label claims
  • Optional digital labels alongside the mandatory physical label
  • Labelling requirements for refillable products

And unfortunately one specific item snuck through in the amendments…

The proposed CLP label formatting (minimum font sizes, black text on white background, minimum spacing between lines of text) will also apply to Detergent and surfactant labels.

The Detergent Act will specifically refer to the CLP Annex I (, meaning any formatting changes adopted into CLP will be adopted into the new Detergent Act for the detergent label content.

The detergents legislation will also introduce us to the first measure from the ‘Eco-design for Sustainable Products’ which we wrote about in the newsletter a few months ago. This will be Product Passports – a package of technical and regulatory documentation for the detergent/surfactant.

The exact format and content of the product passport will be specified in another implementing act to be published within 12 months. At this point the only technical criteria is that they must be openly transferable, machine readable, structural and searchable. Providers must supply them free of charge and cannot use the data in them for economic benefit.

This Product Passport should be available to end-users (customers) and all actors in the supply chain (importers, distributors, customs authorities) and other stakeholders such as researchers where appropriate. It will need to be accessed via a bar code, QR code or similar (to be determined) which is placed on the packaging. If you sell the product online, then a link to the product passport will need to be available.

At this point there is no indication that an IT solution (like simplified IUCLID dossiers) will be made available, as the legislation indicates that the onus is on the supplier to provide the product passport. Industry will need to wait another year for the Product Passport implementing act to see the level of effort and cost of compliance needed to fulfil these requirements.

And for those without EU Entities who are already juggling ‘Only Representative’s’ for REACH and ‘3rd Party Entities’ for PCNs, get ready for ‘Authorised Representatives’ under the Detergents and Surfactants Legislation!

The New Detergents and Surfactants Legislation, which will repeal the existing Regulation (648/2004) has passed the EU Parliament vote and is awaiting publication in the official EU journal after which it will become law. There will be a transition time which will allow for introduction of the Product Passport Implementing Act. The publication in the EU journal will be the first appearance of the consolidated text including amendments passed by vote.

Oops – a correction

David Gurden-Wlliams of 3M wrote in about last week’s newsletter: There seems to be a hanging sentence regarding SIP data –

As Ali noted in last week’s newsletter, this is likely to be incomplete Substance Identity Profile data, which may be partly due to the increased requirements since REACH was originally brought in. The current SIP data

We had a glitch – it should read – As Ali noted in last week’s newsletter, this is likely to be incomplete Substance Identity Profile data, which may be partly due to the increased requirements since REACH was originally brought in. The current SIP guidance is available at ECHA in more than one document, but the tests required will depend on the nature of your substance. (The HSE currently do not provide UK-specific guidance).

Many thanks to David for letting us know.

We occasionally have internet issues where local information doesn’t save to an external server, and I think it caught us out. It’s really good to get feedback like this from our lovely readers, otherwise we can’t watch out for this type of mistake and try to minimise them happening in future.

Readers to the Rescue!

Last week I asked for recommendations for Management of Change Software for a chemical manufacturer who isn’t using SAP, and received these replies:

If you have any other suggestions, then please do let us know.

Hearing from the HSE and the UK

The HSE published 10 new GB MCL Agency Opinions this week. The substances are:

  • 7-oxabicyclo[4.1.0]hept-3-ylmethyl 7-oxabicyclo[4.1.0]heptan-3-carboxylate (CAS#2386-87-0)
  • Tetrasodium 4-amino-5-hydroxy-3,6-bis[[4-[[2- (sulphonatooxy)ethyl]sulphonyl] phenyl]azo]naphthalene-2,7- disulphonate (17095-24-8)
  • 2-(dimethylamino)-2-[(4-methylphenyl)methyl]-1-[4- (morpholin-4-yl)phenyl]butan-1-one (CAS# 119344-86-4)
  • Formic Acid (CAS# 64-18-6)
  • Dicamba (ISO) (CAS# 1918-00-9)
  • Formaldehyde (CAS# 50-00-0)
  • S-metolachlor (ISO); 2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N- [(2S)-1-methoxypropan-2-yl]acetamide (CAS# 87392-12-9)
  • Peracetic acid (CAS# 79-21-0)
  • Ethanethiol (CAS# 75-08-0)
  • Trimethyl borate (CAS# 121-43-7)

All 10 agency opinions are in agreement with the EU RAC opinions so these substance classifications will eventually be brought into alignment with the European Harmonised Classified and Labelling.

Whilst this undoubtedly makes life easier for people who sell into both jurisdictions, it does emphasize that the official HSE advice that you must use the official classification on the MCL even if you have evidence (for example the EU HCL and the UK technical report) that the end point should be more severely classified, could be revised.

The Cost of (Re-) Labelling

One of the HSE agency opinions included a footnote that Ali couldn’t let go of.

Average relabelling costs based on 2021 present values are estimated to fall within the range of £155-£505 per substance per company. These costs are based on an assessment of the impact of changes affecting Poison Centres produced by the Department of Health, in conjunction with HSE in July 2016. These estimates were updated values based on costs used in the short impact assessment for the 1st ATP to CLP conducted in 2008, and the impact estimate for the 3rd ATP conducted in 2012, where costs were estimated to lie between £150 and £500.

