Intermediate concept within the framework of the European Chemicals Legislation – applicable rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have to implemented


According to the REACh Regulation, the obligation for authorisation does not apply to intermediates. In this context, a clear definition is provided under which conditions a substance is to be classified as an intermediate. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in 2010 presented a Guidance on Intermediates, which, according to an ECJ ruling in 2017, does not correspond with the aforementioned definition and does not reflect the intention of REACh. Despite this judgement, the enforcement of the concept of intermediates has not been changed. Therefore, the surface treatment sector has for several years been advocating for the correct interpretation and implementation of the intermediates concept.

In the context of the upcoming revision of REACh, the European Commission (COM) aims to make adaptions to the existing definition. For the 45th meeting of Competent Authorities for REACh and CLP (CARACAL) on 06 July 2022, a proposal was presented regarding possible clarifications and changes to the REACh provisions on intermediates. The European Committee for Surface Treatment (CETS) would like to provide comments on some of the key aspects of the proposal.