ECHA releases update on feasibility study into one-stop poison centre notification portal

ECHA releases update on feasibility study into one-stop poison centre notification portal
10 January 2018

Want to find out more? The issues touched on in this article will be discussed in greater detail at our upcoming webinar ‘Poison Centre Notification, the true cost of non-compliance’. Register to attend here.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has voted to create an opt-in poison centre notification portal, which could harmonise how some EU Member States accept notifications to poison centres.

Poison centres are bodies which disseminate the information provided to them under Article 45 of CLP to medical professionals or members of the public in the event of poisoning. Businesses must submit notify information on the hazards and composition of their mixtures to poison centres in every Member State they operate in. 

The portal, which is predicted to have a development cost of €4.2 million, would have phased introduction with a final revision potentially released in 2020.

It is likely that the portal will only be able to accept notifications under the upcoming requirements of Annex VIII to CLP, with Member States permitted to request country specific requirements to be added. This which will significantly change requirements for poison centre notification when it is implemented in 2020. 

In the majority of cases, from 2020 businesses will need to notify more information on their mixtures to poison centres than currently required – in some cases going from a simple SDS and label submission to full composition under Annex VIII. 

Any notification submitted ahead of the introduction for Annex VIII will be valid until 2025, assuming there is no change that would trigger a renotification, such as a change in product identifier or classification.

"To be clear, if your business has mixtures with a health or a physical effect classification on the EU market now, it is a legal requirement and an expectation to notify with relevant poison centres immediately" said Larissa Silver, NCEC Senior Consultant and Poison Centre Product Manager.

The NCEC is one of the only organisations to have documented notification procedures for the majority of EU Member States. It conducts poison centre notifications on behalf of several global chemical companies – helping to reduce the time and cost for notification and minimise the risk of non-compliance.

"If your product is on the market in the EU then a poison centre could receive medical emergency calls about it, so businesses should be motivated to notify immediately to protect their customers" explains Larissa Silver, "and we are increasingly seeing enforcement actions being taken by poison centres against non-compliant businesses."

Among the recommendations for the one-stop portal is a searchable database for enforcement authorities to confirm that notifications have been completed and that companies are compliant. The feasibility study also suggests a repurpose of the IUCLID software which businesses use to make notifications to ECHA. If implemented, this would constitute a major change to previously communicated plans for poison centre notification which businesses will need to adapt to.

The portal would be offered to Member States on an opt-in basis only, meaning Member States will be able to retain their individual notification processes if they choose to. Member States have widely different process for notification, which can make compliance a complex and time-consuming process.

‘While a one-stop portal is an exciting proposition for industry, the recommendation for it to be implemented on opt-in basis means that many Member States – particularly those with well-established poison centres like Spain – will likely retain their own notification processes’ said Larissa Silver.

NCEC runs a popular, free webinar series on what businesses need to do to notify their products now. Register for the upcoming webinar on how changes to the poison centre landscape will impact industry, and what businesses can do to minimise the burden of notification.

The poison centre landscape is continually changing. To find out how to get the best value for your business while meeting your legislative requirements, contact us or visit our poison centre notification page.