The cost of labelling is something that she believes is chronically underestimated. Partly because it only ever looks at substance labels. As a veteran mixture labeller, she’s seen substance changes that impact almost 1000 product labels. The cost of that is not 500 quid!

In addition, the cost of labels in 2008 was significantly cheaper. As we have progressed through REACH and other chemical legislation, the classification of our products has increased. As a result:

  • More of our labels are required to meet BS 5609 for Dangerous Goods and have higher basic stock cost
  • More of our labels are Fold Out, Tag or custom design for our packaging – meaning higher costs
  • Reclassification may incur costs for Tactile warnings of danger or childproof packaging
  • Complex supply chains mean sending labels to distributors and downstream users

Some labels are so tight for space that every extra hazard or precautionary phrase means a complete redesign of all hazard and marketing content of the package. A protracted process between many employees costing time and resources to implement.

Basic ‘adjusting for inflation’ seems completely inappropriate here.

We’d really like to hear your thoughts on this. Do you have a more realistic figure that you think is representative of the relabelling cost for a substance?

Process safety corner

Recent incidents:

A hypnotic video from Greg Mehos on why a funnel hopper discharges than a mass flow one: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/gmehos_having-too-much-time-on-my-hands-i-set-out-activity-7169724722727874560-YhC0

Jobs update (UK stats from LinkedIn)

Regulatory Affairs, 2,720 jobs; and Health and Safety Manager, 1,344 jobs (but remember to search on specialist, officer and other job titles as the LinkedIn algorithm recently changed).

If your role is made redundant, it can be quite overwhelming (from personal experience), and one of my friends has recently experienced that “rabbit in the headlights” feeling.

My top tips for anyone in that situation formed an action plan for her, which I think has helped “unfreeze” her. These are are:

  • start applying for jobs as soon as you know you’re being laid off (your employer may encourage you to do this, and let you use company laptop/ internet/ time to do so)
  • your new job is effectively finding your next job, so treat it like one – work regular hours on the project; keep a spreadsheet with where you have applied, what the outcome was (nothing/ interview/ job offer – so you can see what your statistics are eg x applications gives y first interviews, z second interviews. Because it’s a percentage game, and you will be rejected more than you will be accepted.)
  • review your expenses and cut back immediately, don’t run down your last pay cheques or savings before doing that
  • but also keep busy – volunteer for a nearby charity; get a lower-stress/ lower-paying job while you look for your next professional job

And if you are looking for work, it is a tough thing to do, and I wish you all the very best.

Infographic of the week

10 visuals that will “change the way you think” (or remind you if you already know about them): https://www.linkedin.com/posts/donnellychris_10-visuals-that-will-change-the-way-you-think-activity-7168951352595828737-NH_W?

The Weekend Read

Does your organisation suffer from “auditism”? https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/auditism-symptoms-safety-consequences-causes-cure-ben-hutchinson-0ttjc

The Weekend Recipe

It’s still quite cold and dull, even if there are signs of spring, I thought we should revisit a duck stir fry recipe I published a while ago (based on a Prue Coats recipe, with a few tweaks). You can use wild duck, if you’re lucky enough to have some in your freezer left over from the wildfowling season; or farmed duck will work perfectly well too.

Duck stir fry


  • 4 duck breasts, sliced thinly
  • 2 oz fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into fine strips (julienne/ short matchsticks)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (I prefer dark soy sauce for this)
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 4 spring onions, shredded, or use half a small white onion (finely chopped)


At least half an hour before you want to eat, slice up the duck breasts and fresh ginger, and mix together in a bowl. Leave it covered in the fridge for half an hour to let the flavours meld together. Cut up your onion, and measure out your other ingredients ready for when you do the stir fry, as it’s a very quick recipe and you don’t want to slow yourself up by stopping to chop or measure ingredients.

When you are nearer eating, cook up your carbs (noodles or rice) and vegetables (eg (eg bean sprouts, fine green beans, or even just frozen peas), and keep warm on one side. Warm your plates or dished up in a low oven, ready for your meal.

Finally, heat the oil in a wok or frying pan very briefly fry the garlic, then the duck and ginger, and stir fry for about 5 minutes until the duck is just cooked. Add all the other ingredients, and cook over a high heat for a few seconds to bring the sauce together. Serve immediately with your

This is a lovely dish for a dreich late winter’s day, and quite quick and easy to make.

Reasons to be Cheerful

Continuing our series of quiz show bloopers, we have an American version


And Alan Ritchie from WSP notes: Hi Janet, You say that flame retardants “don’t exist in a vacuum”. One could argue that they wouldn’t be needed in a vacuum because nothing would burn without oxygen! 🙂 Serves me right for using an inappropriate metaphor!

Many thanks for reading this newsletter, and many thanks to everyone who has contributed to it this week. As usual, if you have anything you’d like to share, please email me and I’ll do my best to include it in the next newsletter.

I hope you have a good day today, and a lovely weekend with your family and friends. Take care, stay safe and I hope to be able to write to you next week.

Kind regards,


Janet Greenwood

TT Environmental Ltd

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